EP word of the week (#62): francesinha

If you’re a fan of meats, big stuffed plates of food and hot sauce, then there’s only one option on the menu for you whenever you visit [o] Porto, Portugal’s second largest city: [a] francesinha, which is basically a big sandwich [i.e. two or three big slabs of white bread] filled with assorted meats, ham, sausages and cheese.

It is usually served by getting a hearty portion of secret hot sauce (usually made out of tomato, beer and piri-piri sauce, but every restaurant has its own recipe and is generally unwilling to share it with anyone) poured over the mixture, which helps bind the several elements and gives it a glossy brown look. Some dishes may even be served with a fried egg or French fries on top of all that, but that’s overkill to me (there’s enough calories in there to feed a small lion as it is!).


[o] Porto is a great city to visit; its baroque and neoclassical architectural landmarks (including [a] Torre dos Clérigos and [o] Palácio da Bolsa, respectively) are gorgeous, it has one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world ([a] Livraria Lello, an Art Nouveau beauty which was recognized by Lonely Planet and by The Guardian as the third greatest bookshop worldwide) and so are its arch bridges and the riverside and seaside vistas; it also has great parks/gardens (like [o] Parque de Serralves or the Botanical Garden). and modern cultural landmarks (like the [a] Casa da Música concert hall).

Across the river in Vila Nova de Gaia lie all the port wine cellars, so it’s a great place to eat good food, drink good wine, and just enjoy yourself! While you’re there (and I really hope some of you will feel compelled to visit it in the future), make sure you notice the Northerner accent that [os] portuenses (the inhabitants) speak in; it’s not that different from standard EP, only just enough to be instantly recognizable to anyone else who hears it! It certainly adds a different flavor to the language (:

Panorama over Porto from Vila Nova de Gaia. The Dom Luís I Bridge can be seen on the right side of the picture; on the foreground one can see the rabelos, traditional boats once used to carry people and goods down the river Douro; they’re commonly associated with the trips port wine casks once made from the Douro Valley all the way to the caves of Gaia for centuries (before they were substituted by railways).


4 thoughts on “EP word of the week (#62): francesinha

  1. JosefCHerbert September 8, 2016 / 2:19 am

    I visited Porto in December and loved it, and remember thinking to myself that a Francesinha would be absolutely perfect when you have a hangover 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • luisdomingos September 8, 2016 / 9:00 am

      Yup, it’s comfort food at its finest (if you can handle the heat!) (:

      Liked by 1 person

  2. julkastarter September 11, 2016 / 2:17 pm

    Oh, yes! We tried it and it was really huge. :) We ate francesinha for a dinner and it was too hard. I think it would be better for a lunch.
    My portuguese is not so good yet and I could not notice the northerner accent. But for me it was good that I could understand something at least. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • luisdomingos September 12, 2016 / 3:07 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! It is quite heavy stuff for dinner (the body doesn’t have time to metabolize all that meat haha), but restaurants are still full of people regardless.

      Regarding the accent, that’s perfectly normal – at the end of the day, understand something in any accent really is the most important thing!

      Good luck with your studies (:


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