Saturday, September 17, 2022

Francesinha - Portuguese Sandwich

The francesinha is a "sandwich" developed in Porto, Portugal which has its own Wikipedia page. As I was planning our trip to Portugal, Judy came up with a list of Portuguese foods and I decided that the francesinha was something I had to try and scheduled a lunch visit in Porto to eat one. It is no surprise that we selected the Francesinha Cafe which one article said had one of the two best francesinha's in Porto. It conjured images in my mind of the giant and wonderful torta Cubana I ate in Mexico City and was something I was really looking forward to. 

The francesinha was a creation of Daniel David de Silva based on the French "croque monsieur," a hot sandwich made with boiled ham and Gruyere cheese, whipped eggs, butter and bread. De Silva first served it in 1953 at his restaurant in Porto. It usually has two slices of bread, as in a regular sandwich, filled with thin slices of wet-cured ham, linguica, sausage, steak or roast meat, covered in melted cheese, then smothered in a thick gravy made with spiced tomato sauce and beer. It is usually eaten with French fries and accompanied by a beer. There is no standard francesinha. The Wikipedia article mentions variations made with prawns and shrimp; roast pork; mushrooms and cream; an egg on top (often called a special francesinha); pastrami, tuna, cod and vegetarian. 
This francesinha in Aveiro had little sausages in it that I really liked. It came with French fries on the side and a fried egg on top. 

We ended up having a francesinha twice, once in Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal, in an English pub we stopped in on our way to our car. The second was at the Francesinha Cafe in Porto.
This francesinha in Porto was less complicated, but perhaps melded together better. It also included a fried egg on top.  

This additional dish basically had some of the franceshina ingredients, but was not as warm and was not covered in sauce. 
I had an opportunity to try at least one more francesinha and passed on it. By comparison to another big sandwich, I would give the torta Cubana  priority. 

1 comment:

  1. I definitely preferred our first francesinha to the second. You didn't mention how hard it was to find that restaurant in Porto. For being "the" place to have a francesinha in Porto, it was pretty obscure.