The Mediterranean cuisine has been handled by women over the years, and they have developed techniques and “secrets” of housekeeping passed down between grandmothers, mothers and daughters, namely as to the ways of getting the maximum yield of the products, avoiding waste.
Animal fat appear as additional seasoning. Mostly eaten meats are poultry, lamb, kid and domestic pig.
The bread is always on the table, used in açordas (panadas), migas (fried breadcrumbs) and soups. Herbs are often used to season, give aroma and flavour to the dishes.
Subsistence farming was usually practiced in vegetable gardens or in fields in the vicinities of the house, the vegetables and poultry ensuring a substantial part of the food provided, present in soups, chicken soup and broths for “all the family”.
The food is cooked and shared in large containers, inside which different products are mixed, usually vegetables, bread, herbs, sea, lake and river fish, molluscs and bivalves, poultry or some pork. This kind of food was complemented with wild animals catching and berries gathering.
The cooking for the festivities was exceptionally abundant and is nowadays, often, wrongly taken for the daily eating, which was simple and frugal, although varied and tasty.