The ABC’s of Porto: A is for Alheira!

The ABC’s of Porto will help you get familiarized with local culture!


Alheira is a Portuguese kind of sausage made with meat (usually veal, chicken, duck or rabbit) and bread. The name “Alheira” comes from alho (garlic) and its creation is attributed to the Jewish community that, back in the 15th century, was forced to convert to Christianity or would be expelled from the country. This “new christians” sometimes keeped their beliefs and secretly avoided eating pork! In order to avoid the attention of the Inquisition, they invented a sausage that was filled with meat (other than pork) mixed with bread, so that way they could leave the sausages in front of the house and look like they would eat pork meat, like any other Christian!


Nowadays alheira usually have pork meat. Traditionally, they are grilled or roasted, served with vegetables and a fried egg, but some places choose to fry it and serve with potato chips. They are usually cheap and a good option for lunch time if you’re into meat and sausages! For the vegetarian, you can find veggie versions of alheira in supermarkets ;)

To discover more about Portuguese culinary and cooking traditions, book a Porto Food Tour with us! Besides tasting the most typical food we will tell you the history behind the dishes! It’s the best way of getting to know Porto and its culture.