August | 2018
Since the nineteenth century, the Bolhão Market in Porto has been the culinary hub of Northern Portugal, where farmers, fishermen, and artisan food producers (think wine, cheese, and olive oil) have gathered to sell their products and swap their stories in the open air. Due to the rise of chains and supermarkets, the number of vendors has slowly dwindled, and the market’s walls have crumbled into disrepair—but the space still pulses with knowledge earned over generations and the rich culinary heritage of the region.
Although locals and tourists, newly interested in artisan products and organic produce, have started to visit Bolhão Market in greater numbers, its fate remains in question. Again and again, the local government has promised revitalization efforts, but even if they happen, there is no guarantee that vendors—mostly octogenarian grandmothers—can afford to come back, or that a piece of the market’s Old World charm will not be lost.
That’s why Gabriella Opaz and Sonia Andresson Nolasco have preserved these local women’s stories and recipes in Porto, a heartfelt portrait of a place as told by the people keeping its legacy alive. Divided into chapters that highlight Northern Portuguese staples—bread, produce, seafood, cured meats, and more—this book introduces one of the world’s greatest, though often overlooked, culinary regions, and provides invaluable advice for what to see, do, and taste when you visit.