Gourmet Algarve – meet the delicious and healthy Mediterranean cuisine
Algarve is considered one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Europe, with its temperate Mediterranean climate, characterized by short, mild winters and long, hot summers, warm and calm waters that bathe its southern coast, its natural landscapes, historical heritage and ethnographic and delicious and healthy cuisine are attributes that attract millions of domestic and foreign tourists every year and make the Algarve the most visited region and one of the most developed in Portugal.
For more than five centuries (c. 715-1249) was under the rule of Islamic peoples, Arabs, Berbers and native populations converted to Islam, while Christianity has also remained between the Algarve population at that time (Mozarabs – Christians living under Muslim government).
The Algarvian cuisine dates back to historical times of the Roman and Arab presence, being aware of the climate of the region one of the main tourist attractions. The ingredients used reflect the fresh flavors of the sea and the nice and strong aromas of the field.
The Algarve landscape is filled with rolling hills, dappled by olive, carob, almond, fig and orange trees – a vast coastline, bathed by the waters of the Atlantic immense. So it is not surprising that the Algarve cuisine has embarked on two distinct directions. An impressive variety of dishes made with fish and shellfish on the one hand, and, on the other, a wide choice of meat dishes, which does not undermine the hunt.
The influence of foreign cuisines hardly be felt, which gives the traditional kitchen a role of undeniable importance, the guardian of recipes that have crossed generations without age and we must remember that Portugal was responsible for the introduction in Europe of spices, such as pepper, coriander, ginger, curry, saffron and paprika, not to mention tea, rice, coffee, peanuts, peppers, tomatoes and potatoes.
The Algarve Marine
The best fish and seafood in the world, tuna, sardines, seafood, and spectacular azeiteis herbs:
1) Clams in Cataplana
Much appreciated is the famous cockles revenue in cataplana, one of the most traditional dishes, whose secret lies in the use of the copper container, of Arab origin, which retains all the flavor and aroma of food cooked in it. To enhance the taste, there is no better than a bit of salt from the region, especially its “cream” – the flower of salt. In addition to the many restaurants where you can taste these specialties in the summer there are seafood festivals in Olhão and Faro, near the Ria Formosa,
where it is most abundant.
In the case of the clams, as in most shellfish, cooking is rapid, avoiding that they lose their flavor. The ingredients or used seasonings have many variants, but generally include potatoes and onions into slices, sausages and other pork, peppers or tomatoes (or both condiments) and smelling herbs such as coriander and parsley and usually accompanied by wine rose.
2) Wine Mateus
Mateus is a sparkling wine medium dry, brand specialist rosé wines, which stands out for its young, fresh and contemporary style. Matthew has a pale color of rose petals, with light hues of salmon. The numerous extremely fine bubbles result in a delicate and persistent mousse. Refined and refreshing with floral notes, this wine has pleasant aromas of apple, pear and raspberry between subtle notes of toasted bread that interact with a fresh and lively acidity, providing an aromatic and delicate finish.
Mateus Rosé is a pop icon, consecutively connected to such distinct personalities like Jimmy Hendrix or Amalia, phlegmatic as the Queen of England or controversial as Fidel Castro.
3) Fresh fish: Tuna and Sardines
Any fresh fish, grilled slowly on coal to the way the fishermen can be a true food of the gods.
And there are other dishes such as alimados horse mackerel and sardines that eat everywhere, but has a reputation in Portimão.
It is delicious dripping on bread or accompanied with a mountain salad, made with tomatoes that oregano add a special taste.
Steak or Tavira tuna estupeta, octopus, which in Santa Luzia is appreciated in different ways – stewed in wine, breaded, grilled, with rice or simply baked in the oven -, through the delicious lulinhas and cuttlefish, the Algarve is expert in these menus.
4) Organic fruits
The Algarve fruits and vegetables are produced organically without the use of agratóxicos, the fruit has a high concentration of vitamins and are sweet, hot and dry weather and clean air will raise fruit production of high quality and free of chemicals . The natural sweetness are used in the manufacture of liquors, wines and sweets.
The Algarve orange is very sweet and possess low acidity, it is consumed in the form of juices also in the form of delicious liqueurs, jams and marinades. Research indicated a high level of vitamin C, higher than that found in fruits in other regions.
Figs are widely used in both savory recipes as in sweets, and also of course, are much sought after by the French and Spanish due to high fruit quality of Algarve.
Strawberry autumn, arbutus is a very sweet and juicy fruit used in the production of liqueurs and distilled spirits and also the recipe of cakes, mousses and jams.
Rural Algarve or Algarve Serra
Monchique is the highest town in the Algarve region of mountains with milder weather.
6) Hams of Monchique
In July takes place the traditional Fair of Monchique ham, hams, sausages and artisan cheeses of the highest quality are the party of tourists.
In the restaurant PETROL THE TASCA, you can have a unique experience of rural Algarve
– Rice, beans with pasta, sausages and mint note, boar chunks, ham with potatoes in the oven, plus the cheek (cheek) black pig. For dessert, honey pudding pie with figs and carob other almond and pumpkin tarts. Is the Algarve at the table – and it’s delicious. Average price: 15 euros.
7) Medronhos Drink
The medronhos spirit is the ex-libris of the Algarve distillates. Everything indicates that this spirit began to be produced by hand, for medicinal purposes by the Arabs in Monchique, around century X. In 1940 there were 55 in Monchique stills and 3 liquor merchants (Gascon). In 1905 there were in Loulé 61 brandy manufacturers (Ataide de Oliveira).
Greece brandy is produced with koumaro designation from the fruit bush called Koumaria (strawberry tree), and is documented since the times of the Byzantine (which ended in 1453). In Spain there are berry brandy production experience and other small fruits. On the island of Sardinia – Italy – also produces brandy arbutus (corbezzolo / Corbezzoli) but the most traditional are the liquors, jams and sweets medronhos.
Both liquors as the spirit of medronhos are manufactured by hand and are a delicacy.
Sweet Algarve sweeten the mouth, calm the mind and delight the eye … Made with almonds, figs and locust beans grown throughout the Algarve, the Algarve sweets leave the palate a slight aftertaste temptation.
Nobody resists Don Rodrigo, morgados, morgadinhos, stuffed figs, fig cheese, figs with almond and chocolate, sweet potato pastries Aljezur and many other traditional sweets. A fantasy kingdom that recalls the Arab passage in these parts.
The legendary almond and fig trees are the great protagonists of these works, as is their aromatic fruits that make the best sweets in the region. Almonds give the sweet aromatic flavor to Don Rodrigo, the egg or chapelinhos balls, eggs, soft, to scallops, alcofinhas, cheeses, nuts and nuts, to which is added the chocolate.
The finest pastry also includes almond Morgado and marzipan, hard dough cakes of almond, stuffed yarn eggs and sweet squash, with the particularity of the first is usually decorated with regional motifs and almond blossom.
The fresh fig is another specialty of the region that varies is used the whole fruit, crushed or simply dried and roasted in the oven.
The whole fig is the main ingredient of stars and filled figs, stuffed with almond pieces, sugar and chocolate.
The fig, crushed along with ground almonds, chocolate, sugar and “mysterious” condiments, allows shaping the delicious fig cheeses. Already famous sweets in the form of fish, chicken or books use both ground and whole fig fig, cut to scissors.
The Easter cakes, Easter cakes to the empanadilhas and Christmas fried are usually made in specific festive seasons. Throughout the Algarve continues to be the folklore, a traditional cake always present at the family table at Easter.
Sweets, some Conventual, to create mouth watering vitiating the stomach and the soul and justifying the return to the Algarve, just to savor, made with carob, oranges, figs and almonds.
The best restaurants in the Algarve
An easy place to grab a bite after visiting Sagres Point. Take whatever fish happens to be on offer: you can’t go wrong.
Address: Bugagem, Praça de Republica, Vila Sagres, Algarve
One of several excellent chicken piri-piri places on the Estrada do Foia (or N-266), the road leading from the village of Monchique to the top of the mountain. Equally good (and just as unprepossessing) are Theresina and Paraíso da Montanha.
Terrific seafood served by the most cheerful waiters on the Iberian peninsula.
Address: Arte Náutica, Rua da Praia, Armação de Pêra, Portugal
Telephone: +351 282 314 875
Michelin-starred restaurant at Vila Vita Parc. Worth a visit for the amuse-bouches alone, including a perfectly circular ‘carrot crisp’ spiced with Arabian ras el hanout.
Address: Ocean, Rua Anneliese Pohl, Alporchinhos, Porches, Portugal
Telephone: +351 282 310 100
Lounge at Vila Vita Parc resort
Possibly the best restaurant in Portugal. Dishes include celery ravioli with imperial caviar, and a sugarball dessert with compote of rhubarb.
Address: Vila Joya, Estrada da Galé, Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal
Telephone: +351 289 591 795