The Algarve cuisine, although simple and delicious, very little is in fact known about it, even in Portugal. For this reason, we are showcasing some of the more unusual dishes in this article, so that when you visit the Algarve you will be able to experience them.
Some of those dishes are displayed in menus, but you will not find them everywhere and you will have to search for them. To make searching for them easier, we tell you their Portuguese names, and give you a brief description about each dish.
Carapaus alimados ou cavalas alimadas
Mackerel that can be served as a snack or as a main dish. You will find this dish in many of the Portuguese eating-places across the Algarve. It is accompanied by boiled potatoes and a salad or cooked vegetables. Fresh and simple, it is an ideal snack on a hot summer day, but it is also, a dish that it is very easy to prepare at home. You can also keep the leftovers from one day to the next, as it does not spoil easily
Xerém or Xarém
This dish is made with corn starch (xarém) and with cockles. If you coming to the Algarve, then this is one dish that you must not miss.
Canja de conquilhas
Cockle Soup is a traditional dish from the Western Algarve. This is also a very easy recipe to do in the comfort of your own home, and a dish that will certainly impress your guests.
Choquinhos com tinta à Algarvia
This is an old time favourite with the Portuguese, and you can find it in many traditional Portuguese restaurants. For this dish, you need the slightly larger cuttlefish, which are also grilled or fried in olive oil and garlic. It is a real taste bud marvel.
Favas com peixe frito à Algarvia
Broad beans with fried fish, it may seem strange to you to mix, beans and fish, but this is a really delicious dish, with a surprising combination of flavors. Unforgettable.
This is more of a snack than a meal in itself. In some places in the Algarve you can see moray eels hanging to dry outdoor. Pop into one of those establishments and ask for a "Moreia Sandwich" or simply, a plate of fried strips of moreia eel. A delicious recipe which can also be easily prepared at home.
Cozido de grão
This is a dish of boiled chick peas. It is cooked with onions, garlic and olive oil with a Bay leaf for extra flavour.
Batata doce de Aljezur
Aljezur is well known for its sweet potatoes. Every year they have a sweet potato festival, where you can experience many and varied sweet potato recipes. But this one, is one of the oldest traditions - as a component in an octopus dish with tomato sauce. You can also enjoy sweet potatoes with wild boar, or even in sweet potato cakes and desserts.
Estupeta de atum
This ancient dish is a favourite in the Eastern Algarve, particularly between Tavira and Villa Real St. Anthonio, the estupeta, is made with tuna, and is almost unknown in the rest of the country.
Galinha de Cabidela
This chicken dish stands out for a good reason – one of its main ingredients is chicken blood! Normally served with rice, the Algarve version comes with potatoes. Very tasty, and don't be put out by its ingredients.
Ervilhas com ovos
An interesting dish that can be eaten as a side dish or as a main meal. The eggs are poached on top of a pea stew in the final stages of cooking.
Odd-looking "cakes" with hard-boiled eggs--complete with shells--embedded into the cake.
Iced balls filled with sugared egg yolks.
Queijo de figo
A paste made of figs, ground almonds and chocolate.
Deep-fried sugared pastries.
Egg and almond sweet.