Local traditions and culture in Algarve

  • Local Customs
    by alyf1961
  • Azulejos at the train station
    Azulejos at the train station
    by HORSCHECK
  • Azulejos almost everywhere ...
    Azulejos almost everywhere ...
    by HORSCHECK

Most Viewed Local Customs in Algarve

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    Chicken Piri Piri Recipe

    by Balam Written May 12, 2009

    Ingredients
    2 tablespoons grated fresh lemon rind
    3 tablespoons lemon juice
    10 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 teaspoons hot pepper flakes
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 (1 kg) lbs chicken pieces

    Directions
    1 In large glass bowl, combine all ingredients except chicken; mix well.
    2 Add chicken, turning to coat.
    3 Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, turning occasionally; can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours if you want to make it ahead.
    4 Reserving marinade, place chicken, skin side down, on a greased grill over medium heat; close lid and cook for 10 minutes.
    5 Turn and brush with marinade; cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced.

    Chicken Piri Piri
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    Pastéis de Nata( Egg Custard Tarts) Recipe

    by Balam Updated May 5, 2009

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    Ingredients:

    Pastry:
    2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks/5 oz./141g) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
    5 to 7 tablespoons ice water

    Custard:
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1 1/2 cup heavy cream
    1 cup granulated sugar
    6 egg yolks
    Instructions:
    Make The Pastry:
    In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the flour, salt and sugar to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the flour resembles coarse, uneven cornmeal, about 10 (1-second) pulses.

    Drizzle 5 tablespoons of the ice water over mixture. Pulse several times to work the water into the flour. Add the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue pulsing until the mixture develops small curds. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, shape it into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

    On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough to 1/16-inch thickness. Cut out 6 (4 1/2-inch) circles. (If you don't have a cookie cutter, a wide-mouth jar works well.) Ease the dough circles into a 12-cup (4-ounce capacity) nonstick muffin tin, pressing out any overlapping folds. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place the tin in the freezer for 5 minutes. Remove and trim any overhang with the back of a knife so that the pastry cups are flush with the top of the tins. Line dough cups with cupcake papers and fill with dried beans or pastry weights. Bake at 350°F/180°C for 10 minutes to set.

    Make The Custard
    Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup of the cream in a medium bowl. Add the remaining cream and sugar, and stir until the mixture is smooth and the sugar dissolves. Check for sugar granules with a spoon; none should remain.

    In a small bowl, blend the yolks with a fork until smooth. Add the yolks to the cream mixture, stirring gently to combine.

    Ladle the egg mixture into the partially baked pastry cups, filling to 2/3 capacity. Bake at 350°F/180°C until the edges of the custard are puffed and middle is still jiggly, about 20 to 25 minutes. (The custard will continue to cook.) Cool completely in the tin. The pastéis are best when eaten the same day.

    Makes 12 tarts.

    Past��is de Nata
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    Azulejos

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Apr 20, 2008

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    Everywhere we went in Portugal, we saw examples of the beautiful painted ceramic tiles called 'azulejos'. They are a carry-over of the Moorish conquest period of about 1000 years ago and are used to decorate the interior and exterior of buildings as well as for outside displays. In this case, we were on top of Mt. Foia, the highest mountain in the Algarve at 902 meters (almost 3000 ft). The plaque gives information on the importance of Mt. Foia to ancient sailors, with its treeless green summit providing a very helpful navigational aid!

    Azulejo Tourist Plaque
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    The Cock of Barcelos

    by Balam Written Nov 12, 2007

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    At a Banquet given by a rich Landowner in Barcelos the silver was stolen and one of the guests was accused of the theft. He was tried by the court and found guilty.
    In spite of overwhelming evidence against him he still protested his innocence. The magistrate granted the man a final chance to prove his case. Seeing a Cock in a basket nearby he said "If i am innocent the cock will crow" The cock crowed and the prisoner was allowed to go free.

    The Cockerel has now become a symbol of Portugal

    The Cock of Barcelos
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    Medronha

    by Balam Written Nov 5, 2007

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    It is an evergreen shrub or small tree of 1-5 metres with dark red fruit of 25 mmm diameter and which weigh between 4-8 grams. It is distributed mainly in the Eastern Mediterranean area, but also occurs as a survivor of the Ice Age in Southern Ireland. The mature fruit contains over 15% sugar and 0.66% malic acid, and because of its high sugar content, the fruit is used to make marmelade and is fermented to make wine which is also distilled to make a clear eau-de-vie. The fruit is also macerated in grappa/orujo to make a liqueur. 'Aguardente de Medronho' or simply 'Medronho' is a spirit unique to the Portuguese Algarve province, where it generally is a product of home distillation and is sold "unofficially". A Portuguese site says that it is produced by fermenting 5 parts of fruit with 1 part water for over 2 weeks and then distilling to a strength of 50%abv. See: http://www.gastronomias.com/bar-bebidas/frutos.htm. The Portuguese 'Brandymel' also from Algarve, is made with medronho sweetened with honey. On the French island of Corsica they make a 'Liqueur a l'Arbouse' and a sweeter 'Creme d'Arbouse'. On the Italian island of Sardinia they make an 'Acquavita di Corbezzolo' similar to the Portuguese 'Aguardente de Medronho', and also a 30%abv liqueur, 'Liquore di Corbezzolo (di Sardegna)' while another distillery makes a 24%abv liqueur called 'Fior di Corbezzolo'. I also came across a Spanish recipe for a 'Licor de Madrono' which looks rather sweet -

    Madrono Liqueur (Strawberry Tree fruit liqueur)

    * 1 kg strawberry tree fruit
    * 1 litre alcohol (50v)
    * 250 ml water
    * 0.5 kg to 1 kg sugar

    Wash fruit and place in large glass jar. Dissolve sugar in hot water to make a sugar syrup. Pour alcohol and cold sugar syrup over fruit in jar. Leave to macerate for 6 months. Filter and bottle.

    Medronho fruit, Monchique, algarve
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    Portuguese Steak

    by Balam Written Oct 5, 2007

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    3 cloves of garlic

    2 bay leaves

    A large knob of butter with some olive oil

    A cup of white wine

    6 ozs of sirloin or rump steak

    2 slices of Parma ham or smoken bacon

    3 medium potatoes

    Put the crushed garlic into a flameproof terracotta dish together with butter, bay leaf, white wine and a splash of Port, boil.

    Slice potatoes and fry separately.

    Fry the steak together with the Parma ham in a separate frying pan.

    Put the steak into the terracotta dish with the sauce and add the fried potatoes round the edge.

    Sprinkle steak and potatoes with a little vinegar.

    Put the terracotta dish back on the stove and let it all heat through gently.

    You can add a good splash of white wine vinegar to the sauce to add piquancy. The meat juices can also be added and the whole lot reduced to a thicker consistency.

    A fried egg can be added on top of each steak just before serving.

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    Couvert

    by Balam Written Oct 5, 2007

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    When you go to eat at a restaurant most will bring you bread, butter, sardine pate, olives, small cheese etc. at the beginning of the meal without you ordering it.
    You will be charged separately per person for these, the price for these is at the beginning of the menu. If you don't want them just say no thank you or make a little no sign and they will take them away.

    Typical Couvert Typical Couvert
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    Azulejos: Portuguese Ceramic Tiles

    by Balam Written Sep 24, 2007

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    Portuguese tiles, known as azulejos, adorn the inside and outside of almost every home in Portugal. Although introduced to Iberia by Moors, the fashion continued after they left. The Moors restricted themselves arabesque geometric patterns of triangles, squares, and diamonds, probably because many of them belonged to the Sunni brach of Islam which prohibited images of living things.

    Portuguese and Flemish artists began to produce tiles in Lisbon in the 16th Century. Blue and yellow were the favorite color combination and tiles depicted mostly floral patterns or religious scenes. The ever expanding Portuguese empire provided increasingly more exotic themes and colors.

    Towards the end of the 17th Century the fashion changed and blue tiles became popular. This was probably to to the craze for blue and white porcelain from China, that was being imported into Europe at this time. This association with blue tiles tempts many to think that the word azulejo comes from the Portuguese word for blue (azul), but it is in fact much older and has its origins in Arabic.

    After the earthquake of 1755 there was a return to multi-colored tiles. It was about this time too that the Portuguese in Brazil discovered that tiles were ideal for keeping out the damp. In the rebuilt Lisbon houses were encased in tiles, and this tradition continues today.

    The taste for blue and white never abated and some spectacular examples can be seen in Porto's São Bento railway station. But the medium has not stood still. Like Portugal, tiles modernized and developed. They were incorporated into commercial buildings and even used for advertising. The patronage of businesses and organizations such as the Lisboa Metropolitano subway, has encouraged the art form to regenerate itself and become, not just part of Portugal's heritge, but part of the fabric of modern Portugal too.

    Taken from http://www.newmediarepublic.com/azulejos/

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    Cataplana Recipe (Clams and Pork)

    by Balam Written Sep 23, 2007

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    Ingredients

    650g loin of pork, cubed
    50g Portuguese chourico or salpicao sausage (You can use chorizo), chopped
    1kg fresh clams (cleaned)
    3 cloves of Garlic (finely chopped)
    1 Piri Piri (Chilli)
    1 onion, thinly sliced
    1 celery stick, diced
    1 green pepper cut into strips
    400g canned chopped tomatoes (Good quality)
    200ml dry white wine
    200ml Olive oil
    1 bunch of flat-leafed parsley, roughly chopped
    Sea Salt and Pepper

    Method

    1. In a mortar combine the garlic, chilli flakes, sea salt to taste and half of the parsley and pound with the pestle until smooth.

    2. Stir in 100ml of olive oil to make a paste.

    3. In a bowl, toss the pork with the garlic paste and marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

    4. Heat the remaining olive oil over a high heat in the cataplana or a large, lidded sauté pan.

    5. Once the oil is hot, add in the salpicao, onion, celery and green pepper. Season with salt and fry, stirring, for 2 minutes.

    6. Add in the marinated pork and fry, stirring, for 2 more minutes.

    7. Add in the white wine and chopped tomatoes and bring to a simmer.

    8. Add in the clams and season with sea salt.

    9. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, shaking the pan now and then.

    10. Remove from direct heat and leave to stand covered for 5 minutes.

    11. Open the pan and discard any clams that haven't opened. Mix in the remaining parsley.

    Serve with crusty bread

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    Chicken Piri Piri

    by Balam Written Sep 22, 2007

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    You will find plenty of fancy restaurants in the Algarve offering Lobster or fillet steaks, but if you ask me what the finest meal on offer is, I'll immediately answer Frango (chicken) Piri Piri!
    The origin of this dish is more likely from Angola or Mozambique but is now adopted as being typical Portuguese. The secret behind this delicious meal lies in the use of very small chickens which cooks quickly and of course the spicy piri piri sauce.

    The standard dish per person is half a chicken, but can be ordered by the chicken rather than by portion, you might consider adding a portion if there is big eaters in your party! You can ask for Frango sem (without) Piri Piri if you're unsure whether it'll be to spicy and ask for the sauce on the side.

    Chicken Piri Piri Chicken Piri Piri
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    Cataplana's

    by Balam Written Sep 22, 2007

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    A cataplana is like two woks placed together and is traditionally made of copper. It is of Moorish design and was introduced to Southern Portugal during their occupation from the 8th Century AD. Food is placed in the bottom half of the dish then the hinged lid is closed enabling the ingredients to simmer together and the flavours develop. It can be used in the oven but often is used on the stove-top. Originally Cataplana was an entirely seafood dish, utilising items such as clams and mussels but meat or fowl also feature in many recipes, it is seasoned with herbs or spices and often cooked with tomatoes, onions and wine.

    Cataplanas can be purchased all over the Algarve but they can be quite expensive, i purchased a small one from the Modelo Shopping centre near La Roche for about 25 euro

    Sea food Cataplana
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    Donkey

    by Bwana_Brown Updated May 21, 2005

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    On our drive back inland from our afternoon on the southern beaches of the Algarve, we climbed in height as we approached the little town of Monchique located in the mountains of Serra de Monchique. The highways between there and Silva are quite picturesque with forests growing beside the twisting road. At the little hamlet of Nave, we stopped to admire the view out over the river valley and were pleased to be approached by this old man and his donkey. He had been sitting under the shade of the trees nearby, so we took advantage of his offer of a photo opportunity! I gave him E2 for his efforts.

    The Old way of Navigating the Monchique Mountains
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    Countryside

    by Carmela71 Written Mar 26, 2005

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    Try to forget the main resorts and get lost through the inland countryside. Even if Road sign can get you mad, it deserves!

    I love the countryside maybe as part of my family had been farmers and always loved to go in summer to help them (of course that was while I was a child, after I preferred to go to the parties instead of helping them hehehe, now only for grape harvest lol)

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    Street tiles

    by Carmela71 Written Mar 26, 2005

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    Tiles must be something very typical from the Mediterranean areas, but looking at this ones, I could feel I was in Andalucia (ok instead of Calle you can see Rua, but in Galicia is similar lol)

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    fishing Industry

    by Carmela71 Written Mar 26, 2005

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    All over the Algarve you will find fishing boats, in areas as Carvoeira it will be for showing you around the caves, but in the area of Tavira is like in the old times still a proper fishing industry, even if tourism is taking a good part of the incomes in these days.

    You can still see the fisherman at their boats on the side of the river cleaning the boats or preparing the clamps for the restaurants

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Algarve Local Customs

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