One of the most exciting parts of traveling is enjoying the various foods that you come across on your journey. While in the Azores this should be no exception! The Azores islands are a group of sustainable islands that flourish in their natural beauty and produce some of the most delicious fruits and vegetables. Living on an island you have to become either very resourceful or very resilient. The importance of local production is something that always has been of great importance to the people of the Azores. On my journey to discover the best of the Azores I decided to start on the big island of Sao Miguel. Here is a nature lovers paradise you are exposed to some of the local sweet treats that make this island’s festival season a busy one.
- The sweet corn on the cob of Furnas. Located in Furnas is a small stand where locally grown corn on the cob is boiled and cooked deep underground in the natural volcanic heat of the island. I don’t know if it is the delicious sweet corn or the method in which it is prepared but this is one of the best corn on the cobs you will ever eat. You can add butter or salt if you want but the sweet flavor is just as delicious. The cobs of corn are on average 1-2 euros for 1 and they are the perfect treat while admiring the geysers and hot springs of Furnas.
- The Azorean Hot Dog- Here is where you want to get a hot dog! Not a fan of hot dogs? neither am I, however, these local pork products are the best hot dogs I ever had. Cooked and sold throughout the island at various hot dog stands in the cities and town squares are the famous Azorean hot dogs. They are BBQ’d fresh with the taste of the hot dog tasting fresh and hardy. A toasted bun with Hickory sticks, corn, grilled onions, and jalapenos it is no wonder why after closing hour downtown these stands are filled with locals and tourists all looking to get their hands on one of these famous hot dogs.
- The Bifana- I am sure you must have heard of Bifana’s before and here in the Azores they are no exception. These mouth-watering friend pork sandwiches with grilled onions and peppers are a staple in every Azorean home. It is hard to go anywhere on the island and not see bananas for sale. Even McDonalds has a McBifana trying to capitalize on the local gastronomy. These thin-cut pork cutlets are seasoned with salt and pepper and some Portuguese red pepper paste and are grilled or fried and then put on a hot fresh Portuguese bun. These are quick to eat and are available at almost every restaurant you visit in the region. The bifana and french fries are a typical quick snack meal and range from 2,50-4,00 Euros with fries at most places.
- Gelado de Gorreana- The famous tea plantation located on the north coast of the island is also home to their delicious homemade ice creams and sorbets. I have tried many flavors and varieties of ice cream and I have to say one of the best I have ever tasted was the Ice Cream from Gorreana. It is a must when visiting the factory and museum. Made with fresh dairy and fruits from their 6th generation family estate, Gorreana’s ice creams are now becoming more widely available at tourist hot spots in the Azores due to their high quality and unique flavors. Passion fruit, Blood orange, Cherry, Watermelon, Peach, and everything in between. I love trying all their unique flavors and you can taste the fruit in your ice cream. I would drive out of my way every day of the week just to enjoy these mouth-watering sorbets.