You’ve Gotta Eat This: Francesinha
Stuffed with meats, covered in melted cheese and drowned in beer sauce.
What is it? Modelled after the French croque-monsieur, the Francesinha (which translates to “Frenchie”) is a toasted sandwich with an extra special Portuguese twist.
Where can you get it? It originated in the city of Porto in Portugal, and it hasn’t really spread anywhere else. It can be predominately found in restaurants and cafes but everyone has their own take on it so each will be as tasty as the last.
What’s in it? There’s variations around the city but a true Francesinha will consist of: two (very white) slices of bread, ham, two types of sausage (fresh and cured, locals usually use linguica and chipolata), as well as a steak or roasted meat. The whole thing is then covered in melted cheese and a spicy, thick, beer-based sauce. This sauce is the stuff of legend – each house has their own take on it and can vary in spiciness, colour and taste. This is all then served with a side of chips and a fino (a light draught beer).
Is it good for you? On a scale of salad sandwich to strawberry & cream sandwich, it’s somewhere towards the end of that scale.
How much does it cost? Depending on how fancy the restaurant is, prices can vary from 5€ to 15€ ($7-$22AUD) which is pretty reasonable for this thing of beauty.