Why You Should Never Ask For Seasonings In Portugal

Portugal is known for its port wine; its delectable and spicy Piri Piri chicken; surfing on the waters of its copious beaches; and football, also known as soccer in the United States. If you haven't heard of Cristiano Ronaldo, you are seriously missing out. He's amazing on the pitch. Next to Argentine's Lionel Messi, Ronaldo is the best soccer player in the world. Go ahead, talk amongst yourselves. But we're going to keep talking about Portugal. Located in southern Europe, Portugal is a must-see destination. Spending a summer taking in Lisbon's architecture or a day on the secluded and breathtaking beaches of Algarve is, perhaps, the most relaxing way to spend the season.

But if you are going to this country and plan on riding its iconic yellow trams, and visiting the famous churches and castles that dot its countryside, you are bound to work up an appetite. And lucky for you, Portugal is a culinary experience your taste buds will not soon forget. Per Authentic Food Request, whether you are ordering up the country's famous egg tarts, enjoying a bowl of caldo verde — a soup made with a dark green cabbage, or experiencing the incredible seafood dishes they are known for, don't ask for seasonings.

Don't ask for salt and pepper

When you visit Yeatman in Porto or Mini Bar in Lisbon, according to Smart Travel, do not ask your server to bring you salt and pepper. They note that if the shakers are already on the table, then shake away. But if they are nowhere to be seen, it is considered rude to ask for seasoning, and quite frankly, an insult to the chef and their culinary skills. But this rule is not unique to Portugal. As a matter of fact, many chefs in the United States also find this request to be an insult. One Reddit user noted, "Some people add salt and/or pepper without even tasting, because if habit or whatever. A cook cannot make food perfect for everyone, but you should at least give it a try before 'improving' it."

So, should you simply suck it up and try to enjoy a tasteless meal? Do you start carrying around salt and pepper in your handbag for moments like this so you can discreetly season your food to taste? Dear reader, we leave the answer to this question in your capable hands to decide. But in our humble opinion, if you are in Portugal, it's probably best to follow the etiquette of the Portuguese.