Canned tuna and sweet potato take gourmet twist

Tuna and sweet potato preserve are among the highlights of this weekend’s Sweet Potato Festival in Aljezur.

The presentation of a canned gourmet product using tuna and sweet potato and another with mackerel and peanut will be among the highlights of the Aljezur Sweet Potato Festival, which runs from Friday through to Sunday (November 30-December 2).

Both products will be unveiled by Parchal-based canned food producer Saboreal. The first already exists but is now being made with the lyra variety of sweet potatoes grown in Aljezur, while the second uses peanuts which are also produced in the borough.

Around 100 exhibitors will be taking part in the event, including four restaurants and three ‘tasquinhas’ (small eateries), where visitors will be able to enjoy all the traditional recipes using sweet potatoes.

There will also be food trucks selling snacks and “lighter” sweet potato creations.

“This year we are putting more emphasis on street food in the outside area of the festival, which will be livelier. The goal of the council is to show how versatile our sweet potato is and encourage people to use this certified product,” said Paulo Oliveira, head of the local council’s economic development and planning department.

And for those who want to learn how to cook these tubers at home, there will be chefs carrying out showcooking initiatives.

There will also be a great variety of sweets, liqueurs, jams, chocolates, ice-creams and craft beers on display that use sweet potatoes as one of their main ingredients.

A wealth of entertainment has also been announced, from musical performances by local bands and artists to a culinary dance which is part of the ‘Lavrar o Mar’ initiative and will take place for four nights (November 29 to December 2) at 7pm at the Rancho Folclórico do Rogil headquarters. The show costs €10, includes a dinner and last three and a half hours.

Organisers of the sweet potato festival expect to attract 30,000 people.

Opening hours are between midday and midnight on Friday and Saturday and between midday and 10pm on Sunday. Admission is free.