Behind the Box: 4 Generations of Portuguese Culinary Traditions

Behind the Box: 4 Generations of Portuguese Culinary Traditions

Tell us about Casa da Prisca’s early days. How did the company begin?

Casa da Prisca is a fourth-generation, family-owned company. It’s almost our 100th anniversary! We were founded in 1917 and were initially in the business of charcuterie, hams, chorizo, and sausages. After some time, due to sourcing issues with cows and poultry, the two brothers who were running the company decided that they would only work with pork products. Soon, they started to identify solutions outside of meat, such as cheese, jams, and dried goods. Then 12 years ago, we began to create jams and each label is hand-written.

What an interesting start! Could you tell us a bit about the process of sausage-making?

The selection of our suppliers is very important. The pigs are very carefully taken care of and their diet is very specific. There is a focus on high quality. The pork is then mixed with seasonings like wine, pepper, and flavorings, and it’s very traditionally made. Each sausage has a different smoking process and all of the sausages are naturally cured.

What other traditional methods do you use to produce other items?

Honey is very traditional product in Portugal and we work with local suppliers. Each jar is mixed by hand, and some are mixed with hazelnuts, walnuts, or dried fruit. The caramelized onions are reduced with port and balsamic vinegar. It’s the star of the company!

What an innovative product! How do you recommend eating it?

Many pair it with foie gras or cheese boards. Some use it with meat or lamb, and others stuff various meats with it. The port is key to the product.

Beyond the items from the Portugal Box, what do you hold dearest about Portuguese cuisine?

Portugal is a small country with products of amazing quality. We would love to share that quality of product with the world. We are very detailed and pay close attention to our products and they’re very carefully made. Quality is the most important thing. It may not be the fastest or easiest way to reach the market, but once that area is reached and our quality is known, we are so proud.

Michael La Corte

Michael La Corte is a member of the Editorial Department at Try The World. He is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education and also works in a pop-up supper club in Jersey City.

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