Do you consider the gastronomy of a location to be part of your travel experience? Wherever you go, do you always try the culinary specialties? We agree 100%! From lapas (limpets) to bolo do caco (our very typical bread), we recommend 7 delicacies from Madeira, the best island destination in Europe.

Lapas (limpets)

©GregSnell – APM
Being an island, the sea flavors are unavoidable in Madeira. And grilled limpets with lemon reach star status in the world of gastronomy. They’re considered a starter, but we could eat them all day long!

Beef skewers on a laurel spit

You can find grilled beef cut into cubes in most places. But the difference here is that the beef is cooked on a laurel spit, sourced from many Madeiran laurel trees, which gives it an extra special taste.

Bolo do caco (typical round bread)

©Soren Lauridsen – APM
In reality, this isn’t really a cake, but a delicious bread in a flattened cylindrical shape, traditionally cooked over basalt stones. Originally, it would be eaten warm, with a little melted garlic butter. Nowadays, it is also often used for sandwiches and burgers.

Tuna steak

Tuna fishing was one of the main activities on the island of Madeira. All you need to do is go to Lavradores Market in the morning to witness people buying and selling this fish, which can reach over 4 meters in length. Once you’ve tried a grilled tuna steak, simply seasoned with garlic, salt, white wine, and oregano, you’ll never go back to tinned tuna.

Swordfish with banana

Gastronomia da Madeira
Fish and fruit may seem like an unusual mix. But these two plentiful Madeiran products actually go together very well! The swordfish is cut into fillets and seasoned with lemon, salt, pepper, and garlic. Then, it is covered in flour and egg and fried in hot oil. The bananas are peeled, cut in half, and also covered in flour and egg and then lightly fried. Truly, a culinary delight!

Fried corn

@Francisco Correia – APM
This is a very common accompaniment to both meat and fish dishes. Cornmeal porridge was the staple food a few decades ago. As it is dissolved in water with olive oil, crushed garlic, oregano and pepper, the cornmeal is cooked until it forms a very thick porridge. It is cooled on a tray and then cut into small cubes, which are fried in hot oil. It also goes well with chopped cabbage. 

Queijadas of Madeira (cheesecakes)

Gastronomia da Madeira
Queijada is a very typical Portuguese sweet treat, with varieties that differ from region to region. Also in Madeira, it is made with cream cheese and of course lots of sugar and eggs. It is covered in a simple, very thin dough that has to rest a few hours before being cooked, and has a very tasty filling.


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