Local gastronomy is based on the best of what the sea offers and is typically fresh. The great variety of fresh fish and shellfish is especially noteworthy.
During the hunting season (October to December), it is easy to find game dishes, such as wild boar, partridge, quail, hare or wild rabbit.
Local desserts and sweets are use generous quantities of figs and almonds, as well as marzipan, sugar and even some curious ingredients such as crackling.
The most sought-after local specialities are:
Goose barnacles (Percebes) Fish noodles (Massa de peixe) Fried Moray (Moreia frita)
Other popular local dishes are: - Arjamolho, the name given to the local gazpacho, served as an accompaniment to grilled sardines (Arjamolho or Sopas de Água Fresca). - Toasted flour broth (Caldo de farinha torrada) - Fish risotto (Arroz de peixe) - Seafood risotto (Arroz de Marisco) - Whelk and bean stew (Feijoada de búzios) - Fish noodles (Massa de peixe) –, normally prepared with Meagre, Monkfish, John Dory and Dogfish. - Small Sardines with maize paste (Papas de xerém / xarém) - Papas Mouras – maize paste prepared with stock from scalded black pudding. - Fish stew (Caldeirada) – a slice of Moray or a Sardine is added to this dish stew to give its distinct flavour. - Fillet of Horse mackerel (Carapaus alimados) – these are cooked with oregano and the skin is removed - Fried Cuttlefish with their ink (Chocos fritos com tinta) - Cuttlefish with yam (Chocos com batata doce) – the Cuttlefish is stewed, creating a delicious contrast between the salty flavour of the Cuttlefish and the sweetness of the yam. - Octopus risotto (Arroz de polvo) - Mussel risotto (Arroz de mexilhão) a typical regional dish - Stuffed Squid (Lulas cheias) - Chickpea stew (Sopa de gravanços)
– Gravanços are a type of chickpea.
Did you know that this type of chickpea can only be picked at night, since the heat during the day makes them crack?
- Tomato soup with bread and poached eggs - Chickpeas with chard (Grão com acelgas)– chard is a plant that is harvested in the winter and gives chickpeas a special flavour that creates an interesting contrast between the earthy flavour of the chard and the sweetness of the chickpeas. - Borrego churro algarvio – A type of lamb with a long fleece. Very low in fat and excellent in stews. - Cuttlefish with peas, chickpeas or beans (Choco com ervilhas, com grão ou com feijão) - Wild rabbit Hunter style (Coelho à caçador) – wild rabbit is cooked in wine, but when this dish is made with normal rabbit, a sprig of cystus (rock rose) is added to give it a gamey flavour. - Stewed giblets (Cabidela) – made with potato in this region - Hare and bean stew (Feijoada de lebre) - Skate with garlic (Raia d’alhada) – Skate cooked with plenty of olive oil and garlic. Skate, for this recipe, needs to be salted for at least a day before being cooked. - Roast Octopus (Polvo assado) - Dogfish stew (Ensopado de pata-roxa) - Fried Moray (Moreia frita) – a very popular dish at the moment - Battered sardines (sardinhas albardadas) – the Sardines are fried and then an egg batter is added.
- Pork, cabbage and sweet potato stew (Cozido de couve, carne de porco e batata doce) – a special type of bread is made from the cabbage stock and maize flour, which is then served with the grilled pork. - Raw Limpet with toasted figs (Lapas cruas com figos torrados) – traditional starter - Wild boar stew (Caldeirada de javali) - Partridge risotto (Arroz de Perdiz)
- Tibornas – bread with garlic and olive oil.
Dessert/sweets: - Yam pastry (Pasteis de batata-doce) - Almond and egg cakes (Glórias de Vila do Bispo) – a traditional recipe using almonds and eggs. - Rice pudding (Arroz doce) – this dessert is typical in this area. Unlike traditional rice pudding, eggs are not used, so the pudding is completely white.
- Morgado de Figo (Rich fig cake) - Queijo de Figo (Fig and caramelised sugar)
Drinks: - Arbutus Berry Brandy (Aguardente de Medronho) - Homemade Barão de São Miguel wine– Encostas do Rio Ponte