For avid foodies and those who love to cook up a storm in the kitchen, choosing a holiday destination can often hinge on the culinary offerings available. Those with a palate for frogs and snails would opt for France, whilst fans of spaghetti and pizza would head straight for the ristorantes of Italy.
The Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost region, has a vibrant and exciting food industry, offering the traditional tourist fare as well as regional dishes and a delectable variety of Portuguese wine. Birthplace of ‘piri-piri’ chicken, home to the typical Algarvian dish, couvert, and with a thriving fishing and fruit-picking industry, the Algarve is one of the premier spots in Europe to enjoy fine food.
The farming of fruit and goods such as orange, strawberries, cork ark, carob beans and figs is essential to the Algarve economy. Many acres of land throughout the region are covered in greenhouses, as the southernmost tip of the country provides the perfect weather conditions to facilitate the growth of many of these fruits and foods. Figs are especially popular in Portugal, with Portuguese fig cake a highlight of the region’s culinary offerings. Orange rolls and orange cakes are also sold in many of the bakeries, both in larger resorts or in the quaint villages closer to luxury Algarve villas. Many of these residences are self-catering, so picking up some ingredients and attempting to replicate a local delicacy is encouraged!
Also crucial to the area’s economy is wine; grapes grown and wine made in this region are a huge export. Many tourists flock to the region every year to enjoy exclusive wine-tasting tours and to stay in the vicinity of some of the most beautiful vineyards in the world. Even Cliff Richard has chosen this region to produce his own tipple; his vineyard and occasional home is situated in the small town of Tavira, which is located within the vicinity of many luxury Algarve holiday villas in Guia.
Of course, no summary of the Algarve’s delicacies and major food exports would be complete without the now famous ‘piri-piri’ chicken. This dish can now be found everywhere within the Algarve, from the expensive restaurants located in plush resorts, to the local takeaways and eateries located near Algarve holiday villas and secluded getaways. The spicy flavour is beloved in this region and can easily be found or attempted at home.