Algarve Traditional Portuguese Food Tour
Portugal is one of the best travel destinations and is partly due to its wine, as it makes it one of the most wanted objectives for the wine lovers.
The coastal region of Algarve from Portugal is known for its dramatic cliffs and for the golden sand beaches, as for the luxury golf resorts and the sensational sunshine. Here the beautiful fishing villages have narrow cobblestoned streets and whitewashed houses. But beside all these beauties, the Algarve is also a charm destination for food and wine lovers.
This region is home to some of the best Michelin starred restaurants from Europe, for boutique wine estates, and for gourmet producers.
Photo: The fried cuttlefish is the king in the Algarve gastronomy.
You should know that spending time at the table in Portugal is not considered a past time. In fact, it is a cultural event even if you’re not celebrating anything. Starting with petiscos and getting to more complicated recipes, the traditional Portuguese food is one of the reasons why many travelers fall in love with this country.
You can find many regional Portuguese dishes across the country, mainly emphasizing fish, meat, tomato, olive oil, herbs, and spices.
The food in Portugal is prepared with simple ingredients and yet the flavors are fresh and wholesome. Besides, the local wines and beverages are quite extensive.
Here are 10 popular Portuguese dishes you will enjoy:
Photo: Pastel de Nata. The iconic Portuguese dessert.
THE TRADITIONAL PORTUGUESE FOOD
The hearty Portuguese dishes are made with meat, seafood, legumes, and vegetables as they are very important in the local cuisine. The food in Portugal is a Mediterranean-based cuisine that uses a wide variety of spices, many of which are locally produced.
Some of the most important spices include piri-piri, clove, paprika, cumin, and allspice. Besides, garlic and onions are also widely used next to herbs like bay leaf, rosemary, oregano, and coriander.
Olive oil is used as a base in numerous Portuguese dishes, either for cooking, as for flavoring meals.
Best Portuguese Food
Even though Portuguese cuisine is not as known as other cuisines like Italian, Spanish and French, it has a gastronomic variety and very unique taste.
The Portuguese gastronomy is based on regional produce and on the freshness of the products, so it varies from region to region. What can be found almost everywhere across Portugal is fresh fish and shellfish.
However, meat is a very important part of the Portuguese cuisine because the geographical location allows the farming of pigs and cows. Besides, the Portuguese people are proud of using the entire animal and making sure nothing goes to waste.
The traditional Portuguese food is one of the greatest in Europe
There are hundreds of different Portuguese dishes, maybe thousands, especially if you consider that there are more than 365 ways to cook bacalao only.
As a nation of seafarers, the Portuguese have a strong bond with the ocean. And this fact deeply influences the country’s cuisine. Nowadays eating seafood is a summer ritual, and the best way to do it is by the coast with some friends and a glass of wine.
Caught just a few hours away from the coast, the Portuguese seafood is famous for its unique flavor. There’s a widespread variety of typical seafood from Algarve like the clams, mussels, crabs, and percebes.
Photo: Typical Portuguese Fish Stew.
Eat Clams in Algarve Portugal
Bulhao Pato clams is a traditional dish in the Algarve region. This dish is made out of fresh clams that are cooked with garlic, coriander, onion, white wine and some olive oil. Usually, these clams are served with bread so you can finish its sauce. An interesting fact is that this dish commemorates the Portuguese poet Raimundo António de Bulhão Pato, which was very loved in the region.
Eating in the Algarve can become an unforgettable experience!
Photo: Cataplana de Bacalhau.
Try the Fried Cuttlefish
Together with roasted fish, the fried cuttlefish is the king in the Algarve gastronomy. There are many places that are cooking this typical mollusk of the region. The Algarvian fried cuttlefish is very popular and is ideal for eating in the summer with a cold drink.
BEST PORTUGUESE WINE: WHAT TO SIP
The Portuguese wine is certainly worth exploring. This is mainly because this country produces its wine from grape varieties that can´t be found anywhere else in the world.
Each region in Portugal produces a different wine. Thanks to the hot summers and to the dry harvest, the grapes here grow thick skins, while they are creating unique characteristics and from there the result of distinctive wines.
Photo: Portuguese wine.
PORTUGUESE RED WINE
Portugal’s red wines have a firm structure and some dark fruit flavor. They are made from indigenous grapes like Touriga Nacional and from international varieties like the Merlot.
The 2 most encountered grape varieties in Portugal are red: Aragonez and Tinta-Roriz (also known as Tempranillo). So, you can find both of them in all the wine regions of the country. Nevertheless, they have different characteristics depending on the region.
There are some Portuguese red wines that recently started to be known, while others are big hitters for centuries.
Some drink suggestions to please your throat
PORTUGUESE WHITE WINE
The Portuguese white wines are also amazing because the country has a huge diversity of grapes varieties. The best white wine in Portugal is light, fruity and refreshing, especially if you drink it in the summer.
No mention about the Portuguese white wines could be complete without talking about Vinho Verde, where light and slightly effervescent white wines are produced. This region sits along the Minho River, shares border with Galicia in Spain, and it extends to the Atlantic Ocean.
Many people are sometimes disappointed when choosing the beer in Portugal. This is because they don’t know there’s much more here than just Super Bock or Sagres. Besides, they are surprised about how much Portuguese craft beer is actually available.
If you are looking for better beer, you’ll need to look for specialist pubs, restaurants or bars, or maybe find a local craft brewery in Portugal.
Photo: Craft Beer in Portugal.
Photo: Craft Beer in Portugal.
Craft Beer in Portugal
You should know that there are many interesting craft beers to try in Portugal, enough to satisfy anybody’s taste. Although the craft beer is quite new on the Portuguese market, it gains a lot of attention especially when talking about younger consumers.
We should remember you that Portugal is not a big beer-drinking country. In fact, there are some statistics saying that the Portuguese drink about 51 liters of beer per capita and this is one of the lowest amounts in Europe. Moreover, it is also due to the fact that Portugal is a big wine producer.
ALGARVE HAS IT ALL
Imagine you are sipping on a glass of wine in the afternoon sun. Imagine you stay on a terrace at a wooden table. Imagine some rows and rows of vines that are reaching out to the horizon from the Algarve’s highest peak in the distance. Imagine an orchard of fig and some olive trees that are waiting to be picked.
Imagine the pleasure coming over: sunshine, the good food, the good wine and your friends…
Algarve can give you all these.