The creamy flavour of gooey cheese is cut through by the slightly acidic and smooth port. Welcome to the tactile world of food in the Algarve. From delicious roast kid to fresh octopus, there is something for everyone in Portugal. We previously took a look at the best dishes to try while in Portugal but there are so many that we thought we would take another peek, with this in mind, here’s some of the best food in the Algarve.
Ozido a Portuguesa
riginating in the mid-northern Beira province of Portugal, this traditional treat has become very popular in the Algarve and really is worth a taste. It is a hearty stew of meats and vegetables that can also be found in Spain, where it is called cocido. It is a rich dish but you will find different incarnations depending on where you eat it. The main ingredients are usually beef, pork and Portuguese sausages; however you may also discover chicken added to this meaty mix. The cozido is served with vegetables, potatoes and rice; including carrots and turnips. It is quite similar to the French dish cassoulet.
Cabrito Assado no Forno
This is a meal that is traditionally served at Easter in Portugal. It has a family meal history in much the same way as the British Sunday roast does. It has become popular at all times of year due to its delicious flavours and can be found in every region of the country. The star of this dish is kid marinated with garlic, chilli, and paprika, olive oil, bay leaves and white wine. The meat is then slow-roasted with potatoes and usually served with sautéed spinach. Although kid is a meat that many will be unfamiliar with you won’t regret trying it, this meal is simply divine.
When you are away it is time to treat yourself to dessert and a marvellous sweet treat is traditional arroz doce, which literally translates as sweet rice. This is a rice pudding quite similar to one you would find in the UK except that it has the addition of lemon and cinnamon and it is served at room temperature. Sweetly scrumptious.
Arroz de Polvo
This literally translates as octopus rice and this is not the only traditional seafood found in the Algarve. With such fantastic coastlines there’s plenty of access to fresh fish and seafood. If you have tried octopus you will be aware of the delightful buttery texture and subtle seafood flavour, but if you have never tasted octopus or are a little nervous of trying it then this is the meal for you. It is a bit like a risotto with a seafood flavour and tomato and onion base. Delectable.
Port & Cheeses
Port is a fortified wine that originates from Portugal, and as a national delicacy this is the place to taste the drink. It can be found in different incarnations, much like regular wine, with rose, white and ruby port among the kinds available. One of the best accompaniments for port is cheese and you can find some fantastic cheeses in the Algarve. From great goats cheeses and ricotta-like requeijão, all the way to soft, pungent cheeses and hard nutty ones. Try them all with a good glass of port, you won’t regret it.
Pasteis de Nata
These are egg custard pastries that originate from the Jerónimos Monastery where Catholic monks made them to use up the leftover egg yolks after making other pastries. They were really on to something. Pasteis de nata are now one of the most popular desserts in Portugal. They are usually served fresh from the oven with cinnamon and icing sugar sprinkled on top.