Sardines, cake, choco frito, vinho verdeNovember 29, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C
As well as a great location, Setúbal and the surrounding area has lots to offer to tempt the taste buds.
Sardine fishing, processing and canning was once a huge employer in the town with over 140 factories which did everything from processing the fish to making the tins and then decorating them using lithography to create very attractive labels before they were exported all over the world. Today they are no more but one of the factories has been turned into a museum showcasing life in those days and includes a 1920's shop that was transported from Lisbon to go on show here.
As well as sardines, the town is famous for its choc frito - deep-fried cuttlefish. Every restaurant sells it, there is a cuttlefish jumping out of a frying pan statue on the main street and the market is full of them. They resemble ginormous squid and, whilst we love squid, I really didn't think I would like what looked like huge pieces of deep-fried rubber, but I was wrong and they were tender and juicy especially accompanied by a glass or two of chilled vinho verde, a young, slightly sparkling and light, local white wine.
We also tried some Azeitão ewe's cheese from the hills just behind us. It was very runny and spreadable with a tangy flavour. Azeitão is also famous for its cake rolls, light sponge with a custard filling.
One of our favourite finds though was Moscatel de Setúbal, a sweet, fortified wine served chilled with a twist of lemon peel, as an aperitif.
If only Setúbal could guarantee the weather, we could stayed all winter but the warmer temperatures were beckoning us south.Read more