Massachusetts has one of the largest Portuguese-speaking populations in the nation, second only to California. So why is it you can't get a linguica sandwich at Fenway Park?

I think it's because most of the people in the Bay State who identify as Portuguese are in Bristol and Plymouth Counties and not Boston or Suffolk County.

Championship Series - Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox - Game Five
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I've been reading in recent days about all of the menu options at Fenway Park, including some new post-pandemic items such as the "Cheetos Dog." According to the Boston Herald, the hot dog comes with Cheetos crumbs sprinkled all over it. That's a hard pass for me.

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There are a host of pages dedicated to all of the many food choices available in and around Fenway Park, but not so much as a Portuguese fava bean is in the offing. Major League Baseball even has a link listing most of the food locations and what they offer. may even have a better and more current listing.

Greg Desrosiers/TSM
Greg Desrosiers/TSM

You can get many variations of chicken, Asian food, Cubanos, Mexican, pizza, meatballs, nachos, pot roast, pulled pork, peanuts, popcorn, Cracker Jack, and a whole lot more – but no kale soup!

Here's the scoop, according to ImmigrationResearch.Org: there were 540,345 foreign-born, Portuguese-speaking residents in the U.S. in 2014. More than a quarter – 139,397 – live in Massachusetts, the largest population in any state. The site provides a breakdown of how many are Portuguese, Brazilian, Cape Verdean, and Azorean.

California has the largest Portuguese-speaking ancestry population. The site says 25 percent of people with Portuguese ancestry in the U.S. live in California, 22 percent in Massachusetts, and only seven percent in Rhode Island.

Feast of the Blessed Sacrament via Facebook
Feast of the Blessed Sacrament via Facebook

There were an estimated 284,723 native-born Massachusetts residents who claimed Portuguese ancestry in 2014, according to ImmigrationRearch.Org. Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers put the figure at an estimated 308,000, or about 4.6 percent of the population of Massachusetts – but almost all of them are in the New Bedford-Fall River area and not Boston.

So if you've wondered, that's probably why bifana sandwiches are not on the menu at Fenway.

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