TOP 5 Typical Madeiran dishes

3. 8. 2019

Madeiran cuisine is based on traditions and is very delicious. Its secret lies in the fishes and spices that are typical for this island, which is of volcanic origin. The taste of the dishes is enhanced by the pleasant weather, which is sunny throughout the whole year.

1. Espada fillet with banana and roasted potatoes

Black scabbardfish (Espada) is a cutlassfish, which can normally be bought at local markets. This fish has fine meat and is usually served baked with banana, fried, or grilled. Although Espada is not exactly beautiful to look at, its meat is delicious. If you would like to cook it at home, you can simply go to the nearest market and ask the shopkeeper to fillet it for you. You can for example coat it with breadcrumbs, fry it and serve it with potatoes. This dish is something we definitely recommend.

2. Espetada and “Bolo do Caco”

Traditional “Espetada” is something like skewers. Pieces of meat are put onto an iron skewer and complemented with vegetables, garlic or onion – completely depends on your taste. The meat is roasted over a fire and served with the traditional Madeiran bread, which is made of sweet potatoes. This bread is more akin to a thick pancake than to what we perceive as bread. The combination, though, is delicious and you really should not miss the opportunity to try it out when visiting local restaurants.

3. Tomato soup

When exploring the secrets of local cuisine, you will surely come across the tomato soup. It is served warm and is available throughout the whole day. It is made of onion, garlic, fresh tomatoes, oregano, and olive oil. The dish is finished off with a sautéed egg. It is usually served with a slice of Madeiran bread, which makes the whole dish even more delicious.

4. Pastel de Nata

The origin of this dessert dates back to the 19th century. It was invented by nuns, who had too many spare yolks. At the time, egg whites were used for starching the robes. The dessert is made of puff pastry, cream, milk, corn starch, and lemon zest. If you would like to prepare a pastel on your own, be sure to check out our website or Facebook page, because we will be posting the recipe soon.

5. Picado

Picado is a very popular dish in Madeira. It is very similar to goulash with chicken/beef/pork meat. It is served with fries and a lot of vegetables including olives. If you are not a fan of the Meditteranean cuisine, this is for you. You can wash down this calorie bomb with local beer.

Photo by: Filip Zverina
Translation by: Michael Beránek