The flavours of the uplands and the barrocal begin with the landscape itself. When you turn your back on the sea, the greenery stretches out before your eyes. You walk along lime and schist rocks, amid shrubs, creeping scrubland, and almond, cork oak, carob, fig, orange and strawberry trees. The heady scents titillate the senses for the meals that await you in the restaurants or the homes of the locals, who, fortunately for us, are delighted to share the secrets of the Algarve’s cuisine with those who want to discover them. This is the kingdom of carob bread, pork, wild boar, partridge and hare, which are served during the hunting season, and of chickpeas and lentils, maize porridge with pork scratchings, chouriço sausages and pickled carrots, stews and slow-cooked casseroles.
Simplicity, authenticity and quality are the cornerstones of the Algarve’s excellent cuisine. A simple gazpacho can be the most refreshing moment of the day. A slice of bread with tomato, oregano and a drizzle of olive oil can be the starting point for discovering flavours. Plenty of appetising delicacies come from the inland Algarve. Proof of this are the hams and the sausages, the cherry-coloured chicken, the chickpea or bean stews, the “Algarve style” broad beans or peas, and various tender and succulent meat dishes made with pork, lamb, wild boar or partridge.
Not to mention the sweets: almond morgadinhos, fig “cheeses”, honey cakes, sweet Malabar gourd, dom rodrigos and the sweet fritters called filhós. A surprise for all the senses. There’s no frantic rushing around here, just plenty of time, memories, respect and flavours.
Of course, you will also find grilled meats, fresh fish, seafood and all the other ingredients of the Algarve’s cuisine. But those are the specialities of the coastal areas. In the uplands and barrocal, they use different ingredients. With your eyes on the distant sea, your palate and nose will take great delight in everything that the Algarve’s land has to offer.