Azeite (olive oil) stands, by no sheer coincidence, at the very beginning of our ABC. It is undoubtedly the most essential ingredient in Portuguese cooking. Used for sautée-ing, frying, marinating, salad dressings and sauces… this versatile and healthy oil is at the core of our culture as is evident in the vast expanses of olive groves both in the north and south of the country. Portugal produces one the best olive oils in the world (one of our producers, Oliveira da Serra in Alentejo, was selected the best producer in the world in 2015).
This precious oil has been a major Portuguese export since the 14th Century and comes in various grades depending on production process, making for varying levels of acidity. Did you know you need almost 2000 olives to produce a 1/4L of olive oil?
Azeite is the inseparable companion of our B of Portuguese Gastronomy: Bacalhau.