THE PORTUGUESE PANTRY n my kitchen, I’ve stocked sections of my pantry and fridge with ingredients I use to cook Portuguese dishes. Through trial and error, I’ve discovered American ingredients that are either identical to or successful substitutes for those in Portugal. Nothing is more frustrating than thinking one thing when an author intends something else, so in these entries, I’ve described the exact variety of onion, the precise kind of bay leaf, and the perfect cultivar of potato to use for making the recipes in the United States, so that we’re—literally—on the same page. It’s not an exhaustive list; it includes only those ingredients you’ll need to cook from this book. For those few harder-to- nd items, such as Portuguese sausages and bottled sauces, I’ve provided a list of stores and online purveyors in the Sources section. Without a doubt, though, the biggest contributor to the success of your dishes is to buy the best-quality ingredients you can a ord. Gently poke a few tomatoes in the name of comparison shopping, drum up the courage to speak to your shmonger about salt cod, and ignore the bargain bin and splurge on well-priced port wine you wouldn’t mind sipping after an enjoyable evening of cooking. Oh, and considering Portuguese is tough to wrap your lips around, I’ve included a handy pronunciation guide. Boa sorte!
BACON toucinho (tow-seen-yoo) Pork is the undisputed king of meat in Portugal, and nose-to-tail eating is the rule. But for decades, authors and translators of Portuguese recipes have left cooks banging their heads against kitchen cabinets with the indiscriminate use of the word bacon to mean toucinho. There are three types of toucinho, only one of which is similar to bacon as we know it, and each one has a di erent cooking use. Toucinho gordo (“fat bacon”) is pure pork fat, similar to our fatback, with no striations of meat and with the skin often attached. It’s cut from most any part of the animal and, like all toucinho, is traditionally salted (salgado) rather than smoked, although nowadays it’s possible to buy smoked versions of toucinho magro and toucinho entremeado. Chunks are added to dishes such as feijoada (bean-meat casserole), cozido (a one-pot meal of boiled meats and