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Algarve in August means heaven for food lovers

If you’re a food lover, then the tough decision for you this month will be which gastronomic festival you are going to choose to try the most delicious food the Algarve has to offer.

Be it sardines, seafood, more traditional dishes like ‘pipis’ (giblets), or even Guia’s famous chicken, there’s sure to be something for everyone.

Already underway is Portimão’s Sardine Festival, running until Sunday (August 7). This year, the event boasts a “record” number of restaurants and other outlets.

For those who love the traditional dish of sardines, boiled potatoes and salad, it will be available at 13 restaurants, while 15 others will be offering all kinds of sardine-based specialities, including bruschettas, pizzas, even sardine-shaped biscuits.

The town’s riverside area will be the place to make for with all kinds of ‘sardinha no pão’ snacks on sale, leading to the old Lota fish market where more delicacies will be on offer, as well as handicrafts.

The festival opens at 7pm every day, and closes at 1am (more info at www.festivaldasardinha.pt)

Offering a different experience, Pêra will be hosting the second stage of its ‘Arraial do Petisco’ event this weekend, Friday to Sunday.

Visitors can try everything from ‘papas de milho’ (a Portuguese version of Italian polenta) to snails, ‘milhos com carne’ (corn and meat stew) and ‘pipis’ (giblets).

Every night has its own special dish, including ‘ensopado de borrego’ (lamb stew with bread slices – served on Friday), ‘feijoada de chocos’ (cuttlefish stew – Saturday) and ‘cabidela de galinha’ (traditional chicken casserole cooked in the animal’s blood – Sunday).

There is also a variety of regional sweets and desserts to enjoy, such as the well-known D. Rodrigo (cinnamon-flavoured egg thread confection) and a variety of almond-based cakes and sweets.

Tickets cost €1.50, with under-12s going in free.

Doors open at 8pm and close at 2am, with musical performances taking place every night.

Another highlight is Olhão’s seafood festival, which is taking place between August 9-15 (Tuesday-Monday).

The six-day festival will feature “fresh seafood and shellfish from Ria Formosa” as well as a vast programme of musical entertainment.

One of the novelties is that ticket prices will be lower this year than usual, costing €5 except on August 12 and 14, when they will cost €8.

Performers this year include Áurea (August 9), Expensive Soul (10), Os Azeitonas (11), C4 Pedro (12), Camané (13) and Xutos & Pontapés (14).

Finally, those with a taste for Guia’s famous chicken can visit the small town’s ‘Festa do Frango’, which starts today at Guia’s polidesportivo complex and ends Sunday. Doors open at 7pm.

Several other gastronomic events are planned for this August:
3-7 – Portimão | Festival da Sardinha

4-7 – Guia | Festa do Frango

5-7 Pêra | Arraial do Petisco
Mexilhoeira da Carregação | Feira do Petisco

6-7- Cortelha, Loulé | Manjares Serranos

9-15 – Olhão | Festival do Marisco

11-13 – Olhos de Água, Albufeira | Festa da Sardinha