Portugal’s influence in Asia

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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Portugal’s influence in Asia resulted from the Atlantic kingdom’s expansion into the Indian Ocean in the closing years of the fifteenth century. Subsequently, the Portuguese established colonies in Goa, Malacca (now Melaka), and Macao, from where traders and missionaries fanned out through the region. While their success in bringing Christianity to this part of Asia was somewhat limited, the Portuguese had a profound influence on the region’s cuisines, introducing novel foods from Europe and the New World, as well as Iberian cooking techniques. Their legacy is particularly evident in the case of sweets.