I must admit total ignorance, as I had never heard of Madeira. But after reading this post I am chomping (literally) at the bit! Especially for those Espetadas.
If you travel regularly across the globe then you know first-hand that every holiday escapade is a different culinary experience, where you can taste a wide array of foods that will tickle your taste buds and delight the senses. This is most true when it comes to Madeira, a Portuguese archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean, 400 kilometres (250 mi) north of Tenerife.
This destination is flocked by tourists from all over the world because of its unique tropical attributes. In fact, it is one of the most booked destinations in Saga. Once you book your Madeira vacation, make sure to partake in a couple of dishes and delicacies.
Getting from one point to the other is easy, because of the country’s organized public transport system so you won't find it at all difficult to get out and hunt down these best Madeira dishes.
Milho Frito (Deep-Fried Cornmeal)
Milho Frito is one of the most favourite side dishes of the Portuguese people. The green beans, carrots, abobrinha (local pumpkin), peas and vegetable ingredients are locally cultivated and are prepared in a very simple way. It is important to note that salads are not usually included in the meals of the islanders, but when they consume them, they usually include tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, and onions.
Espetadas (Portuguese Beef Shish Kabobs)
A Portuguese classic dish and a regular staple, it delivers amazing flavors in a single bite. When eating, you can add small amounts of white onions, whole garlic gloves, and red (or green) bell peppers in between skewers. For an added delight, you can also place espetadas on long skewers and put small amounts of butter on top.
Because of the island’s fishing tradition, fish plays an essential role in the food choices of the locals. And while in Madeira, you should try its fried tuna. Fresh tuna is marinated in olive oil, oregano, garlic, salt, and other spices and then deep fried until it becomes golden brown. Fried tuna is usually eaten with milho frito.
Meat/fish Guisado (stew)
Meat or fish guisado is a Madeira stew wherein the main ingredient (meat or fish) is cooked slowly together with small tomatoes, carrots, and potatoes, together in a broth of wine, water, or beer. They are usually served with rice and you’ll definitely love its intense flavour, especially if consumed during the evening.
Cozido à Portuguesa
The main ingredients of cozido a Portuguesa is smoked sausages, pork, beef, and chicken boiled together with cabbages, carrots, turnips, and potatoes, among others in a single pan. Depending on the region or district, rice can also be included when served. This food is heavy on the stomach and is considered by many Portuguese as a leisurely, weekend meal.
There you have it, the must-try dishes of Madeira. Make sure to try them amongst the myriad of other foods during your vacation.
And to top it off make sure you enjoy these dishes with Madeira wine, a fortified Portuguese wine made right there on the island. You can try any style from dry wines to sweet wines or even purchase the cheaper versions that are flavoured with salt and pepper for use in cooking.
If you are a foodie traveller then this island in the Portuguese archipelago is your perfect island paradise. Yum!
Samantha Young is passionate writer and traveller who loves to discover new things and experience different cultures. This is the reason why she sets aside ample time and monetary resources to visit tourist attractions that are known for their diversity. Now she brings you captivating articles about travel and leisure.