My first meal in Lisbon was at a unassuming taberna called Zé dos Cornos, where I was greeted with a wide variety of gorgeous pig parts in the form of a dish called Espetada de Porco Preto -- skewers of black pork tenderloin alternating with peppers and thin slices of blood sausage and chorizo.
What is "black pork," you ask? Black pig is a breed native to the Iberian peninsula, raised in the Alentejo region of Portugal, famous for its vineyards, cork and acorn trees, and its incredible pork.
And, when you let pigs eat those acorns in Alentejo?
You get dry-cured hams that are marbled, with a sublime melt-in-your-mouth texture. Called pata negra de bellota, it is pure piggy bliss. I couldn't help but buy one too many paper-thin slices at Manteigaria Silva, while similarly indulging in the purchase of dried-cured sausages such as linguiças and salpicões.
Unsurprisingly, all of this pork goodness didn't last too long in my apartment over the course of two weeks, so more pork had to be had off-premises...
This platter of pork goodness was enjoyed at Taberna da Baixa, another unassuming spot in Lisbon that knows its way around a pig.
So, am I Team Portugal or Team Spain when it comes to the pork crown?