At Alentejo, we are still very connected to our rural roots. Even until 40 years ago the population was quite poor and rural workers. The ingredients used for cooking were very simple. Nowadays our food is still based on the most simple ingredients that our land naturally give us.
It was the Romans 1800 years ago that introduce us the wine. Since then it became our reason to live! At least for us, our wines are as good as others from well-known regions in the world. The climate and our everlasting sun provide us the conditions for full-bodied, aromatic and smooth wines.
This might be a strange subject to you but it makes us very proud to breed this very tasty meat. The right name is Alentejo’s pig and is found in our Cork tree forests. This high-quality meat you can find it not only at Évora but all around in the region, and believe us, you really have to taste this.
Bread and Soups
Every meal in Alentejo begins with a soup, but not like any other. Rip some bread and lay it in the plate, then pour the soup made out of vegetables, grains or beans, even fish or meat. When traveling, every Portuguese miss bread. There’s no bread like ours and the very best is from Alentejo.
The food of Alentejo is the mediterranic diet, for ages in Alentejo we produce Olive Oil and one of the best in the world. My mother used to say “a House without salt or olive oil is poorly managed!”. Besides this golden liquid, lard from the Black Pig is very often used in our gastronomy.
We love our traditions, so we are still making wine has the ancient Romans did. Making this wine takes a very long time, and its made in some very big clay amphoras also manufactured in the region. In each region, the making process slightly changes according to the local tradition.
There are more than 100 types of aromatic herbs in our region. They are indispensable in our mothers and grandmothers kitchens, mainly for cooking but sometimes also as homemade medicine. Some are even used in the cosmetic industries, the ones we love the most are used to make liquor.
Maybe because of the extra time, lots of imagination and access to different ingredients, this delicious pastry was invented in convents or monasteries. Lots of eggs, sugar, almonds, and cinnamon. In Alentejo, each town and village was its own pastry.
On an Alentejo’s meal table may it never cheese. Although not very well know, Portugal as an enormous variety of cheeses. Only at our region, you may choose, goat, sheep, cow or blends, very cured, cured or buttered. “Merendeira” size (hand palm) or to cut.
At Alentejo lamb is traditionally eaten on Easter; comes from our judaeo-christian culture. On Easter Monday, a picnic, always with roasted lamb. A Lamb stew, with bread soup, was eaten next Sunday. It is very tasty a lamb and chickpeas stew.