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10 typical flavours of the Algarve

The Algarve tastes like the sea and the countryside. The confluence of cultures, namely the Arab culture, is at the genesis of the Algarve’s culinary identity. Its natural, fresh and tasty character mirrors the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. The other side of the Algarve invites us to discover typical ingredients that harmonize around unique flavours.

 

Algarvian Salad

With a base of tomato, cucumber and pepper, and, sometimes, carrots, this refreshing and healthy salad is the perfect side dish to fish dishes that abound in this region.

 

Algarvian Carrots

This starter or side dish consists of cooked carrots, garlic and chopped coriander, seasoned with vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, which have been marinating for some time. The apparent simplicity of this dish contrasts with the surprise one feels when tasting it.

 

Xarém

Xarém (or xerém) is a typical Algarve dish based on maize flour and usually prepared with seafood, bacon or chorizo. Served as a starter or as a main dish, Xarém provides a true gastronomic experience.

 

Conquilhas à Algarvia

Prepared with garlic, coriander, and a zest of lemon, the Conquilhas à Algarvia recall summer afternoons during which the stories shared have a taste of the sea. Tasting this dish, as a starter or snack, paired with Villa Alvor Colheita white wine, is to enjoy the essence of this region.

 

Oysters

Being one of the largest producers of oysters in the country (ria do Alvor and ria Formosa), the Algarve is one of the best regions for those who appreciate the freshness of this delicacy. Served with Villa Alvor Singular Sauvignon Blanc, they provide an oenogastronomic experience that will not leave anyone indifferent.

 

Cataplana

Cataplana is the Algarve’s most iconic dish. Seafood, fish, or meat, the main ingredients of what is referred to as the original Algarve cataplana are clams, ham, and monkfish with onion and garlic sauce. The name cataplana refers not only to the name of this dish but also to the copper vessel, of Arabic origin, in which the recipe is steamed, retaining all the aromas and flavours of the ingredients.

 

Tuna muxama with almonds from the Algarve

Called by some as “presunto do mar”, this delicacy, traditional of the Algarve, is composed of salted and dried tuna loins. The technique to obtain muxama was developed by the Mediterranean people more than 2000 years ago. The muxama can be enjoyed in various ways, including with almonds from the Algarve.

 

Morgadinho

This traditional Algarve sweet is made of almond paste filled with sweet egg threads, shaped like a dome, and covered in white chocolate fondant with a silver sugar ball on top.

 

Dom Rodrigo

This award-winning sweet is a creation with sweet egg yarn, sweet egg custard flavoured with cinnamon, and wrapped in coloured leaves. A real temptation!

 

Three Delights Pie

This tart uses three ingredients that are very common and traditional in the Algarve: fig, almond, and carob. Their combination is the origin of this surprising and delicious pie.

 

The Algarve tastes like memories worth exploring and sharing.