Portugal Sofia Mariana Taste Algarve travel me
Mariana's and Sofia's cooking classes – 05/02/2017

Meet the founders of "Taste Algarve"

Portugal is not only a great country for sun worshipers and beach lovers, but also for real gourmets

The Algarve cuisine, with its fresh and regional ingredients and Mediterranean aromas, particularly reflects the relaxed summer mood.

For over five centuries, the Algarve had been under Arab rule, traces of which can be found in its culinary traditions up to this day. The cuisine of the Algarve is particularly light, and dominated by fresh ingredients, fruit and vegetables. Sofia and Mariana have made it their mission to preserve this tradition. Under the slogan “Taste Algarve,” they give cooking classes in their country hotel. We have interviewed the two Portuguese women for you.

What does the Algarve mean to you?

We have wonderful memories of our childhood on the Algarve. The weather is wonderful, that is why we were almost always able to play outside. The love of this place, the feeling of freedom – that has never changed. And then there is of course the ”scent of the Algarve,” that very special blend of soil, Mediterranean herbs, the sea, and carob fruits.

How did you come up with the idea of founding “Taste Algarve“ and what exactly are you doing?

With “Taste Algarve“ we want to show the “other side“ of this region – the food and ist traditions. We are so lucky to live here and we want to share that with our guests. When we noticed that some oft he traditional recipes were slowly disappearing, we saw it as out duty to preserve them and pass them on. “Taste Algarve“ is a unique and always novel experience. We go grocery shopping at the local market with our guests, introduce them to local producers, and of course cook together. And what’s more, they can stay in our small guest house in Monte do Álamo in Tavira during their vacation, and therefore experience the familial atmosphere and Mediterranean cuisine of the Algarve even better. The outstanding thing about “Taste Algarve“ is that we attend to our guests’ individual wishes and needs. It is not a determined program – that makes every stay so unique.

What is your favorite dish of the Algarve cuisine?

It is impossible to pick just one! On the one hand, the strength of our dishes lies in their simplicity. On the other hand, it is the exquisite ingredients that you can only find here. Therefore, we love to cook with aromatic tomatoes, homemade olive oil, fleur de sel, oregano, and carob powder. The white sweet potatoes of the Algarve also have a very special flavor. The fresh ingredients are naturally an important component of the Algarve aroma.

Would you like to know even more about Portugal’s tasty cuisine? Then have a look at our other articles in our series “Global Gourmet“:


(Photo Credit: herzundblut)