answer the question what to eat in the algarve is to talk about excellent land and sea products, as well as tasty preparations. Not in vain, four years ago, the European Council of Enogastronomical Brotherhoods granted to this area Portugal el Award for the Best European Region of Tourism and Gastronomy.
The cuisine of the Algarve perfectly mixes the fresh products recently caught on its coasts with the fruits of its agriculture and the meats of its livestock. As a result, you have light dishes for the summer, but also others more forceful for the coldest months of the year. And, along with them, a good amount of sweet recipes no less delicious. For you to make your choice if you travel to south of Portugal, we are going to show you what to eat in the Algarve.
Table of Contents
Typical products of the Algarve
The nature of this Portuguese region is generous. In the area there are magnificent almonds, figs and carob beans (very typical is the bread that is made with the latter). There is also an excellent olive oil. And with the fruits of the strawberry tree a magnificent schnapps. There is also no shortage of fruits such as orange or lemon. The Algarve even stands out for its excellent shawl. In this sense that of Tavira It has a designation of origin. And we can tell you the same about the excellent honey from the Sierra de Monchique.
The area also has a good pig hut. Magnificent sausages such as chorizo, black pudding or ham are made with the pig. But more typical is farinheira, which is made with bacon, flour, pepper and wine. It is a real delicacy. On the other hand, from the sea they obtain wonderful fresh fish such as tuna, horse mackerel or sardines, as well as exquisite seafood.
Soups in the Algarve
Regarding soups, you have many to eat in the Algarve. Among them, it shares with Spanish gastronomy the popular gazpacho, perfect to cool off on summer days. But not everything is coast in this Portuguese region. Towards the interior is the aforementioned Monchique mountain range, which reaches heights of almost a thousand meters. Therefore, in these areas the temperatures are cooler and it is necessary to eat stronger broths.
For this reason, in the Algarve you also have the chub soup, which is made with pork liver; the one with green beans, which also contains ginger, garlic and oil, or the mountain soup, with chorizo, lard, beans and pumpkin. Also, they are just as tasty vegetable soup, with sweet potato and onion, or the shomemade bread opa with cod.
As you know, the latter is traditional throughout the neighboring country, to the point that it has become one of its dishes par excellence. We will come back to it when we talk about fish. But now we want to propose some stews to eat in the Algarve.
Cataplanas, stews and starters
A classic is portuguese cooked, which combines vegetables with pork products. As for the former, it has beans, potatoes, carrots, turnips and cabbage. Regarding the seconds, it includes ribs and ear, chorizo, black pudding and the aforementioned farinheira.
But the stew par excellence of the Algarve is the cataplana. It receives this name because it is prepared in this type of traditional closed pot. It is made up of two concave parts that are sealed one on top of the other, keeping all the flavors and aromas. Also, in the old days, a hole was made in the ground where embers were created and placed on top and then covered with sand.
However, today you will hardly see this use. Normally, the cataplana is placed on the kitchen fire. But in any case, different elaborations are prepared with it. There are different recipes. The most traditional is fish and vegetables steamed. But they are also delicious seafood and rice o pork and vegetables. As a curiosity, we will tell you that the cataplana as a kitchen instrument has its origin in the Arab world, specifically in the tagine. Delicious dishes are also prepared precisely with the shellfish of the area soupy rice.
Fish and seafood
We have just told you about the seafood of the Algarve. It offers it to you of all types. There is an exquisite octopus, But also clams, shrimp, barnacles, or razor clams. In fact, in the town of Olhao, which is located in the south of the region, a festival dedicated to the first of these products is held every year. It is prepared in many ways. For example, stewed in wine, with rice or breaded on the grill.
Equally delicious are the fish when choosing what to eat in the Algarve. They stand out for their freshness and are usually also prepared grilled of a grill. We advise you to try the horse mackerel with lemon, The Grilled sardines that taste of the sea or the coquinhos, which are nothing more than small squid or baby squid. It is also very tasty tuna in stupefa or crumbled with vegetables. It is also used to make muxama, which is the same as the mojama of Cádiz.
However, the cod, to which we alluded before and which is typical throughout Portugal, is not so present in the cuisine of the Algarve. However, it is inevitable that you will find it in many letters. Among its most common preparations are the golden cod, grilled or patanisca (battered and fried). More curious is its elaboration with chickpeas as a salad.
Meats and sausages
We have already told you about the sausages of the Algarve when mentioning its typical products. We have also mentioned the excellent local pork. But more interest regarding meat is its preparation technique. In restaurant menus you will often see the word grilled. It is nothing more than grilled pork or lamb, which is how it is normally prepared in this Portuguese region.
If you like both meat and fish, we advise you to order a mixed grill. As the word itself indicates, it has both products made with the knowledge of the chefs in the area for the grills.
On the other hand, it is also consumed a lot rabbit. usually prepare to the huntressbut it is more typical with vinhadalhos, a sauce that has garlic, wine, cumin, turmeric and salt. Interestingly, it was the one that gave rise to the indian curry due to the old Portuguese presence in Asia. Another typical dish is cerejada hen, which also has chorizo and bacon, as well as onion, olive oil, white wine and rice. Finally, do not forget to try the goat meat. The Algarve has its own race.
Desserts and sweets, another richness to eat in the Algarve
Portugal It has several denominations of origin of cheeses. As far as the Algarve is concerned, you have, precisely, a famous native goat cheese. Perhaps the locality with the longest cheese tradition is the aforementioned Olhao. In their factories, they have even created new flavors such as caramel and walnut cheese or candied onion cheese.
More important is the pastry tradition of the area. They are very famous Dom Rodrigos, which contain eggs, almonds and sugar and are presented wrapped in brightly colored paper. Or the morgadinhos, which have similar ingredients to which angel hair is added, although another elaboration. For his part, the bolo three delights It is a kind of cake of figs, carob beans and almonds. Precisely the fig is another of the delicacies of the area. Stuffed or truffled are also made. But no less delicious are the queijinhos, which have a filling of ovos moles.
As for the marblesThey are Berliners. That is, cakes of soft bread and sugar filled with cream. You will not need to ask for them because there are people selling them every day on the beaches of the Algarve.
Likewise, a delicious cake is made with the carob and the cake by Tavira It is a delicious orange and almond cake. For his part, the folate of Olhao It is a typical wonder of Holy Week that has a syrup of butter, sugar and cinnamon. On the other hand, typical of Christmas are the exquisite marzipan of the Algarve and the flounder, which are dumplings stuffed with almonds, sweet potatoes and pumpkin.
Wines and other drinks
In the Algarve you have magnificent wines. exist in the region four denominations of wine origin. are those of Lagos, Lagoa, Portimao and Tavira. All of them produce both whites and reds and, among their grape varieties, are the Malvasia, the Syrian, the Trincadeira, the Black Mole, the Castelao and the Arinta.
But more popular is madrone brandy, which we have already mentioned. And equally rich is the bitter almond liqueur, also called amarginha, which is usually served with ice as a digestif after the meal. Before trying it, you can take a bica dirty, which is nothing more than a coffee cut with a drop of milk.
There are also some in the area craft beers. It is a drink that is very popular in the Algarve. In fact, in Faro a festival featuring her is held every year: the Beer Fest Alameda. But if you prefer something without alcohol, you can order a juice made with the delicious fruits of the region.
In conclusion, we have shown you some of the products and dishes what to eat in the algarve. As you can see, they are as delicious or more delicious than those of other regions and cities of Portugal like own Lisboa, Porto o Braga. In any case, go ahead and try them and tell us if you liked them.