Although there are some common tastes on the Azorean cuisine, each island’s recipes have their own imprint. Therefore during your vacations, you can discover all the nuances of Azores through a gastronomic tour.
FISH AND SEAFOOD
Fish such as tuna, blue jack mackerel, chub mackerel, forkbear, red porgy, and swordfish are commonly served. Freshness reigns on grills, stews, roasts or in fish broths. There are lobsters, mediterranean slipper lobsters, crabs, spider-crabs and barnacles. Limpets are served grilled, with Molho Afonso sauce or are cooked in rice or mashed bread. The island of São Jorge is the only island that offers clams.
The Azorean beef benefits from a protected geographical indication, with some dishes being prepared from it, such as the Alcatra (rump) from Terceira island, boiled beef, and regionally-flavoured steaks. Liver sauce cracklings and sausages are must haves, whilst linguiça can be the main course if served with taro root, and blood pudding an appetiser if complemented by pineapple.
Cozido das Furnas, made with various meats and vegetables, is cooked by the geothermal heat in a pot that is placed under the ground. Some delicacies are common during the Holy Ghost Festivals, such as the Sopa do Espírito Santo (Soup of the Holy Ghost) and the Massa Sovada (Portuguese sweet bread). The bread known as bolos lêvedos, typical from Furnas, is served at any time throughout the whole year.
The cheese Queijo de São Jorge is at the top of the list of tasty dairy products, with skilled hands and ripening time being the secret for a myriad of tastes and textures. Everything starts with fresh cheese that is served with pimenta da terra (red pepper mash). When cheese is served for dessert, it can be complemented by bananas or husk tomato jam (the husk tomato is known for its exotic and perfumed flavour).
In addition to bananas and apples, the Azorean climate favours exotic fruit such as the strawberry guava and the cherimoya. The pineapples and passion fruit of São Miguel have earned the right to wear the seal of denomination of protected origin.
Pastries whose origins can be traced back to convents stand out among the cakes and sweets that are typical of each island and are a pleasant surprise given their names and flavours.
Wine is produced on the islands of Pico, Graciosa and Terceira, but now from different grapes and complementing the once famous verdelho wine. Beer, soft drinks, fortified wine, fruit liqueur, and brandy complete a diversified offer. Tea is planted on the island of São Miguel, adding another exotic taste to the pleasures of the Azorean cuisine.