Many of Portugal's dishes are fish-based due to the country's situation on the Atlantic. The most famous fish dish is salted cod. Shellfish such as mussels, prawns, oysters, lobsters, crabs and clams are also very popular.
A common meat dish is the cozido à Portuguesa, a sort of hotpot of beef, sausages, potatoes, vegetables and rice. Grilled skewers of beef with garlic (espetada) are often served, as is aromatic grilled chicken. Pork is also a popular choice in many recipes.
Soup is served at most main meals with seasonal vegetables, fish or meat used as the main ingredients. The most common soup is "caldo verde," with potato, shredded kale, and chunks of sausage.
Many of the desserts in Portugal are rich egg-based specialties, often seasoned with spices such as cinnamon and vanilla but they also often include a variety of cheese. The most common varieties are made from sheep or goat's milk.
Breakfasts often consist of fresh bread, with butter, ham, cheese or fruit preserves, accompanied with coffee, milk, coffee with milk, tea or hot chocolate. Sweet pastries are also very popular, as well as breakfast cereal, mixed with milk or yogurt and fruit.
Lunch, often lasting over an hour is served between noon and 2 pm or between 1 and 3 pm, and dinner is generally served late, around or after 8 o'clock. There are usually three main courses, with lunch and dinner usually including soup.