Both processes, the retention of characteristics from the original Portuguese recipe and the modifications required by different climates, different cultures and different ingredients can be seen by comparing recipes for a traditional Portuguese dish called galinha cabidela. This dish, or variations of it, can be found almost everywhere there were Portuguese colonies or where there are today Portuguese immigrant communities. The word cabidela itself is defined in a Portuguese dictionary as "the bodily extremities of poultry (wings, heads, necks and feet) as well as the liver and other organs of the same animal," and can be traced back to the 16th Century (the Golden Age of Portuguese navigation and exploration). In all Portuguese-speaking territories, however, the dish called galinha cabidela has come to mean a braised chicken (or other meat) cooked in a sauce made of its own blood.
Galinha cabidela is also found in Angola, once one of Portugal's main African colonies. The Angolan recipe for this dish (click here) retains the olive oil of the Portuguese original but adds tomato and green bell pepper to the mix and includes a small glass of white wine as well. In a nod to African tradition, the dish is given a hit of spice by the inclusion of an African hot sauce called piri-piri.
And finally, even farther afield - about 7000 miles from Portugal as the crow flies, lies the tiny formerly-Portuguese enclave of Macau, now part of China. The standard recipe there is called pato cabidela not galinha cabidela, as it substitutes duck (pato) for chicken (galinha). In addition to the duck, the dish includes diced pork. Saffron and caraway seeds are added to the list of spices, the white wine of the Angolan recipe is repeated, and there are diced potatoes added to the dish.
But even in all the diversity of these regional variations, the basic "theme" of the recipe remains unchanged by time or distance. Meat, of whatever type, is seasoned and cooked in a sauce made with its own blood. That's the ur-cabidela and it and its numerous offspring are still served, and still loved, anywhere that has a Portuguese cultural heritage.