The conditions of the Atlantic Ocean along the Algarve coast are so good that as many as 200 species of fish and shellfish live there. The wild-caught fish is therefore proudly presented in the refrigerated showcases of the Algarve’s many fish restaurants.
Tasty on the BBQ
One type of fish you should definitely try is the ‘Robalo’. This sea bass is a versatile fish with a mildly sweet flavour and is usually prepared whole or as a fillet. Especially on the BBQ, the full flavour comes out.
How nice to plan a holiday day around this delicacy. You start the day by scoring some tasty fresh fish in a Portuguese supermarket where the day’s catch is displayed on ice. At the end of the afternoon, you then fire up the BBQ to place the delicacies over the hot coals.
Covered fish markets
Of course, it is even more fun to visit an indoor fish market for shopping. In Loulé, for example, the fish market is in the impressive Moorish complex that was once built especially for that purpose. Immediately buy some salt crystals from the region to add even more flavour to the fish.
Dourada, fish with a golden crown
The golden crown can be recognised by the golden stripe between the fish’s eyes. This type of sea bream is also widely eaten in the Algarve. The Dorada feeds on tiny crustaceans, giving it a delicate flavour.
However small the Portuguese may be; A small portable BBQ always fits on the edge of the balcony. At lunchtime, you can smell smoke mixed with fried fish here and there. Also from the oven with fresh rosemary, thyme, some slices of lemon and olive oil, the taste of this fish is a treat for your tongue.
The famous sardine
Of course, this fish should not be missing from this list. In Portimão, there is a special festival dedicated to this healthy fish. This city also has a sardine museum where you can see how the fish used to be caught here, after which it was preserved in the typical can which is also ideal to take away as a souvenir. Eating freshly fried sardines is actually a form of ‘slow food’. You need to carefully strip them of the tiny bones to eat this delicacy with taste.
Pregado (turbot) ‘pheasant of the sea’
This flat round fish is mainly found in the Atlantic Ocean. Due to its high demand and limited availability, the price of this fish is often high. However, in the Algarve, this fish is often still affordable. Chefs of fish restaurants in the Algarve like to put this fish on their menu because of its exceptionally good taste. It is no coincidence that this fish is nicknamed the ‘pheasant of the sea’.
Fish from the cataplana
The cataplana is a double pan made of copper in which seafood is often cooked and served. It is an experience to order such a cataplana as a dish. For example, the ‘Cataplana de Marisco’. These are slow-cooked seafood in a delicate sauce of vegetables and herbs.
The conditions of the Atlantic Ocean are optimal in the Algarve for very good fish quality. If you are on holiday in the Algarve, this is an excellent opportunity to taste fish considered by international chefs to be the best in the world.