10 Products Made in Portugal You Should Check Out!

Updated on May 5, 2016
O galo de Barcelos, or "the Rooster of Barcelos" is the symbol of Portugal. It's a popular keepsake for tourists
O galo de Barcelos, or "the Rooster of Barcelos" is the symbol of Portugal. It's a popular keepsake for tourists | Source

Portugal is a southern European country with the oldest borders in all of Europe. Its proud history can be felt all throughout the country, from its capital down to each tiny, picture-perfect village with its own distinct culture and traditions.

Are you planning on visiting Portugal and wondering what you should take back home or try while there? Or maybe you have Portuguese roots and you're curious about the kind of products that are made in Portugal. In any case, what better way to learn about a country than through its products? For that reason, I've decided to put together this article about products I've come to love in my adopted home of Portugal and you'd love too if only you knew about them.

Below is a list of my favorite Portuguese products that you should check out!

Claus Porto Soaps

Claus Porto soap is synonymous with luxury and quality.

I first came across this fabulous natural soap while shopping in El Corte Ingles, a department store in Lisbon. Claus Porto had a cute display so I decided to buy a bar.

I was amazed by how creamy the lather is, how fragrant and natural it smells, and how soft it left my skin. I had no idea that this soap is actually famous and well-known amongst American celebrities. I only found that out after Googling "Claus Porto soap" to see if I could buy it when I returned to the US. To my relief, I learned that I can indeed buy these amazing soaps in various luxury shops in New York. Shops in the U.S. that sell Claus Porto include places like Saks Fifth Avenue, but they're a lot more expensive there.

Claus Porto soap has been made in the same traditional way in Porto since 1887. The wrapping is always a beautiful art-deco design, making Claus Porto soaps a wonderful gift or souvenir.

Vinho verde, or "green wine" is actually young wine and it's only produced in Portugal
Vinho verde, or "green wine" is actually young wine and it's only produced in Portugal | Source

Portuguese Wine

You've probably heard of port wine, but what about other Portuguese wines?

Portuguese wine production dates all the way back to Roman times and there are over 500 indigenous grape varieties. Even wine experts are unfamiliar with all the different types!

There are 11 major wine producing regions in Portugal, including Alentejo, the Algarve, Beira, Dão, Douro, Minho, Montes, Ribatejo, Setúbal, Tejo, and Trás-os-Montes.

Wines in various regions really differ from one another because of the variations in climate throughout Portugal, so you get very distinct wines. There are over 1 million acres (400,000 hectares) of vines and Portugal is the seventh largest exporter of wine in the world.

Next time you're looking for wine, consider a Portuguese wine. Maybe some green wine?

Fortified Wine

Portugal's port wine, or simply "port" is not the only fortified wine produced in Portugal, there's also Madeira.

"Azulejo", Portuguese ceramic tile is used both on the outside and inside of buildings and homes.
"Azulejo", Portuguese ceramic tile is used both on the outside and inside of buildings and homes. | Source

Portuguese Ceramic Tiles: Azulejos

Portugal has ceramic tiles down to an art form!

Portuguese tiles—known as azulejos—are part of Portuguese culture and have been produced in the country for five centuries.

Beautiful azulejos are everywhere you look in Portugal—inside and outside the walls of churches, on ordinary homes as you walk down the block, on benches, fountains, and any place you can imagine putting a tile on.

In public places, azulejos often depict historic scenes. There's even a museum (my personal favorite) dedicated solely to the history and production of azulejos.

There are also tile-inspired everyday items like gorgeous jewelry and coasters.

You can buy a beautiful tile or tile-inspired item in many souvenir shops throughout Portugal. It's my favorite souvenir from the country.

Decorative Tile Jewelry

Portuguese tile, known as azulejo, have inspired artists to create miniature reproductions of their beauty in the form of rings, earrings, and bracelets.

Cherry Liquor: Ginjinha

Source

Ginjinha, also known simply as Ginja, is the most famous liquor in Portugal. It's made by infusing sour cherries (called ginjas) with a Portuguese liquor called aguardente.

Ginjinha is normally taken as a shot with the cherries on the bottom of the shot glass. In the city of Obidos, the shot glass is traditionally made from chocolate so you just take the shot with the shot glass! Bottles of Ginjinha and chocolate shot glasses can oftentimes be found as a set in souvenir shops.

Also in downtown Lisbon, there is a little shop that served nothing but Ginjinha. It's popular amongst both locals and tourists who line up with friends and take shots on the street.

Cork Accessories

Source

Portugal is the largest producer of cork in the world. So naturally, the country also produces some neat things made from cork. Things made from cork include postcards (my family back home loves those!), cork purses, wallets, and of course wine corks. You'll be sure to come across lots of cork accessories in souvenir shops around Portugal.

Cork is a natural product, and anything made from cork is considered eco-friendly. If you're looking to make a fashion statement with eco-friendly products, Portuguese cork products are the way to go!

Presunto

"Presunto", Portuguese ham.
"Presunto", Portuguese ham. | Source

You may have heard of prosciutto, Italian dry-cured ham but did you know that Portugal has its own variety? In Portugal, it's called presunto and I personally like it even more! Presunto Iberico, as it's sometimes called, is also made in Spain where it's called Iberico jamon and it's basically the kobe beef of pigs. The pigs from which presunto is made roam the forest freely and eat natural things like herbs and acorns. The meat has a distinct nutty flavor that's incomparable. The most famous presunto in Portugal is Chaves presunto and Alentejo presunto.

Portuguese Cheese

There's a Portuguese saying that goes, "In the land of cattle, cheese is king.” Cheese, queijo in Portuguese, is certainly king in Portugal. You are bound to be impressed with the huge variety of cheeses made in Portugal. There's cow cheese, sheep cheese, goat cheese, and combinations of all three and they are really good quality.

Cheese is a big part of Portuguese culture and is eaten at every meal as an appetizer. The most famous cheese is probably Serra da Estrela cheese, which is semi-soft and is eaten by cutting off the top layer. Other popular cheeses include Azeitão, Serpa, and Terrincho.

Portuguese Desserts

Source

I was not familiar with Portuguese desserts until I moved to Portugal, and boy was I missing out! There are more than two hundred varieties of Portuguese sweets. Many are egg-based with names such as toucinho do céu ("fat from heaven"), papos de anjo ("angel's double-chin"), and barriga de freiras ("belly of nuns", after the nuns who invented and prepared them in monasteries hundreds of years ago). There are also marzipan desserts, custard creme ones, and many others that you just have to try!

The most well known Portuguese dessert is undoubtedly pasteis de nata. It's an egg custard tart in filo dough that is best served warm, fresh out of the oven, and sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar. It's really delicious and can be found in any Portuguese community.

Olive Oil

"Azeite", Portuguese olive oil
"Azeite", Portuguese olive oil | Source

Portuguese olive oil, known as azeite in Portuguese, is some of the best out there. Olive oil production in Portugal has a long-standing tradition, dating back to Roman times. There's even evidence of olive trees in Portugal dating all the way back to the Bronze Age! Interestingly, during the mid-16th century, olive oil was even used as fuel for lighting and Portugal exported its olive oil to Northern Europe and India for that purpose.

To this day, olive oil is an important ingredient in many traditional recipes and the Portuguese take their olive oil very seriously. There are six regions in Portugal that produce olive oil that has protected status, called DOP (Denominação de Origem Protegida). The regions are:

  • DOP Trás os Montes
  • DOP Beira Interior
  • DOP Ribatejo
  • DOP Alentejo interior
  • DOP Norte Alentejano
  • DOP Moura

Next time you're looking to get olive oil, consider Portuguese olive oil. You'll be pleasantly surprised. It's excellent in quality and not as expensive as others.

Olive Oil with Gold

In Portugal, you can find extra-virgin olive oil that contains 24-karat edible gold flakes. This unique gourmet item can be bought in gourmet shops and El Corte Ingles.

Portuguese Chouriço

Chouriço
Chouriço | Source

Portuguese pork sausage, called chouriço in Portuguese, is usually made with fat, wine, paprika, and salt.

There are lots of different varieties of chouriço and they all differ in color, shape, and taste. Many traditionally Portuguese dishes use this kind of pork sausage as an ingredient. It's also really delicious grilled, as some Portuguese restaurants serve it.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        MA Azizan 

        8 months ago

        will visiting Lisbon in next three weeks. =)

      • profile image

        Josée & family 

        10 months ago

        Going to Portugal in April looking forward to try everything and more, thank you

      • Global-Chica profile imageAUTHOR

        Anna 

        10 months ago from New York, NY

        That sounds lovely! Will you be visiting Porto - that's a must! And if you can do a wine tour of the Douro valley, you'll really enjoy it. The Minho region has some really picturesque towns. As far as food is concerned, Porto has a specialty, francesinha, which you should try :)

      • profile image

        Kelly 

        10 months ago

        We are planning to go to the north of Portugal in July and August

        Any recommendations on foods to eat and towns/cities to visit?

      • profile image

        Angela Graham 

        11 months ago

        Fabulous good and wine in Portugal. Theircoluve oil is delicious and the cheeses are wonderful. I don't think I have found one thing I don't like here. The quality and price are fantastic

      • profile image

        Jozhe Fonseca 

        15 months ago

        Everyone talks about the same things, what about Portalegre rugs, canned fishes, mineral waters, concentrated juices, soups, coffees, pottery, liqueurs, bread, beer, jams, etc.

      • Spanish Food profile image

        Lena Durante 

        18 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area

        Olive oil with gold? Wow, that's something I've never encountered before. I imagine you don't actually cook with it, just use it raw?

      • profile image

        Antonio Lewis 

        21 months ago

        I loved your article on products made in Portugal, and have already tasted many of them.

      • profile image

        Shannon 

        2 years ago

        Do you know of any way to order Ginja here in the US? We recently traveled to Portugal and fell in love with it.

      • profile image

        MAA 

        2 years ago

        Very helpful ...will experience them all !

      • profile image

        Susana 

        2 years ago

        Hi!

        Check out this portuguese handmade products with a twist! ;)

        Pretérito - Handmade in Portugal! Tks!

        www.etsy.com/pt/shop/Preterito

        Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/preteritohandmadeinportug...

        Cheers!

      • CYong74 profile image

        Kuan Leong Yong 

        2 years ago from Singapore

        Azulejos tiles have such a unique look and feel. I wish I could tile one wall of my kitchen with them.

      • ghalkett profile image

        Genevieve Halkett 

        2 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

        I miss Portugal - and haven't been able to find Ginjinha in the U.S. Look forward to a trip back some day...

      • profile image

        Lucia 

        3 years ago

        How do you not have Madeira hand embroidered linens on this list?!

      • profile image

        Munawar hussain 

        3 years ago

        Hi sweet how are you.i am fine.

        i want do business in Portugal

      • traveleze profile image

        Lee John 

        3 years ago from Preston

        Hi Global-Chica

        Yep, it's just because of the bird is the same haha

      • Global-Chica profile imageAUTHOR

        Anna 

        3 years ago from New York, NY

        Traveleze, you'd think so! I think it was actually started in South Africa by Portuguese people. I was shocked when I saw one in DC!

      • traveleze profile image

        Lee John 

        3 years ago from Preston

        Great Hub!

        I am sure Nando's is from Portugal isn't it?

        Thanks again

        Lee

      • Arco Hess Designs profile image

        Arco Hess 

        4 years ago from Kansas City, Kansas

        The wine, presunto, and cherry liquor are all incredibly underrated. Some of the very best wine I have ever drunk came from Portugal.

      • SavioC profile image

        SavioC 

        4 years ago

        Absolutely loved this info. I live in Goa which was a Portuguese colony till 1961. Many people still follow many of the traditions & many products you mentioned are still used by Goans. You will find it surprising that some people manufacture Azulejos . But I would love to try out the Presunto and also Portuguese Cheese. Thanks for sharing .

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        I bought Sao Jorge cheese last summer and it was a hit.

      • Pedro Vieira profile image

        Pedro Vieira 

        4 years ago from San Francisco, California

        Amazing list! A bunch of hidden gems here. There's many more like these in Portugal... Hidden gems that you'll hardly find if you don't have a local connection. If you're visiting Portugal, I recommend using services like www.WiserGo.com which let's you design several travel packages with Portuguese agents, select your favorite, they will book everything and provide customer support while you're in Portugal. Since they are local agents, they know the ins-and-outs of everything and you get to experience the country as a local!

      • Tiffany Latte profile image

        TiffanyLatte 

        4 years ago from USA

        Wine- Architecture, love it. Nice article

      • keanyu profile image

        keanyu 

        4 years ago

        Great article! :)

      • The Reminder profile image

        The Reminder 

        5 years ago from Canada

        Still trying to get a hold of ginjinha here in Canada. I'm portuguese and never tried it. Great hub and the info is very accurate!

      • profile image

        Mary Crawley 

        5 years ago

        Fly London is, in spite of the name, a portuguese brand of modern trendy shoes. I have a pair of wedges from then and it's like walking on clouds, but 5 in taller! Luis Onofre has also beautiful shoes.

        Also the link from Luis Bretten has some really nice stuff!

      • profile image

        Luis Betten 

        5 years ago

        Nice to see such positive interest on Portuguese products!

        Im Portuguese, thought currently living abroad, and i've found this website, http://www.takeportugal.com/

        So far, this is the best online store you can find if your looking for traditional Portuguese goods, handcraft, wine, ceramic and many design pieces mainly made in cork.

        Bought some Claus Porto Soaps there for my wife ;)

        Yes I'm a romantic ;p

      • ClaireDixon profile image

        Claire Dixon 

        5 years ago from Billingham, Cleveland. UK

        It's a long time since I've been to Portugal ; well the Algarve, but your hub reminded me of the incredible almond tart we used to eat regularly - it was fabulous! Thank you for jogging my memory.

      • profile image

        Paulo (potuguese guy...) 

        5 years ago

        Have you tried the original "Pastéis de Nata"?

        (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastel_de_nata)

        This is a very tiny sample of what Portugal has to offer! :-)

      • CelebrateUSA profile image

        Ken Kline 

        5 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

        Buying local is important the world wide. I commend you for celebrating local produc? I hope more people take note. Buy local is critical. Voted up. Outstanding.

      • srsddn profile image

        srsddn 

        5 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

        Very interesting products. Claus Porto Soaps wrapping is quite different and the products described are really worth trying. Wines and ceramic tiles also seem to be unique. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.

      • bestofangola profile image

        Best 

        5 years ago from Of Angola

        I love portuguese food...

      • Grinning Gremlin profile image

        Grinning Gremlin 

        5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Great hub, and great suggestions! Some of this takes me back to a childhood full of delicious (though maybe not always nutritious) Portuguese foods.

      • Mike Robbers profile image

        Mike Robbers 

        5 years ago from London

        Great hub! Food products made in Portugal are so tasty! And the Port wine is exceptional! Voted up & awesome!

      • ct92 profile image

        5 years ago from Denmark

        Portuguese egg tarts are so so perfect, best portuguese things ever!

        Thanks for a great hub. I love Portugal, and thought I knew enough about the products of Portugal. But this gave me new ideas. Thanks again!

      • FullOfLoveSites profile image

        FullOfLoveSites 

        5 years ago from United States

        The Porto soaps' packages are very artful and colorful! And the variety of Portuguese sweets too, they're very interesting. :D

      • martys-tips profile image

        Marty Boo 

        5 years ago

        How very interesting. I have been to Portugal and loved it. The seafood was exceptional!!!

      • profile image

        Vitor Costa 

        5 years ago

        You can find some of this products at www.vcwebgourmet.com ... I hope you enjoy :-)

      • eatforcheaper profile image

        eatforcheaper 

        6 years ago from London

        Voted up!! I love Portugal. The Presunto is amazing and so is the cheese, chourico and wine! I just got back from Portugal and I also wrote an article about my adventures there!

      • cardelean profile image

        cardelean 

        6 years ago from Michigan

        You've given me yet another reason to visit Portugal! I started out reading this hub thinking about soaking in the tub with that great soap while sipping a glass of wine and then the products just continued to get better! My inlaws make cherry liqueur and it is some fabulous stuff! Thanks for sharing these great products.

      • Global-Chica profile imageAUTHOR

        Anna 

        6 years ago from New York, NY

        ComfortB, Rajan, Teresa, Algarveview, and Kalmiya - thanks so much for stopping by and I'm very glad that you all enjoyed the traditional Portuguese products I mention in the hub. I'm happy to share things that I love about my adopted country :)

      • Kalmiya profile image

        Kalmiya 

        6 years ago from North America

        Great hub about Portuguese products Global Chica. I love their wine and now will have to try to find their cherry liquor in N. America. You're so lucky to be there!

      • algarveview profile image

        Joana e Bruno 

        6 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

        Hi, Global-Chica, great hub about our products... and great publicity... Really enjoyed this! Voted up, useful, interesting and, of course, sharing! Have a wonderful day!

      • Teresa Coppens profile image

        Teresa Coppens 

        6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        this one I especially like.. Portugal has so much to offer! Thanks for sharing your experience and favorite things with us. Voted up.

      • rajan jolly profile image

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

        Global chica, this is a very informational hub considering my knowledge about Portugal being akin to a buffalo's knowledge about the English alphabet. I must thank you for providing some beautiful insights into the rich Portugal culture. Loved all the info especially about the chocolate shot glass, the Portuguese tiles, cork accessories and the sausages.

        Thanks for this informative share.

        Voted up all across and shared.

      • ComfortB profile image

        Comfort Babatola 

        6 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

        Wow! Very interesting read on products from Portugal. The soap and cured ham are definitely worth trying!

        Thanks for sharing. Voted Up and Interesting!

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