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Francesinha, the most typical dish of Porto


We are sure that during your staying in the city of Porto you will hear the word “francesinha”. The francesinha is a typical dish and originating in the city of Porto and there are some stories about its origin.

It´s made with a sausage, fresh sausage, ham, cold meats and beef stake. Some cook it with loin pork roast. It´s covered with cheese, which is then melt and garnished with a sauce made of tomato, beer and chili. In some places, it´s served with a fried egg (above) and chips.

Did you get mouth-watering? In spite of being a well-known dish in the city of Porto, the way it was borne has no consensus. Still, the stories that mention its origin are curious.

One of the stories about its origin goes back to the Peninsular War and it´s said that the Napoleonic troops use to eat some kind of toasts in which they put various types of meat and a lot of cheese. At the time, yet without the sauce, that nowadays goes with the so typical and well-known dish in the city of Porto.

There are some that allocate francesinha´s origin to Daniel David Silva, a portuguese emigrant that has lived during some years in France. When he came back, he created the “Francesinha”. At the time, he worked in the Restaurant A Regaleira, which is certainly the cradle of this so tasty dish.

Daniel David Silva created the francesinha based on a french toast, the “croquet-monsieur”, from which the name comes from. It´s also said that Daniel David Silva created the francesinha for women because we wanted that the ladies from Porto were as “hot” as the french. So, that´s the reason why he has baptized it with this name.

Interestingly, were only the men that ate it because the women that dare to try the delicacy would get a bad reputation. The tradition has evolved. Nevertheless, of course, initially were really the men, mainly single, that tasted this dish.

As it´s was not a too elaborated dish and it was seeing more as a snack than as main meal, served many times during the teatime or through the night, after a cinema session. The Porto´s downtown has seen plenty of francesinha dishes been served as a snack or accompanying one or another drink among friends. Only in the 70´s decade the ladies dared to taste this so typical Porto dish, already twenty years had passed from the francesinha birth.

It´s said that the idea of the francesinha´s creator was that of adjust the ingredients of the french toast to the taste and gastronomic culture of Porto. In Porto, the food is typically substantial and with intense and hot flavors and that´s why Daniel David Silva created a sauce to accompany the francesinha.

It has become a very well-known dish due to its cheap production. Nowadays, there are some variations to the recipe, yet, it´s without any doubts the most appreciated recipe of the city of Porto.

Cabbage soup, Tripas à moda do Porto, corn bread, even Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá are also some very reputable dishes in the north of Portugal, although the francesinha is, without any doubt, the icon of the city. Thus, we could say a lot about francesinha, but to understand it you must try it!

Do you want to know the best places to taste a francesinha? Contact us, and get to know the restaurants with the tastiest francesinhas.



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