Anton, our local guide from Aljezur, is passionate about his food. Here are a few of his food suggestions that you need to try when in town.
‘Fishing is quite big in the area, personally I like Sargo and Pargo. The famous fish around here is the Robalo, it’s really expensive but many of the locals would recommend that.’
‘We have a speciality that is really famous only in this area that is called Percebes which is a mollusc. It’s known as goose barnacle in the UK and it’s a speciality only to this area. They have a festival for a week in October time devoted to the Percebes. This is really a local delicacy. It’s a bit like a muscle stroke clam texture and flavour. There is a lot of fresh fish restaurants in the area because that is what the local Portuguese know.’
‘Also, with the increase in foreigners to the area they have been introducing more modern cuisines. I had some clients that came from London that are multi billionaires and I took them to one of the local restaurants for dinner, Cervejaria O Mar. They said that it is the best restaurant that they have ever been in. One of the group has a holiday home in the Algarve near Faro and he purposefully travels here to Aljezur specifically to eat at this restaurant. He made his millions in the food industry so for him to claim that this is the best restaurant he has ever been is incredible. Especially because he has holiday homes all over Europe and the States but apparently this is the best place to eat.
‘In the previous 2 years we probably only had 4 or 5 Portuguese based restaurants but now we’ve 3 world class restaurants but they just aren’t world renown. Some of the people that are coming here are bringing some truly amazing cuisines with them. This is a really cool place to be, it’s really up and coming. There are a lot of celebrities and wealthy people that walk around the streets but it’s very low key. The area is attracting the right type of people who appreciate the area and preserve the surroundings, there’s no football shirts and chanting.’
‘We shop on a Saturday at the local farmers market which is known becoming a local tourist attraction in itself actually. There’s a little coffee shop there and people can buy some really lovely produce there. We shop on a Saturday there, obviously we have to shop during the week as well but we do our best to get as much of our food there as possible. The local farmers are all aged between 90 and 120 they’re all little old people growing their veggies during the week and then make a few pennies at the weekend by selling them. This is a good place to live. It is a clean living area and that is why there is a wellness movement in the tourist industry here.’
‘For all of our tours, we prepare all the food which we purchase from the local farmer’s market. So if people get in touch with us with plenty of advanced warning then, we can make their picnic’s tailor-made.’