Even though their reactions were fairly positive, a video of Americans trying Portuguese food has been strongly criticised by TV host and cookbook writer Manuel Luís Goucha for “trivialising one of Europe’s most interesting traditional cuisines”.
Uploaded to YouTube by American website BuzzFeed, the video shows a group of Americans trying ‘bacalhau à brás’ (salted codfish with eggs and potatoes), a ‘francesinha’ (a meaty sandwich covered with cheese and sauce), a potato and sardine salad and a ‘malassadas’ (fried doughnut).
Although the food is mostly praised by the people in the video – who wanted to “eat what Cristiano Ronaldo eats” – Goucha thinks it is a “poor representation of Portuguese cuisine”.
“I’ll give them the ‘Bacalhau à Brás, even though I don’t believe they served it creamy and with crispy potatoes like you’re supposed to,” he wrote on his Facebook page recently.
The 60-year-old, host of Portugal’s MasterChef TV show and author of many cookbooks, refuses to accept that a ‘francesinha’ is considered representative of Portuguese food.
“It is nothing more than a Portuguese version of France’s ‘croque-monsieur’,” wrote Goucha.
He said the same of the ‘Bola de Berlim’ doughnut. “All you have to do is look at the name to know where it comes from,” he said.
Nonetheless, the video has put Portuguese food in the spotlight with over 830,000 views on YouTube.