Macao combines a world of influence in its unique cuisine, from Portugal to India. If you love fusion food, you need to pay a visit to the melting pot of foodie culture...
Thanks to its rich heritage as a bustling trading port, the territory of Macao, located off the southern coast of China, has become a melting pot for cuisines from all over the globe. From Portuguese settlement in the Middle Ages via Africa and Asia, Macanese cuisine tells a unique tale.
Portuguese sailors and tradesmen began settling in Macao during the 16th century, bringing with them ingredients with which to trade and recreate dishes from their homeland. This influence lives on today, with dishes such as Capella – Macanese meatloaf – combining chouriço and black olives with more traditionally Chinese ingredients such as soy sauce.
The Portuguese Empire’s forays into Africa produced one of the country’s trademark flavours: peri-peri. As well as catching on back home, this spicy favourite went on to play a role in Macanese cuisine. It also spread to Portuguese territories in India and Sri Lanka, such as Goa and Ceylon, which was where the Portuguese established control over the cinnamon trade.
The spice trade also saw the introduction of Indian spices like turmeric to South East Asia. Macao was at the centre of this Asian/Portuguese trade and, as a result, has a fine tradition of curry-like dishes. One such dish is po kok gai, a Portuguese-style chicken curry that's the ultimate fusion dish – and is thoroughly delicious.
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