madeira island dishes

Here Are 18 Mouth-Watering Dishes you Must Try When You Go To Madeira Island!

In case you decide to go to Portugal this summer, or more specifically, spend your vacation in Madeira, which is among the most beautiful islands in the world, here is a list of the tastiest food which the local, traditional Madeira cuisine has to offer to the visitors:

1). Espetada Madeirense

Espetada Madeirense

Because this speciality is made out of beef cubes that are grilled on charcoal, or wood, most of the restaurants are equipped with iron tables in the centre, where the meat pieces are broiling by hanging on long laurel skewers. This means that you get the dish very fresh, and most suggest you Bolo do Caco, or Milho Frito to accompany the dish.

2). Filete De Espada – Swordfish filet

filete de espada with banana

The black scabbardfish, known as Espada is the most common fish in the island of Madeira, and if you see it outside the dish, it might frighten you! But once it gets in it, it’s very tasty, prepared on the typical local way, with banana sauce and other fruits.

3). Lapas – Limpets

limpets or lapas

This is a classic speciality of the island, and it’s highly appreciated both by the locals, as well as the visitors. It’s prepared by being cooked in a frying pan, posed upwards, and in order to make them even tastier, the limpets are best when you add fresh lemon and butter to them.

4). Prego No Bolo Do Caco

Prego No Bolo Do Caco madeira

This is basically a steak sandwich that’s grilled and served on a traditional Madeiran Bolo do Caco. It consists of ham and cheese, tomato, lettuce, along with fries (sometimes).

5). Picadinho

picadinho de carne

Another traditional dish from Madeira, made out of small beef cubes that are (usually) fried and seasoned with pepper and garlic, and then you ‘chop’ them either with fork or toothpick.

6). Cozido Madeirense

Cozido a Madeirense

This is actually a traditional stew, made of sausages, pork, and vegetables (whole pieces), mainly potatoes. After all ingredients are mixed at the same time, it’s cooked in wood, which gives it a special flavour, you simply cannot resist.

7). Polvo or Octopus

polvo (octopus) madeira dish

Just as all along the entire Mediterranean, octopus is a very popular in Madeira as well, and here, restaurants usually serve it with rice, a marinade, or as an entrée.

8). Truta or Grilled Trout

The whole Madeira is famous for its trout, and they produce it in large quantities. But the most famous restaurant for it is the Ribeiro Frio.

9). Sopa De Trigo – Wheat Soup

Another Madeira specialty, which is known for its gummy texture, and besides the locals, everyone who visits the island loves it. There are numerous recipes, but the basic ingredient is pork meat, accompanied with various vegetables. They say it’s irresistible!

10). Bife De Atum – Tuna Steak

Tuna is a typical ingredient of the local cuisine, and they (mainly) serve it either with boiled potatoes, cooked or fried corn, and accompanied with rice and salad.

11). Bolo Do Caco

This is the traditional Madeiran wheat bread, made out of wheat flour, comes in a flattened form with rounded edges. Its name comes from the basalt stone, known as Caco, in which it’s cooked with hot coals.

12). Carne De Vinha D’Alhos

This dish is usually made during the Christmas season, but people eat it during the rest of the year as well. Made from pork that’s mixed and cooked in white wine, bay leaf, garlic, vinegar, and pepper, and then, it’s been left to marinate for a couple of days.

13). Sopa De Tomate – A Tomato Soup

Along with the onion, soup that’s made out of tomatoes is considered among the most traditional dishes in Madeira, and it’s served with bread and eggs.

14). Castanhetas

This is a type of fish that’s present all over the island (all the way to the Canary), and it’s seasoned with salt, then fried in a boiling oil. Afterwards, it’s seasoned with lemon, and accompanied with pretty much anything you wish.

15). Chicharros Fritos

Another (small) fish that can be found all over the island, and it’s prepared in various ways: baked, fried, or grilled. Again, it’s best when it’s seasoned with lemon.

16). Cracas

These are calcareous formations that are forming (believe it or not) on the rocks of the marine shores, where they’re uprooted by hard hammering. In a case you’re a seafood lover, you definitely must try this specialty, served as a snack.

17). Frutas Tropicais – Tropical Fruits

Starting with bananas, ending with avocados, and everything in between, like papayas, grapes, mangos, pomegranates, and the tabaibos, also known as the ‘devil’s figs’, the tropical fruits are part of the daily diet on Madeira.

18). Hamburgers

We know that the name is very common, but the ones we refer to are the ones served in the restaurants like “Hamburgueria do Mercado”, or “Castelo dos Hamburgers”, where the secret to the taste lies in the special local herbs they use!

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