Let’s say it like it is: Portugal has the best fish in the world and the Portuguese are passionated about everything the sea allows us to enjoy. There is a Summer Queen: her name is Sardine. She quietly deals with her family affairs (ie, reproduction) throughout the winter to be available to celebrate together the summer months. Fatty, juicy and voluptuous – These are the beauty standards we just love on her.
The Portuguese consume, on average, 13 sardines per second. Tons of sardines. At least 11,500 tons to be more precise. When freshly caught, we eat them grilled on the charcoal and with the famous roasted peppers salad and boiled potatoes, cooked in Caldeirada (a typical and delicious Portuguese fish dish), or when yet small fried and paired with a yummy tomato rice; When tinned: preserved in vinaigrette, tomato sauce (spicy or not), in virgin olive oil, with lemon and thyme, with and without bones and skin -- You choose. The variety is enourmous and it's definitely a delicatessen.
The sardines are in season only from March/April to September/October, in order to save the its continuity in the Portuguese sea. It is between July and August that it is at its best: big and voluptuous. Rich in omega-3 and calcium, besides other valuable healthy properties, the sardine is being introduced as the guest of honor in many nutritional diets. In Portugal these diets are turned into feasts allong the Summer and all over the country so you can have enjoy all it savor and freshness, with no sacrifice at all.
We point you out these 4 Summer festivals dedicated to sardines, starting already this weekend:
Festa da Sardinha 2017 – São Domingos de Rana (nearby Cascais): July 28th – 30th
Festival da Sardinha 2017– Portimão (Algarve): August 2nd – 6th
Mercado da Sardinha 2017 – Cascais: August 3rd – 6th
Festas do Barrete Verde 2017 – Grilled Sardine Night – Alcochete (nearby Lisbon): August 12th
Roam there to taste the best sardine in the world and to find out why choarcoal-grilled sardines is one of the 7 Wonders of Portuguese Gastronomy.
Oh, you won't be around on these specific dates or are you reading this post and Summer has already gone? No problem: sign up for any of our Food & Cultural Walks in Lisbon. You'll have the opportunity to taste them preserved in cans all year round. The magnificent Portuguese canned fish, worldwide export and appreciated by the most exquisite international gourmands!