A necessary introduction
In recent years, Gastronomy in Algarve has gained a lot of traction as a powerful tool to introduce worldwide travellers to local food and traditions. Unfortunately, every council has launched several festivals along the year, generating an excessive number of events, creating also a lot of confusion. Quantity has been the only driver at the expense of quality and attention to details. The idea behind many of the Festivals and Events around, is that you take a typical product from the region, you come up with a Menu focused on that product and finally ask the restaurants of that town to promote that Menu for one or few days. That’s not exactly what a “Food Festival” should be…
So, in this post, we only mention the ones that are still unique and that are really worth visiting.
1) Feira dos Enchidos in Monchique (MARCH)
Enchidos or chouriços are an unmissable part of the local diet. In Algarve, sausages are predominantly made of pork meat. Keep an eye out for the Iberian black pig, a.k.a. porco preto, which is the most flavoursome. The events run in the cozy and intimate town of Monchique, perched on the Algarve hills.
2) Rota do Petisco (Spread across the Algarve from April the 24th until May 26th, 2019)
A brilliant initiative from Teia D’Impulsos association, born 7 years ago and always improved year after year. Today, it is one of our favorite festival, because you have the chance to try many different dishes on the same day for just 3 euros each. Jumping from one restaurant to the other, it’s funny and tasting at the same time, perfect for getting a glimpse on Algarve gastronomy without emptying your wallet!
More informations about the town, restaurants and dishes proposed, by clicking here: Rota do Petisco 2019
3) Fatacil in Lagoa (AUGUST)
This huge fair takes place every in Lagoa at the Fairs and Exhibition Park. It’s the biggest fair in the Algarve about everything this region is able to offer, from handcrafts, touristic services, agriculture and regional industry and this makes it interesting, for both holidaymakers, locals and people moving to Algarve to live. Entertainment and gastronomy every day, from morning to midnight for more than a week. More infos about the dates here: FATACIL 2019
4) Festival da Sardinha in Portimão (AUGUST)
Portimão’s famous sardine festival is held in August and attracts many people from all over the country. Portuguese can’t wait to listen to their favourite singers while tasting the best Sardine in the world (as people from Portimao strongly believe). Watch out this video from a Master Grilling during Portiamo Festival jsut to get an idea about how serious they are about this special food: VIDEO
5) Festival do Perceve in Vila do Bispo (SEPTEMBER)
This fair is an amazing event for the shellfish lovers, but also a great chance to taste this excellent seafood: goose barnacles. Its ocean flavour is something you would die for! The organisation is managed by ‘Associaçao dos Marisqueiros de Vila do Bispo’, who are very proud to offer very fine quality seafood, which is a gem of the local gastronomy.
6) Sweet Potatoes festival in Aljezur (NOVEMBER)
A very nice fair celebrating a star of regional pastry: the sweet potato.
The ‘batata doce’ from Vicentine Coast is a high quality produce, guaranteed by the IGP label and has great reputation among estimators (read our post about this delicious food in our local produce blog)
Enjoy an extraordinary atmophere with a delicious smell of baked or fried potatoes rising and spreading all around, within an unconventional frame of Algarve, during the fall, when the days are sunny, but not hot.
Experience a traditional fair, where the families used to go to buy some ‘doce de batata doce’ to eat on the go and meet people in the streets, which reminds us of past times.
7) Semana Gastronómica in Messines (NOVEMBER)
A recent initiative, but quite interesting, considering that Barrocal (the inland Algarve) has a lot to offer in terms of authenticity and traditions, especially for those who are escaping the mass tourism of the coast. Every restaurant in the parish of Messines proposes one or two dishes reminding their grandparents culinary abilities. Food proposed is very difficult to find any other time of the year because it takes many hours to prepare and is not very rentable from the owner perspective…