From fresh fish to delicate sweets, indulge in Algarve's love for food…
Cooking in the Algarve is all about simple pleasures and enjoying the freshest ingredients available in this beautiful region.
Every aspect of the dining experience in southern Portugal reflects the Algarvian lifestyle, their calm appreciation of life, and pride of local traditions. In the fishing villages, fishermen have mastered grilling fish to perfection. Towards the mainland, fields of green inspire age-old recipes and Algarve's unique identity.
The Algarve is famous for its fish and seafood, delicious meat produced by local farmers, and the freshest sweet vegetables and fruits. No wonder some of Portugal's best food festivals take place in the Algarve all year long! There is no high season when it comes to enjoying great food.
Embark on a culinary journey of food and discover why buying a property in the Algarve Portugal will give you a taste of life's simple pleasures…
Fresh from the sea
Algarve has more than 200 km of coastline so finding fresh fish and seafood is easy. To enjoy the warm climate and sunny weather, people gather in cafes all year long and indulge in delicious food. What better way to appreciate the sea view than with a glass of white wine and a side dish of “estupeta” (tuna salad) or mouth-watering seafood?
When it comes to traditional Algarve specialities, sardines slowly grilled on charcoal are an obvious choice, as well as sun-dried octopus seasoned with the best quality olive oil. No restaurant or family kitchen in the Algarve is complete without a charcoal grill!
“Carapaus alimados” is also a local classic. This simple horse mackerel recipe has been passed down from generation to generation, celebrating the Portuguese tradition of preserving fish in salt.
The famous “cataplana de amêijoas” is another signature-dish, made of delicious clams steamed in a traditional copper pan, similar to those used by the Arabs centuries ago. The unique flavour of this delicacy takes us back to a time when this part of Portugal was “Al-Gharb Al-Àndalusi”, a region occupied by the moors.
If you prefer more elaborate options, why not try Algarve's delicious “sopa de peixe” (fish soup) or savoury “açorda de marisco”, a seafood stew made with bread, coriander and garlic. Whelk bean stew and razorshell rice are other favourites, as well as “xerém”, a classic dish that is made with cornflower, clams, bacon and ham.
It's all about the land
Algarve also has typical meat dishes inspired by its inland villages, where the land produces the sweetest fruits and vegetables and mountain pastures influence the unique taste of lamb. Every meat dish celebrates ingredients that come from the Barrocal plains or green hills of Monchique and Caldeirão.
Various Algarvian classics have a characteristically rural flavour such as chicken with cherries and chickpea stew. Dishes such as “favas à algarvia”, a broad bean stew with black and red sausage, or “perna de borrego no tacho”, a pot-roast leg of lamb, are also Algarve favourites.
Other meat dishes include veal liver with potatoes, cabbage and meat stew as well as marinated carrots with garlic and parsley.
Don’t hesitate to accept your neighbour’s invitation to a cosy home dinner or pop by your village’s family run restaurant. Herbs are widely available in rural areas and many locals grow their very own herbs and veggies. All handpicked with love and direct from the land, it doesn’t get much fresher than this!
Traditional Algarve desserts
Whether you prefer to eat at a fancy seafront restaurant or a typical “taberna” in one of the Algarve's many whitewashed villages, make sure to leave room for dessert!
Sweet-tooths will find many options of traditional Algarve pastries to choose from. Puddings, cakes and sweets made with almonds, figs and "chila" (malabar gourd) are some of Algarve’s unique desserts:
But don’t take our word for it! Taste for yourself and find out why desserts in the Algarve are also a feast for the eyes.
Don’t miss the opportunity to discover all of these unique flavours. Embrace the experience, savour each bite, and take your time to enjoy the beauty and simplicity of delicious Algarvian cuisine.
Please contact us to find out more reasons why the Algarve is one of the best coastal places in Europe to buy property. We have a vast offer of property for sale in Algarve Portugal. With panoramic views, beautiful beaches, and great weather, life in the Algarve is simply delicious!
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