The varied geography of the Algarvian coast provides a home to diverse crustaceans and molluscs. Some species are found throughout the area whilst others flourish in the sandy shores of the islands in the east or the rugged bays, with their stronger tidal currents, towards the west.
In order to get a better understanding of these creatures and their habitats, a mini cruise departing from Porto da Baleeira (Sagres) with Mar Ilimitado was undertaken before lunch. The calm sea on the morning of September 17 gave ample opportunity to enjoy the coast as well as the refreshment (Murganheira Super Reserva Brut) and nibbles provided. After disembarking, the group proceeded to Restaurante Zavial in the beautiful Zavial Bay, close to Vila do Bispo, for lunch.
The menu was a reflection of the ‘catch of the day’ and commenced with dishes of goose barnacles (‘perceves’). These were followed by oysters, mussels, clams and, to everyone’s delight, sea urchins and ‘bruxas’, which are also known as shovelhead lobsters. These delights were accompanied by a Vinho Verde, Azal-Belmira Cruz, and crusty bread to keep the unique tastes separate.
Sea crackling (fried moray eel lightly battered) served with tartar sauce and octopus salad made up the following course, which was served with Paxá Arinto white wine. A magnificent traditional ‘cataplana’ of fish and shrimps was the final dish on the menu of this feast and was served with white wine, Conde d’Ervideira Reserva. The meal ended with traditional Portuguese desserts of carob tart and almond cake served with coffee and medronho.
Dr Jean Ferran, Bailli Provincial Sul do Tejo, thanked Ernesto and his staff on behalf of the members of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, Bailliage de l’Algarve, and their guests for the delightful and relaxing time they had at the restaurant while enjoying the beautiful view of the sparkling waters of Zavial bay.
By VALERIE LANTAU