This week's country challenge winner is Portugal! It was the winner of the poll put up in March to choose April's countries. Thanks to everyone who voted!
In 1249, Portugal was established itself after conquering the Moors. During the 1400's and 1500's, Portugal was a major economic and political power in the world. Portugal faced a large downfall in the 17th centry when battling France and Spain for Brazil. Portugal had many trading posts and colonies around the world, the last of which was Macau, given to China in 1999.
84% of the population in Portugal is Roman Catholic, however only around 19% of those claiming to be Roman Catholic regularly attend church. There is no State religion though, like many European countries.
As for Portuguese cuisine, it is based largely on spices, olive oil, and sea food. Portugal is a sea-faring nation, and much of the population consume fish daily. Chourico and Linguica are also very common ingredients in Portuguese cooking. Tomatoes are a very prevalant vegetable. I also found many recipes that used peas, which I love! Many European countries don't consume as much rice as Portugal does, which is very common in one pot dishes. Many dessert recipes use Marzipan, which is made with almonds. Broa is Portuguese cornbread, not like most other cornbreads because it is a yeast bread, as you'll see later in the week.
I hope you enjoy my selections from Portugal!