Why Is Portuguese Food So Bad? (11 Reasons Why)

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Maisie Hughes

Maisie Hughes is a 20-year veteran of the culinary world. She has worked as a chef in some of the most prestigious restaurants in the country, and she currently volunteers her time at local food banks.

Of all the types of cuisine available at select restaurants across the globe, Portuguese food may not be the first meal that comes to mind. Portuguese food involves a unique style of cuisine.

Portuguese food is certainly not the most notable food, and many people refuse to eat Portuguese dishes. Popular opinion suggests that Portuguese food is bad. So, why is Portuguese food so bad?

Why Is Portuguese Food So Bad?

1. Unknown Cuisine

A main reason that Portuguese food is labeled as bad is that people are unfamiliar with it. Oftentimes, if someone has not had a certain food before, they may be cautious about trying it for the first time.

You are not going to see Portuguese-specific restaurants nearly as much as you might see things like Mexican, Japanese, Chinese, or Greek options. Portuguese food is not widely known outside of Portugal.

Because of its lack of popularity, people are quick to say that Portuguese food is bad. While people who have tried it may not like it, a large portion of those who speak against it may not have had it before.

2. Basic Yet Staple Foods

Involving certain methods of preparing Portuguese food, it may not contain the flavor you are looking for. While Portuguese food can be very healthy, some argue that it is too bland to be a tasty option.

Portuguese cuisine involves a large amount of fish, poultry, vegetables, fruits, herbs, and more. Some people are used to masking the natural flavors of foods and therefore do not like possibly bland-tasting meals.

While Portuguese cuisine utilizes some of the most popular and healthy foods on the planet, how it is prepared and seasoned does not meet the standards for people more accustomed to different foods.

3. Unique Tastes

On the other hand, Portuguese food can be seen as flavored and seasoned just as much as any other type of dish, but it simply may not be the flavors you are looking for. Portuguese food is unlike many other options.

As has been mentioned, unfamiliarity causes discomfort for someone trying out a new food. Portuguese food is created from its own unique culture and encapsulates a rich Portuguese history.

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Portuguese food and its unique taste are very unique to the region, and those who have never had anything like it before often describe the food as tasting bad.

4. Cuisine As An Acquired Taste

Chances are that you often hear of something such as a certain beer or liquor being an acquired taste. Liquids tend to reflect more acquired tastes than that of foods.

Many people who try a food one time and do not like it are probably not going to give the certain food another shot in the near future. Unbeknownst to many, our tastebuds can change over time.

Portuguese food is labeled as so bad because some people try it and never give it a chance later on, not realizing that their taste buds might now be more attuned to liking the cuisine.

5. Recipes Are Difficult To Replicate

Although Portuguese food uses simple ingredients, the portions and preparation techniques can be complex. Authentic Portuguese dishes are very difficult to replicate, so someone who tries to make it may fail.

Someone who grows up making Portuguese food has a solid idea of how to create phenomenal dishes. If you look up a Portuguese recipe and try to make it, you might find that the process is very complex.

Portuguese food may be seen as so bad because more people than not do not know how to prepare it properly. If you have not learned how to perfect Portuguese food, your dishes will not taste authentic.

6. Worse Than One Remembers

Worse Than One Remembers

Perhaps you grew up in Portugal and remember how delicious your grandmother’s Portuguese cuisine tasted. However, after moving away, you might try a restaurant that claims to make Portuguese food.

Just as an individual can mess up while preparing Portuguese food, so, too, is it difficult to find a truly authentic Portuguese restaurant away from Portugal.

Because other international cuisine is popular, Portuguese food is often thrown under the rug. You may be biased in the sense that your family’s cooking is much better than in Portuguese restaurants.

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7. Some Ingredients Are Unhealthy

Although it is classified as part of the Mediterranean diet – one of the healthiest diets in the world – Portuguese food is not typically as healthy as other foods found in a Mediterranean diet.

Oftentimes, Portuguese food comes fried and/or has had excess olive oil involved in the cooking process. All things considered, foods of these types are not the most healthy options.

So, while the foundation of Portuguese cuisine begins with natural, healthy foods, the way someone prepares it can make it unhealthy. Those looking to partake in healthy eating may look down on Portuguese food.

8. Blandness If Not Supplemented

In complete contradiction to the above reason for why Portuguese food is so bad, some people prefer the unhealthy side of foods. In others’ opinions, Portuguese cuisine could use even more touch-ups.

Due to the basic foods used as the foundation for Portuguese cuisine, you may not like that it lacks certain spices that you are accustomed to.

While this is understandable for different food types, some people simply say Portuguese food is bad because it is different.

9. Ingredients May Not Stay Fresh

If an individual or restaurant aims to create a Portuguese dish of the most authentic style, they might look to order their ingredients directly from Portugal. Of course, fresh, natural ingredients do not always travel well.

If you intend to get real ingredients from Portugal, it can take time to receive shipments. Even if you want to be authentic but choose to pick out your foods at a local supermarket, you must still prepare the food in time.

Portuguese food can be seen as bad if someone waits too long to prepare the otherwise fresh ingredients. Meats, fruits, and vegetables that have gone bad are of no use for a quality Portuguese dish.

10. Personal Preference

Someone may hate Portuguese food and, as a result, say that it is so bad. It may not appeal to their taste. Additionally, someone may simply be indifferent to Portuguese food.

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An indifference to the taste of Portuguese food is just as much of a reason as hating Portuguese food and influencing why people say it is so bad.

Since Portuguese food does not stand out among other types of cuisine, its lack of popularity prevents a larger number of people from experimenting with it and seeing for themselves if they like it.

11. Outside Opinion

As touched on above, some people may say Portuguese food is so bad even if they have never had it. Maybe their friend tried it and said it was terrible. Perhaps you say it is bad solely because you have not had it.

Outside opinions have a major influence on why Portuguese food is labeled as bad. If you have not eaten Portuguese food before, you should at least try it before saying it is bad.

If you try it and really do not like it, that is justification for speaking poorly of it, but it is worth a shot first.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why British food is so bad, why Irish food is so bad, and why Airplane food is so bad.


The biggest reasons Portuguese food is so bad involve its lack of popularity and difficulty to prepare. Other food options are better than Portuguese food, and those who make Portuguese food may not do it correctly.

While many people have tried Portuguese food and have the right to say whether they think it is good or bad, those who say it is bad and have never had it further diminish the potential of Portuguese food popularity.


  • Maisie Hughes

    Maisie Hughes is a 20-year veteran of the culinary world. She has worked as a chef in some of the most prestigious restaurants in the country, and she currently volunteers her time at local food banks.

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