Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato
Photo: Visit Portugal website

Portugal among world’s 15 best cuisines

Portuguese cuisine has been voted as the 13th best in the world, according to audience votes collected by food website TasteAtlas.

The cuisines of each 95 countries on the list were ranked according to the scores attributed to the best ingredients, dishes and beverages of each country.

The top voted cuisine was Italian, with an average score of 4.72, followed by Greek (4.69) and Spanish (4.59).

Portuguese cuisine placed 13th with a 4.47 score, ahead of Polish (4.44) and German (4.37).

Portugal stood out, however, for being home to the third top voted dish in the world – Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato, a traditional dish of clams usually cooked with garlic, olive oil, coriander, lemon, and white wine. Only Japan’s Karē and Brazil’s Picanha ranked higher.

But not everyone has agreed with the list. Several people have taken to social media to criticise some of the decisions, such as the USA (8th) being placed higher than France (9th).

The website has responded on its Facebook page.

“Every year when we publish the list, there are a lot of angry people, even calls from embassies. We learned to live with it. But let’s clarify our methodology.

“We (www.tasteatlas.com) are a site dedicated to normal food. No haute cuisine, no grande cuisine, no Instagrammable places… Just simple traditional dishes and local ingredients. We don’t care which country has more Michelin restaurants.

“We have a database of 15,000+ such foods and drinks around the world. Throughout the year, people rate those foods (not cuisines) in our database. Some votes are recognised by our system as invalid (e.g. nationalist votes: people from one country give high marks to their dishes and low marks to their neighbours. We don’t count such votes),” the food website adds.

“At the end of the year, we take the average of the best-rated dishes in each cuisine (so that France is not brought down by frogs, for example). And that’s it.”

The full ranking can be found online at World’s Best Cuisines on www.tasteatlas.com

TasteAtlas describes itself as “an encyclopedia of flavors, a world atlas of traditional dishes, local ingredients, and authentic restaurants.

“We have catalogued over 10,000 foods and drinks, and there are dozens of thousands yet to be researched and mapped. The popular ones, as well as the forgotten tastes and aromas of every city, region, and village in the world,” it adds.

By Michael Bruxo
michael.bruxo@portugalresident.com