In the Alentejo, you eat and drink very well. Eating, drinking and snacking (petiscos) are rituals, ways of socialising, of entertaining friends and guests, of celebrating. It is customary to say that, in a true Alentejan’s house, whether rich or poor, the table is always set. It is true. And this truth confers a very special flavour on the discovery of the gastronomy and the wines. They are products of recognised value for tourists, but it was not Tourism that created them for outside consumption: they are part – and a happy part – of the most authentic daily life of the Region. In the light of this, we can offer only one invitation: be Alentejan for a few days!
From traditional recipes to recent innovations in gourmet cooking, from the savouries to the traditional sweets and puddings created in convents, in the Alentejo you will find everything, created and recreated with the finest products of the land, a lot of imagination and that mysterious thing called "mão” ("touch”). The wines, the cheeses, the cured meats and sausages are excellent. The sweets and puddings are a divine sin. There has been serious investment in the certification of products. There are new projects for organic products. And, as regards the table, there is a curious understanding between generations. Dedicate time to discovering all of this. Experience an upmarket restaurant, which offers a meal prepared with refined sophistication, as well as genuine popular cooking, which is often found in a village tasca (small restaurant or tavern) where people are found at the end of the day enjoying their petiscos (snacks). Taste the wines in the adegas (wineries) in direct contact with the producers. Participate in cookery courses. And don’t be worried about your diet: some good walks will burn off the calories.
There are products that you will need to consume during your travels. Others that you will want to take away with you as souvenirs or to offer to friends: wines, liqueurs of poejo (pennyroyal) or medronho (arbutus berry), olive oils, conserved olives, cheeses, enchidos (cured meats and sausages), cured ham, mel (honey), compotas (jams), pasties (pasties), biscoitos (biscuits), ameixas de Elvas (Elvas plums), castanhas de Marvão (chestnuts), you can find them all. In the markets and the fairs; in gastronomy festivals and exhibitions; in traditional shops and, ever more numerous in the Alentejo, in gourmet shops.