October 20, 2016
Portuguese cuisine has many types of sausages. From every region that you go, there's some different sausage and some different curing. But no sausage is more Portuguese than the alheira.
The biggest difference between the others and the main characteristic is the filling that is poultry and/or game meat
Alheira was created by Portuguese jews during the Inquisition in the end of XV century, beginning of XVI in the region of Trás os Montes. Because they didn't eat pork meat and smoke any of it, they were easily found. So they decided to create a pork-free sausage and "disguise" as "new Christians". That sausage was created of what meat they could find as long was not pork.
Nowadays, alheira is very know in all Portugal and well appreciated. So much that many variations of the dish were created as codfish alheira and also vegetarian and...pork!
The alheira from Mirandela is even protected with IGP (“Product of Geographic Indication”) and in 2011 was selected was one of the 7 wonders of Portuguese Gastronomy.
Other difference is because is made from perishable ingredients it has to be fully cooked before serving. The traditional way of eating is with grilled ou roasted with boiled potatoes and vegetables.
we can not say that is really healthy but for sure that is really good.
In the last years that the Portuguese cuisines have grown, also the usage of alheira did the same, as been used as a hamburgers ( amazing flavour), filling for squids, etc...
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