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Ideas for a Portuguese Football Party
If the German national team is the model of consistency in football, Portugal must be the opposite. They produce brilliant players and brilliant teams, and then seem to go for decades in the footballing wilderness. They came third in the 1966 World Cup, then achieved nothing (failing to even qualify for most major tournaments they entered) until 2004, since which time they have put together a succession of strong teams.
Now, throwing a Portuguese football party is a lot simpler than you might imagine, because Portuguese food (see below) is simple, tasty and healthy. These days, it's pretty easy to get hold of flags, bunting and other decorations (see links, right), deck your room out in red and green, and fire up the barbecue - that's pretty much all you need!
Portuguese Party Decorations
Food for a Portugal Football PartyPortuguese food can be wonderfully simple - you could actually get away with simply grilling or barbecueing some fish and seafood, and that would be absolutely fine! In fact some people claim that the Portuguese eat more fish per capita than anywhere else in Europe. Grilled sardines, tuna, and squid kebabs are cooked outside many restaurants in Portugal, filling the streets with their wonderful aroma. Other seafood - especially prawns and lobsters - are hugely popular too; in some areas there are stalls selling hot seafood and cold beer right on the beach - does life get better than that?!
Salads and soups are popular, epecially as starters. It is very traditional in Portugal to start a meal with soup, often one of many regional variations of vegetable soup, some of which have a little chouriço sausage added for flavour. Salads are simple, making use of fresh local produce - lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and olives, and maybe a little cheese or a few prawns. Foods are flavoured with garlic, black pepper, piri piri and cinnamon.
Meat is also widely enjoyed, especially pork, beef, spit-roast chicken (often piri piri style) and chouriço sausage. And the Portuguese love sweet pastries as an accompaniement to strong coffee.
Drink for a Portuguese PartyPortugal is famous for its wines, especially its fortified wines such as Port and Madeira. Red, rosé and white are all produced, as well as "green wine" which isn't green at all - just a name for a wine that is consumed "young", rather than being left to mature.
Search for Portuguese wines at DrinkSupermarket.com.
Portugal also has a long tradition of brewing beer, which remains a very popular alternative to wine. The best known brands are Sagres and Super Bock.