We’ve got an obsession with all things Portuguese and a plan to visit the country is never far away. Here’s 9 things that Portugal has given the world.
Portuguese is spoken by over 210 million people, from the hedonistic streets of Rio de Janeiro to Macau in the Far East. It’s the sixth most natively spoken language in the world, and after English, it’s the fastest growing. The language has given way to some of the most creative writing including the poetry of Fernando Pessoa and the sharp humour of José Saramago.
The ukulele might seem quintessentially Hawaiian, but it is in fact a copy of machete, a tiny, four stringed instrument introduced by Portuguese immigrants in the late 19th century.
Port has been a favourite of the British for many hundreds of years. It’s produced in Portugal’s northern Douro region, the third oldest protected wine region in the world. It became popular in England during the war with France in the early 18th century when merchants were permitted to import the drink at very low duty. British involvement in the port trade can be seen through the names of many port brands including Croft, Dow, Cockburn, Taylor and Graham.
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Cristiano Ronaldo needs no introduction. The Portuguese player is often ranked as the best footballer in the world and regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. During his career, Ronaldo has served as captain for the national team and won the FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016. In 2015, he scored his 500th career goal.
José Mourinho has managed some of the world’s premier football teams and is considered one of the most successful managers. Recently, Mourinho was named among the 10 greatest coaches since the foundation of UEFA in 1954 and currently manages Manchester United.
Prepaid mobile phone cards
The Portuguese operator TMN was the first to introduce pre-paid mobile phone cards in 1995, something which is still used today and paved the wave for cheap mobile phone usage across the world.
Portugal has some of the world’s finest surf and certainly the best in Europe. The consistent rolling swells of the Atlantic over Portuguese shores mean surfers throughout Europe do not need to travel far. It’s also got some very agreeable weather and beaches to accompany the surf.
While tempura is synonymous with Japan, the crispy batter’s origins lie in Portugal. During the 16th and 17th century, Portuguese merchants brought fried fish recipes from their homeland and introduced it. It is thought the word ‘tempura’ comes from ‘temperar’, the Portuguese verb to cook. Similarly, fish and chips might seem particularly British, but it was also introduced by the Portuguese. Love crispy battered fish or vegetables? Thank the Portuguese.
Though cod cannot be found in the waters around Portugal (they swim in the colder North Sea), the country has taken the fish as their own. Dried and salted, it is said that there is a cod bacalhau recipe for every day of the year, but there are in fact more than a 1,000. The Portuguese know how to cook cod really, really well.
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