Food & dining

Short Order

Portuguese specialties fill a former mill in Fall River

From left: Colleen Freitas in Portugalia Marketplace’s cafe; Manuel and Maria Lourenco shop.

Gretchen Ertl for The Boston Globe

Colleen Freitas in Portugalia Marketplace’s cafe.

Gretchen Ertl for The Boston Globe

Manuel and Maria Lourenco shop.

The sprawling Portugalia Marketplace in Fall River, opened last fall, offers a treasure trove of Portuguese specialty foods. The market is the retail branch of Portugalia Imports, a Fall River food importer and distributor. Fernando Benevides, 60, emigrated from the Azores and started the company 25 years ago in his home garage. Now he runs a warehouse with hundreds of products from his homeland. His son and co-owner, Michael, 34, spearheaded the idea to open the retail outlet. Housed in an abandoned textile mill, the restored building now brims with shelves of olive oils, 40 types of canned fish (wild-caught tuna, sardines, mackerel), plenty of crushed red peppers, pimento pastes, and hot sauces. Wooden barrels are filled with fava beans soaking in water or fried and seasoned for snacking. Sausages and cured meats fill a deli case, a freezer is stacked with whole octopus up to 17 pounds, and a kitchen offers prepared foods such as salt cod casserole with potatoes and onions, and octopus stew. You can also find a cafe with espresso and sweet treats, earthenware, wines from many regions in Portugal, and a room devoted entirely to salt cod, a staple of Portuguese cuisine; every portion of the fish is available — loins, faces, cheeks, and the chewy tongue. Portugalia Marketplace, 489 Bedford St., Fall River, 508-617-9820.

ANN TRIEGER KURLAND

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