The typical cuisine of the Azores islands is very rich and varied. Its wealth comes from the typicality of the area which, thanks to a climate and a generous nature, offers an incredible variety of excellent and genuine raw materials. Since for us Italians this is a sensitive topic, we say it immediately: food and drinks in the Azores are a pleasant surprise!
MEAT AND FISH
The meat, cattle, sheep and pigs, are indigenous and there are no intensive farms but only from animals raised in open air pastures. Fish and seafood, of course, being the archipelago one of the most fishy portions of the ocean in the world, offers an incredible variety.
The selection of local cheeses is very rich and among the many we mention the Azores Queijo da ilha (cheese from the island) and prepared with only fresh goat’s milk and the most famous São Jorge Queijo.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
The incredible temperate climate of the area gives a production of vegetables and fruit that is usually found only at different latitudes: vegetables for us winter like typically summer ones like tomatoes grow and harvest several times a year. The fruit gives from citrus fruits to strawberries and berries to exotic pineapples and bananas.
Among the most famous dishes we mention the Cozido das Furnas, made with mixed meats and vegetables and cooked in pots dropped in sacks sunk in the heat of the boiling geothermal sources, the Sopa do Espírito Santo (Soup of the Holy Ghost) or the Massa Sovada (bread Portuguese dessert) or the famous pimenta da terra (sweet red pepper paste), usually paired with fresh white cheese or fish and shellfish soups cooked with sea water or grilled fish. The local pastry shop is also very rich and each place boasts at least two or three characteristic desserts.
WINE AND SPIRITS
On the islands of Pico, mainly, but also of Terceira and Graciosa, a good local wine is produced and there are also craft beers and various types of liqueurs.
Apart from mentioning the production of an excellent local tea: the Azores Islands are in fact the only place in Europe where tea grows and is grown.
Every single island has its own typical dishes and for an in-depth look at the local specialties we invite you to visit the single detailed card of each island.