Visitors to the country of Portugal might see the word “francesinha” highlighted on a restaurant menu and be tempted to try this plate with a funny name.
“Francesinha” literally translates as “the little frenchie,” so how extreme could it be? Maybe it’s a delicious Franco-Portuguese fusion dish or even a delicious dessert. But it certainly won’t be big.
Well, if you make these assumptions, you’re going to be dead wrong. Why? The francesinha is one of the most over-the-top and absurd sandwiches on the planet. So, what is it?
A francesinha is a sandwich that originated in the city of Porto by an immigrant that returned from France and Belgium in the 1950s. He wanted to adapt the famous croque monseuir sandwich to Portuguese tastes. And boy, did he ever.
A francesinha consists of two pieces of white bread stuffed with ham, linguica and chipolata (two types of special Portuguese sausage), steak, and roast pork. On top, the sandwich is covered with melted white cheese, and also with a rich sauce consisting mainly of tomato and beer. Finally, the last addition on most francesinha is a fried egg on top to complete the insanity.
This sandwich is a must-eat for anyone that travels to Porto or Portugal, but be sure to bring a hearty appetite!