Until you look for authentic Portuguese chouriço, you don't realize how hard it is to find
Chouriço is a type of pork sausage often used in many Portuguese dishes. When I was growing up, I often saw my mother cooking chouriço, either as a main meal, a side dish, or an ingredient. Several years ago, the local Portuguese market where she purchased chouriço closed its doors for good.
Fortunately, someone told her about Matos Bakery on 569 Broadway Street, Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Not only do they sell the freshest and most authentic chouriço in the area, but they also bake and sell many different types of pastry, including the traditional Portuguese pastry my family knows and loves.
You should consider trying Portuguese baked goods and in particular custard tarts, or pasteis de nata as they're named in the old country. Real Portuguese baked goods taste great and are worth the effort of choosing them and consuming them. Trust me, you will be very satisfied after eating a good pastel de nata.
Portuguese baked goods are delicious, traditional and a must-try for anyone who has an interest in the local cuisine. Although they are not yet quite as well known as other regional specialties such as wines or port, once you try some yourself, you will surely spread the word and help popularize this unique Portuguese delicacy.
Portuguese bread is healthy (it's all-natural, with no preservatives or artificial additives), tasty (it varies a lot depending on the region), versatile (you can have them for breakfast, as snacks, or desserts), economical (breads and pastries are almost always cheaper than restaurants) and quite innovative.
Portuguese baked goods are different from all other kinds of baked goods in the world. Their most important difference from what most people are used to is that they are not loaded with preservatives. Portuguese cakes, pastries, and bread have a relatively short shelf life.
If you don't live in a Portuguese neighborhood or visit Portuguese bakeries and delicatessens, you may not have realized that there is a whole class of unusual pastry items that are widely available in Portugal, but can be very hard to find in the United States.
Have you ever been frustrated with the local grocery stores? Have you ever looked at your local bakery and said "I wish more people would buy from them" or "I wish my baker could do more"? I know that I have been both of these people.
For decades, cookie-cutter big-box stores like Walmart and the local grocery chains have been taking over the markets. This has had a tremendously negative impact on small local businesses. Before Walmart's arrival, it was possible for most towns to support several locally-owned bakeries. They sold fresh-baked bread, cakes, pastries, and pies from scratch every day. The best ones were cornerstones of their communities. Today, in most towns it is impossible to find a locally owned bakery at all.
I don't care how you do it but you should get yourself to a locally owned bakery and buy some baked goods. Here are the reasons why I think you should support your local bakeries instead of relying on those large grocery store chains.
People you know and trust will be making your food. Think about how safe that makes you feel. Such a good sense of security. With a locally operated baker, you can choose to come in early and see how fresh the bread is. You can see and smell the difference.
Bakery shoppers are often more willing to spend more time and money when they visit these small businesses. I have observed that local food purchases increase when there is a sense of community ownership.