Monday, April 1, 2013

Portugal, please say "No!" to the McBifana.

I recently spent a few days in Lisbon, Portugal. I was walking one morning, and I came across this advertisement at a bus stop. I was very disappointed.

A bifana is a traditional Portuguese snack or light meal. It consists of a thinly sliced beef or pork steak placed between a sliced roll. By contrast, a McBifana is the exact opposite of a traditional food. It is a large, international, billion-dollar, food corporation that is coming in and trying to replace a food that is best made locally... by locals with local ingredients.

In reality, I support the free market, so I am not suggesting Portugal ban McDonalds. However, what I would love to see is the Portuguese avoid this food so McDonalds has to take it off their menu. Some things should not be in the realm of fast-food. Okay, pretty much nothing should be in the realm of fast-food if you actually care about quality food and health, but bastardizing a bifana is going a bit too far.

For a bit more information on a similar concept, I wrote a brief article on the Slow Food Movement that you can read here.


  1. I don't eat in the McDonalds. I like go to a restaurant and take it slowly, not just go there and eat everything in 5 seconds (which is what happens in the McDonalds). Portugal has an amazing cuisine, so why go there?!

  2. I'm conflicted. I love Mcdonalds and I love home made bifanas...
    What to do?

  3. Yeah I agree. If you want to eat a bifana there are plenty of small cafes that make it properly and if you buy from mcdonalds you get an inferior food and the money leaves the country. Mind you acccording to the climate is quite warm so it is a good country to eat vegetarian food especially nice organic food from a permaculture farm.

  4. Tried one of these today as I am new to Portugal and it was disgusting. I fear it may put tourists off eating and enjoying the local food

  5. The bread is kinda' good...relatively speaking.

  6. I love mcbifanas - have them everytime I go to the Algarve on holiday