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Portugal is a densely-populated country on the Iberian Peninsula in Southwestern Europe. The official language is Portuguese, but Mirandese is spoken in some parts of the Northeast. Literacy is very high in Portugal, over 99%. The terrain includes volcanic mountains, plateaus, and river valleys. Overall the climate is Mediterranean and warm, but there are some semi-arid and steppe-like areas. Animal species in Portugal include the Spanish ibex (once known as the Iberian wild goat), the large European catfish, and the Mediterranean monk seal. Mainstays of the economy include exports, investment, and a developing technology sector. The Mosteiro dos Jer├│nimos in Lisbon is UNESCO-listed monastery with fantastic architecture including ornate, twisted columns, and the Convento de Cristo in Tomar where the Knights Templar presided is just as magnificent. See the megalithic stone structures of the municipality of ├ëvora, which served for ceremonial purposes. You can also escape to the mountains in Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela, or the beautiful beaches of the Algarve. Bread, rice, and potatoes are popular starchy staples, and pastries can be savory as well as sweet. Typical vegetables include tomatoes, cabbage, and kale. Beef, pork, and seafood are commonly eaten, as are beans. Cozido can include chouri├ºo, cured ham, potatoes, carrots, turnips, chickpeas, cabbage, and rice. Try a├ºorda, a casserole with bread, garlic, coriander, and often seafood. If you're hungry, there's the francesinha sandwich from Porto, made with wet-cured ham, lingui├ºa, fresh sausage, steak or roast meat, melted cheese, and a tomato and beer sauce, topped with french fries. Heavy! On the other hand, you can locate light, organic food including macrobiotic, Portuguese, North African, or vegan Japanese cuisine. There are generally a few organic markets in your average town and juice bars aren't too hard to come by. Wines and cordials can be of excellent quality. Try some port wine, Madeira, strong brandy, or medronho, a spirit from the Algarve made of the fruit of the Strawberry Tree. Rice pudding and caramel fl├ú are sweet ways to end your night.