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Posted by on 6/4/2024


In June, we celebrate the rich tapestry of Portuguese heritage, a deeply ingrained part of our community here at the tip of Cape Cod. Provincetown's Portuguese heritage traces back to the mid-19th century when Portuguese immigrants arrived seeking opportunities in the fishing industry and brought with them a vibrant culinary tradition that continues to thrive today.

The essence of the cuisine is marked by an array of spices and flavors. Piri Piri adds a fiery kick to many dishes, while paprika, bay leaves, garlic, white pepper, anise, cinnamon, cloves, though unpretentious, elevate dishes to new heights. Classics like Vinho d’alhos, a cherished marinade of garlic, wine, and vinegar, the unique fusion of porco com amêijoas, marrying pork with clams, or the indulgent malassadas, fried dough coated in sugar and cinnamon, are just a glimpse into Provincetown’s enticing Portuguese culinary world.

As June unfolds, we invite you to savor and explore these delightful flavors. Below, we share a couple of recipes to ignite your culinary adventures. And if you find yourself on Cape Cod at the end of June, don’t miss the festivities of the Provincetown Portuguese Festival – a joyous celebration of our cherished heritage.

Portuguese Fish Chowder (Milkless)
from The Provincetown Seafood Cookbook, by H. Mitcham

1 6-lb cod
1 medium onion, chopped
4 medium potatoes, diced
2 tbsp diced salt pork
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp saffron
½ tsp cumin
2 qts water or fish stock
1 tbsp cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

In a frying pot fry the pork, add the garlic and onion, and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the water (or stock), the saffron, and cumin. Bone the fish and cut it up in pieces; add it to the pot. You may add the fish’s head too and remove it later. Add the potatoes, salt and pepper; cook for 20 minutes at a slow boil. At the end add the vinegar and stir it in. Serve in large, preheated soup bowls with pilot cracker or common crackers. Serves 6.

Portuguese Skewers of Beef
from Provincetown Portuguese Cookbook, by Mary Jo Avellar

3 lbs. beef tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
4 large bay leaves, crumbled
1/3 cup melted, unsalted butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

Place all the ingredients together in a shallow dish and toss together well. Let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Thread the beef on 6 long skewers. Heat the marinade for 2 to 3 minutes. Brush on the beef lightly. Broil or grill to desired doneness. Serves 6.

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