The islands have strong local fishing traditions ensuring freshly caught fish is common across the archipelago. Banquet on some of the magnificent local fish, or alternatively shellfish, another great Azorean asset. Some species are native to these islands such as the ‘craca’ barnacle, or ‘cavaco’, a particularly tender and flavoursome type of lobster.
There are, however, traditional Azorean meat dishes: ‘cozido das Furnas’ is a meat stew actually cooked beneath the earth in the thermal heat that seeps upwards on Ilha de S. Miguel. Get there early and see how dinner is being cooked right by the lake. And on Terceira, there is particularly well seasoned loin, cooked according to long tradition.
It should be remembered that following their discovery, the Azores became a stopover point for caravels returning from the Orient.
Perhaps due to this, Azorean cuisine is always rich in spices recalling those days of plenty when the islands were key to the maritime spice route.
And all such specialities take on a further dimension with a local wine. While verdelho is the best known, there are others worthy of accompanying dinner. The reds and whites of Pico, Graciosa, Santa Maria or Terceira all deserve a mention. Wine comes in for special attention at Biscoitos with its local museum dedicated to the theme. And for dessert, try the unmistakable local pineapple or any other of the sweet fruits grown on the Azores.