UNIQUE CULTURE, LANDSCAPE, FOOD & WINE
With more than 300 days of sunshine a year and a mild climate, Portugal has become one of the most popular year round tourist destinations in Europe. Especially in winter, the region is an ideal for both, long and short stays to enjoy the otherwise crowded places in a quiet and relaxed atmosphere with temperatures that rarely fall below 10° C. Although Portugal is surrounded on the west and south by the breathtaking Atlantic Sea, and Spain to the east, it does however count geographically and historically as a Mediterranean country.
Particularly popular is the Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal, with more than 240 kilometers of golden sandy beaches and stunning natural scenery. The coastline stretches from Sagres in the west to Vila Real de Santo António on the Guadalquivir river that borders Spain in the east.
Algarve takes its name from the Arabic word Al Gharb, meaning the West, for this was the most westerly region conquered by the Arabs in the Iberian Peninsula. But in fact it was from here that the western world was discovered. This is exactly where the diversity of this region is reflected.
A glorious past as a seafaring nation, delicious food, extremely friendly people, colorful picture-perfect villages and huge cliffs, the list of impressions that you can experience during a visit is endless. Whether you are a holidaymaker, explorer or sports enthusiast, you can be sure there is something of interest for everyone. This also applies to the range of exclusive resorts and marinas, cozy holiday apartments, upscale cuisine with seven Michelin-starred restaurants, traditional home cooking restaurants and attractive nightspots.
ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO GET TO KNOW A COUNTRY, IS THROUGH THE KITCHEN
It is said that the best way to get to know a country and its people is through the local foods. The cuisine is as diverse as the landscape, incredibly varied and, above all, down-to-earth. Freshly caught fish and seafood are naturally at the top of the menu, beside Pastéis de Belém and Port wine. Bacalhau (cod) and grilled sardines are particularly popular, as is squid. The food is always fresh with quality products based on traditional recipes.
Cataplana de Marisco being one of them. The name comes from the Cataplana cookware used to prepare it. Traditionally made of copper, the shell-shaped pot is an evolution of the traditional tajine brought to Portugal by North African settlers. The dish is prepared with a combination of seafood such as mussels, shrimp, squid and fish, then enriched and cooked with white wine, chorizo sausage, ham, piri piri and coriander.
ASK ABOUT THE PEIXE DO DIA, THE FISH OF THE DAY…
Read the full article in Issue 21