Monday, 19 March 2018


Via Hyperallergic’s required reading, we discover that though overshadowed by other culinary influences presently that Portugal has played an outsized role in world gastronomy. Dishes that we consider a tradition staple of Japanese dining—fried vegetables or tempura (天ぷら)—was introduced by Portuguese traders who had a presence in Japan for about a century until being banished in 1639 for proselytizing, the ruling shogunate believing that Christianity was a threat to a stable society.
The recipe adapted from peixnhos da horta (little fish of the garden) for battered and fried green beans came to be known as tempura is etymologically tied to Christianity, being a Lenten substitute for a filling meal for those too poor to afford actual fish as a break from fasting, coming from the Latin tempora which indicated the time for abstaining. Improvising Portuguese canteen operators also whipped up a spicy, wine marinated pork dish called carne de vinha d’alhos, which in the former colonial outpost of Goa in India informed the reimport vindaloo. Be sure and visit BBC Travel at the link up top for recipes and to learn more.