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Francesinha, Porto’s Famed Sandwich

The name “Francesinha” might not mean much to those who have not lived in Portugal. So what is it?

Francesinha is a typical dish of Porto, created in the 1950’s by Daniel Silva a returned Portuguese emigrant from France. Inspired by the famous French “Croque-Monsieur”, the Francesinha is made of thick slices of bread, slight toasted and then filled with a variety of different meats, including steak, cured ham, and Linguiça fresh sausage. This “rich sandwich” is then covered by multiple layers of cheese which is melted in the oven. What makes dish special is the final touch, a mysterious lightly spicy sauce made with beer and tomato, covering generously all of its ingredients.

Daniel Silva first made the sandwich around 1952 at ‘A Regaleira’, a restaurant in Rua do Bonjardim, in Porto.

Daniel Silva’s main idea was to adjust the “Croque Monsieur” ingredients to the taste of Porto’s local inhabitants. Also known as “tripeiros”, the Oporto people were used to strong and heavy flavors, so francesinha was a good match for their palates. It is typically served with French fries and accompanied by an extremely cold beer, always a nice complement to a good night out.

Luckily, you no longer need to travel across the world to savor this unique delicacy. Chef Fabio Pombo has made this dish available on Club Lusitano’s daily menu. Do make sure to try this quintessentially Oporto dish on your next visit to the Club.

By Ana Ramos, Club Lusitano Member & Porto Native


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