Our rich and varied tradition of smoked sausages can be confusing and overwhelming for the uninitiated… Here’s a quick guide for you to use and impress your local hosts! All these delicacies are found as ingredients to traditional dishes such as feijoada (bean stew), cozido à Portuguesa (Portuguese pot au feu) or served as starters or petiscos (Portuguese tapas).
Alheira: The word derives from alho (garlic) which is a key flavouring ingredient. Traditionally made from poultry and bread this is a soft smoked sausage now enjoying a real come back and made from a wide variety of ingredients, even salted cod!
Moira: (literally moorish) this is a smoked sausage made with pork meat, fat and blood and has a characteristic dark appearance and a strong, deep taste.
Morcela: the queen of sausages, made with pig’s blood, spices (cumin is a must) and cereal. Morcelas are boiled, roasted of fry and have a soft satisfying texture and rich taste.
Choriço: (or chouriça in the North of the country) this is perhaps the most ubiquitous of Portuguese sausages made with pork meat often marinated in wine, garlic and paprika (vinha d’alhos) and then smoked.
Farinheira: similar to alheira and sharing its Jewish heritage (invented in the 15th century as a way of convincing the inquisition of conversion to Christianity by displaying pork eating behaviour). This is a soft texture, smoky flavour sausage made traditionally with poetry and wheat flour.