It may seem small but this little pearl is up to prove how amazing its flavors are. Whether it’s a romantic gateway, honeymoon, family vacation. No paradise better to get lost in the mixed of adventuress goods.
Madeira, this island has it all from fish to meat, from traditional drinks to sweets, it has it all from volcanic green mountains to its marvelous ocean side beaches and what can be better then having an explosion of flavors in your mouth then in a relaxing paradise as this one, ready to get inspired ? Let´s go…
Lapas and Bolo do Caco (Limpetes and sweet potato bread):
These two simply don’t work without each other, they are like “Ying and Yang” of flavors combined. Lapas are the typical shell seafood coming from the Atlantic Ocean, the unique taste comes from its simplicity, fried, with garlic butter on top melting and as it’s served lemon drops are pored over them. Not forgetting Bolo do caco a simple sweet potato bread cooked over a “caco stone” with more garlic butter inside, these two are a typical starter of any Maderien meal.
A great place, a great environment to eat this delicious food would be, A Pipa, Porto da cruz, Machico
Milho, Cebolada e Atum (Corn soup, onion and Tuna fish):
Now this dish may look suspicious but I guarantee it will blow you mind when you taste it, at early age Madeira was a poor fishing Island (still is a fishing island), so corn is made into flour cooked with shredded cabbages, for over an hour until it’s served in a solid stage. Onions would be chopped and cooked with tomato sauce joined with fried tuna fish, with the tuna comes a “secret sauce” called Molho á Velhão (old man’s sauce), a kind of vinegar taste. All of them combined is simply a clash of mixed flavors.
This dish should be eaten in family restaurants, for example
A Pipa, Porto da cruz, Machico
Filete de Espada com Banana Frita e Maracujá (Sword fish filet with fried banana and passion fruit):
Now you are thinking fish, banana, passion fruit something is up? But yes it´s real, and how? Well the sword fish filet is soaked into flour then egg with parsley, fried slowly, poring lemon on top, while banana is also fried, and the passion fruit is the click of this surprisingly dish. Salty, lemony fish, with sweet fried banana and sour taste of tropical fruit.
A great place to try this and to me the best place ever would be in: Café Relogio Camacha, Madeira
Bolo de Mel (Honey Cake):
Well time for typical sweets, and this is one of the main ones, it’s a recipe extremely long to make, takes hours and can be stored up to a year. Oh Bolo de Mel I can feel your taste. Take a look at the ingredients, black sugar cane honey, orange, dried fruits, Madeira wine and a hint of cinnamon, what a surprising and delicious combination. Funny fact is, they prepare the cake on the 8 of December Nossa Senhora da Conceição, a saint’s day, also finishing the cakes that were made last year as an opening towards great festivities to a new year. To get this delicious cake you can get it anywhere but nothing better in the streets market, where there you will be sure it’s homemade and made with love.
A drink that initially was created to keep people “warm”. Well this drink is simply amazing, so originally created for fisherman to survive cold days at sea, they would mix Sugar cane rum homemade with a percentage of about 60% of alcohol, sugar and lemon. After a while it was developed into a “must drink” drink, so now the mix is of rum, lemon and bee honey. The drink is strong but due to the lemon and honey you don’t feel the alcohol “hitting” you, its sour and sweet, and well its culture do drink it, there are stories behind it like, you drink and you find love, or it can cure any type of sickness. I find it so tasteful and just can’t get enough of it. But what I think is so hilarious is that, they have this traditional “stick” to mix it, and it’s called Caralhinho, which means “small dick” funny hun? Now imagine the amount of jokes there must be every time someone is mixing a drink.
A place I would advise to have the drink, despite everywhere you can drink it, there’s a old small old market called “A Chupa”, you can never ask for one, has to be in pairs (one for each leg, you know). So Chupa actually means “suck it”. Curious people at the Island I can say.
A Chupa, Machico
Madeira Island, Portugal