Porto: Relax with wine and Francesinha

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Compare to Cardiff, Portugal is much warmer, especial in March. Wandering along the seaside, the breeze brought no chill but a unique and fresh smell from the ocean. My favorite Portuguese city is Porto. This city is famous for two things, wine and Francesinha.

The Wine

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Portuguese love wine. When I was walking on the street at night, bars are full of people. Instead of sitting down in a bar, some people walked and talked, with a glass of wine in their hands. Besides bars, wine houses are everywhere. Wine houses open during day time, might be closed at 7:00pm. Though not being a big fan of alcohol, I couldn’t help try the famous Porto wine. It was fruity, and sweeter than the wine I have had before. It was smooth when you swallowed it, and left you a little bitterness but not for long. There was a couple sitting behind me in that wine house. They ordered just wine. They drank and talked, just like having a cup of coffee, sharing a little bit lazy day time they got together. Portuguese don’t drink wine to release their inside beast, but to taste and enjoy, with great elegance.

Francesinha

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Francesinha is a famous food from Porto. This dish looks just normal but actually is heavy, as you can find all kinds of meat you can possibly think of inside a Francesinha. I just bought a cute T-shirt to explain you what is Francesinha (check it out later). Francesinha means French girl literally, but why named it like this? That is a funny story. A restaurant owner sent a guy to France to learn some French dishes. When this guy was in France, he noticed that unlike Portuguese women, French girls were hot and sexy and they dressed even hotter and sexier. When the guy was back to Porto, he brought only a sandwich with a piece of cheese between two bread. To satisfy his boss, this guy promised to develop this simple sandwich into a dish that could be both lunch and dinner. But he also had a crazy idea that to change Portuguese women by this dish. He put a lot of chili sauce in this dish, hoping women would take off their coat when they got hot by the chili. He also served the dish with French fries, thinking that when women got thirsty, he could offer them some beef as a chef and got a small talk with women. Clearly he failed, but Francesinha has stayed. Back to the time that Francesinha was invented, women who ordered it would be considered as sluts. But now, I were having a Francesinha in an open-air café. I took off my coat and thought that, “Now I am hot and sexy”.

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Finally, I’d like to recommend you a very good walking tour that I have joined, Porto Walkers. I’ve heard great stories from them. It’s fun and highly recommended!

Porto Walkers: www.portowalkers.pt/

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