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Curral das Freiras – Gastronomy

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During high season there may be less tranquility due to the number of visitors. Generally, there is more movement on Sundays, as that is when there is a market in the streets around the parish church.

If you prefer to enjoy this place with some tranquility, it is best to reach the village on foot, along the old zigzag road that starts at Eira do Serrado, above the village. This tree-lined path was the only path to the village until 1959. Therefore, the nuns of the Santa Clara Convent chose this valley in 1566 to escape the constant pirate attacks in Funchal.

If you prefer not to go all the way on foot, it is recommended to stop at Eira do Serrado to enjoy the impressive views available from Alto Miradouro.

 

Gastronomy

In the parish of Curral das Freiras, its characteristic gastronomic aspect, is based mainly on the use of chestnut, which is the most typical production of the locality, in various menus, particularly in the making of chestnut soup. Being a symbol of this parish, the chestnut, has on November 1st, annually, a party in its name, which attracts thousands of people to the parish. This celebration is organized by Casa do Povo, which not only promotes this product, but also organizes other small samples such as birgalhó and sweets in July, with a special focus on Ginja.

Although there is occasional reference in other locations, in this parish the use of birgalhó in cooking is still quite often. The birgalhó is a tuber of the doinhame family, which has an intermediate flavor between yam and potato. Unaccompanied food was once the predominant food of the lower-income classes. Although also possible to be appreciated elsewhere, the use of pimpineleira root in gastronomy is very common here.

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