In the Azores, the fish and shellfish are dominant and abundant in the local gastronomy. It is one of the plus sides for those who like to taste fresh fish. In this respect, and others, the Azores are considered a paradise.
The fish, like the tuna fish, whether grilled, stewed or in soups, presents a huge amount of varieties in its preparation. One other example is the octopus, which is known for its stew with a local wine. The limpets, barnacles or Mediterranean slipper lobster are examples of shellfish that you cannot find in any other place of the world.
One of the most known dishes of the Island of São Miguel, is the Furnas stew, and recently, also cooked on the Caldeiras of the City of Ribeira Grande. It is cooked in an original way, using only the heat from the earth and taking up to 7 hours. A known recipe from Furnas is also the bolo lêvedo (sweet bread), because it can be used in any type of meal, served in a simple way with just butter, jam or honey of the Azores.
As for desserts we stand out the pineapple, Portuguese sweet bread, Cavacas de Santa Maria, Vila Franca do Campo custard, sweets and pastries.
The Azores have a big wealth in dairy products tradition, most of the islands produce their own products with more focus on the cheese. One of the most famous is the cheese of the island of São Jorge which is a bit spicy. The cheese of Graciosa also a bit spicy, yellow color and breakable texture.
We cannot taste the specialties without the local wines. O Verdelho is the most known, but to accompany a meal it is better a red or white wines of Pico, Graciosa, Santa Maria and Terceira. It is also possible to taste the passionfruit or pineapple liqueurs after the meals.
The Island of São Miguel is the only place in Europe that produces tea. Planted in this island since the 19th century, still uses the old procedure for more than 2 centuries, that’s one of the reasons why it Is an ecologic product, free from pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. The green Tea of the Azores is the most popular although we also produce three different kinds of black tea. A good suggestion to end a meal or start the day.