Have you ever wondered to yourself, “what have the Portuguese done to help solve world hunger”? Me neither, until today. On the advice of a tour guide, I set out to find a local sandwich – one which is made of legend. Legend and other stuff, mostly things that humans eat. Allow me to introduce you to my adventure with the Francesinha, Porto’s official answer to end world hunger.
To create one of these human baby-sized snacks, start with two slices of thick white bread, begin adding meat, and… continue adding meat. Lots of meat. Ham, sausage, steak, more sausage, more steak, and then a few slices of whichever animal happens to be passing by. Continue this process until you have approximately one-dictionary-thickness (Websters or Oxford) of meat.
In case this sounds a tad light for your appetite, proceed to smother the little guy in enough cheese so that it is no longer visible. It’s important that one is left wondering what’s underneath such a blanket. A shoe? A football? Mystery only adds to the allure. Be sure to send an egg upstairs, just to top up on your cholesterol. And a healthy sprinkling of fries is always a nice digestive aid.
Finally, it’s time to bathe the entire creation in a beer-based sauce so thick, it looks like it could coagulate into a block hard enough to be suitable foundation for your next house or cottage.
This, my friends, is the Portuguese Francesinha. History says that it was designed to beat out sandwiches from neighbouring countries, and that it does. In fact, I’m almost certain that this sandwich could not only beat, but would consume under its own power, any lesser sandwich that happens to be nearby.
Just because consuming one of these would force a rhinoceros to nap for weeks does not mean you should be intimidated – just the opposite. In Porto, you can find men, women, and children eating these on a daily basis, which makes it puzzling that the average person can walk under their own power. In all honesty, it’s one of the tastiest little critters I’ve ever had the pleasure of attempting to digest.
If you happened to be vegetarian, a sighting of this sandwich will likely cause you nightmares, send you running, screaming through the streets, wondering if there is even the slightest sliver of sanity left on earth. For the rest of us, it’s an unforgettable experience, earning my gastrointestinal score of 5/5. Pure bliss.
~Guest Post by AA