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Caldeirada is a typical Portuguese stew consisting of a large variety of fish, and sometimes shellfish, with potatoes, tomato and onion. It is made of a variety of fish differing in texture and taste (highly flavorful oily fish such as sardine, mackerel, tuna or skate, firm fish such as monkfish or halibut, and flaky white fish such as cod, haddock or flounder). It has a base of non seafood ingredients including onions, garlic, tomatoes and parsley. Like the French bouillabaisse, it requires only a little white wine and olive oil to supplement whatever liquid the heat of cooking renders from the fish and vegetables. Caldeirada is always presented in generous portions over a piece of crusty bread which has been lightly fried in oil, or toasted, or simply freshly torn from its loaf.
In Portugal, the cooks in some places may add shellfish such as clams, mussels and shrimp. In many places the addition of spices such as nutmeg and saffron are warmly welcomed. On the islands of Madeira one may find Caldeirada à Moda do Funchal scented with the heady fragrance of cloves. On the same islands it is found the Caldeirada de Lulas with squid replacing the fish and a bit of curry powder and ground ginger added. In the Azores they enhance the stew's fragrance with some allspice, embolden it with a bit of hot red pepper or piri-piri and enrich it with slices of spicy chouriço or linguiça. In Aveiro, just south of Porto, Caldeirada cooks may use a combination of fresh and salt water fish, along with oysters, mussels and carrots. A Lisbon variant called Caldeirada à Fragateira includes cockles and mussels over bread that's been fried in oil.