Not sure what to eat in the Azores? Then read this comprehensive, Insider’s guide to traditional Azores food. it’s filled with secret tips on the best Azores food to eat during your next trip.
This amazing world food guide is written by fellow blogger, Nathan Aguilera. He is the creator at Foodie Flashpacker and when he offered to write a post on the food of the Azores, I was so excited. I’ve been to Pena Palace and other parts of Portugal, but not the Azores.
That’s why, I’ve had the Azores on my list for a long time, and of course, when I finally get there, I’m going to want all the amazing Azores food that I can find. You can also learn more about him in this amazing interview with Nathan of Foodie Flashpacker.
In this Azores food guide, we’ll explain:
What is Azores food and what kind of food is there in the Azores?
I had been wanting to visit the Azores of Portugal since a friend had first told me about the collection of nine volcanic islands halfway between Europe and the U.S. She had described the stunning landscapes, dramatic views of the ocean crashing into the cliffs, and even how the islands are the best whale-watching place in the world. What she hadn’t prepared me for was phenomenal food and wine.
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Azores Food – Seafood
Located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, it was no surprise that much of the islands’ local diet was seafood. Still, I was pleasantly surprised to find out just how great the seafood was. During this visit, I first tasted a new favorite Azores food – limpets. Limpets remind me of scallops or clams, but are actually a type of snail.
We tried limpets prepared in several different ways, including raw and cooked in butter and wine. I discovered my favorite way to eat them is grilled with garlic and with a glass of local wine! I could eat them every day. I also discovered that I don’t love them nearly as much raw. They taste too salty- like the ocean!
So, if you’re wondering what to eat in the Azores, definitely give limpets a try!
Azores Food – Wine Definitely
The Azores also produce some incredible wines. The islands’ volcanic soil leads to some unique (and delicious) varieties. My favorite is from the Curral Atlântis vineyard, which is producing some amazing white wines. I was fortunate enough to visit during a festival.
Although the grill master didn’t speak any English, he was nice enough to make me a mixed plate of sausages, including the best blood sausage I’ve ever had. This version was almost charred on the outside, and you finish it with a squeeze of fresh citrus. I was surprised by how much I loved this traditional Azores food and cannot wait to eat it again!
Azores Food – Cheese
During lunch one day, I mentioned how much I loved the cheese we had been served with the meal. My guide then arranged for me to tour the cheese factory, where we learned all about the production and different types of cheeses they make. My favorite was a semi-aged cheese that was perfectly salty and just crumbly enough. Yum and just an amazing Azores food to try while you’re here.
One thing I’ve discovered about myself is that, if there’s grilled octopus on a menu, I likely don’t even need to consider the other options. The Azores have some of the best grilled octopus I’ve ever had.
Oftentimes, when you order grilled octopus, it’s small portions without a lot of meat on the plate. Not here! Huge, meaty, fork-tender pieces of grilled octopus were served with roasted potatoes and drizzled with fragrant olive oil.
You seriously didn’t even need a knife to enjoy this dish. “How do you get this octopus so tender?” I asked the restaurant owner. “By not letting my wife cook it!” he responded.
Azores Food – Clams
We also tried another Azores traditional food specialty, the famous clams of São Jorge. Local legend says that years ago a small batch of clams were placed in the waters of São Jorge.
Island residents quickly noticed that the clams were reproducing quickly, although no one can explain why. Whatever the reason, these are some of the most delicious clams I’ve ever had. They’re delicate, yet full of flavor and best served steamed in white wine and garlic and sprinkled with herbs.
Plan a Trip and Go Eat Some Traditional Azores Food!
There are many great reasons to visit the Azores, such as unspoiled nature, gorgeous scenery, some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met and of course, the amazing Azores food and wine.
The islands are not yet touristy, but this may change, and since airline service has recently expanded and cruise ships have even begun docking at one of the larger islands, it’s a good time to go. I
f you’re considering a visit I would try to make it sooner rather than later, as it seems the word is getting out. So start planning your visit today, and when you go, make sure to enjoy a plate of limpets for me!
The Azores is an archipelago in the mid-Atlantic that is also an autonomous region in Portugal. It’s known for dramatic landscapes and rolling hills that are perfectly complemented by quaint local fishing villages.
They are sleepy towns known for catching and serving up traditional Azores food, like the dishes mentioned in this guide. So, use this guide to figure out exactly what to eat in the Azores during your next trip.
Thanks again to Nathan for providing this tasty info all about the delicious food of the Azores. I can’t wait to go and try it all for myself.
Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.
Have you been to the Azores? What was your favorite dish?
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