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Celebrating Chouriço! - Algarve Food Festivals

Celebrating Chouriço! - Algarve Food Festivals

As we start a brand new year in Portugal the question on the minds of many is - what is happening next that involves food!? A constant preoccupation for the Portuguese... Fortunately for locals and everyone else the answer is... Lots!

Once January arrives in Portugal the country quickly turns the chapter to start planning and celebrating the next food event, or events would be more accurate. If not yet familiar with Portuguese culture, it is a country obsessed with food and most certainly not not isolated to January. Every every month, week, and of during summer holiday season nearly every, day there is a food event or festival is in the works. 

The Algarve is no different, with its wonderful weather, and strong agriculture and fishing traditions, seasonal fruits and vegetables are plenty and its fantastically fresh selection seafood - provide a reason to celebrate all year long.


Many of these food celebrations can be found close to touristy areas, if however you’re an adventurer and food consissur looking for the most  authentic of Portuguese cuisine the less traveled route should most definitely be part of your local tasting plans. Not only will you experience the vast unspoiled beauty of these regions, but feel well steeped in the true historic culture of southern Portugal. Towns and village like Alte, Salir, Algoz and Messines are amongst the many host lively annual events and festivals organized mainly by efforts of their local communities to maintain the heritage of these regions.

In the Algarve next on the Food Agenda is one of the country’s most celebrated foods - Chorico! Not to be confused with the Spanish version of Chorizo, the two are not the same, and if you don’t want to be run out of a local village we suggest you not compare them within ear shot of any locals.


Chorico is serious business (why it’s not considered a mere sausage in Portugal) and making it often involves secret family recipes. Always made from lean pork loin, often marinated, and use of herbs such as paprika, garlic, and sometimes wine and fiery spicing before being stuffed, cured and smoked. Once dry they are often grilled, baked in bread, added to stews, casseroles, soups, rice dishes, sliced and enjoyed as is with wine or beer. The options are endless and limited only to a great cooks imagination.

How can you start experiencing the flavours of Portuguese chorico yourself? Easy, head on over to the annual "Festival da Chouriça", hosted by the picturesque old village of Quarença, on the 20th and 21st of January. A vilalge popular for its traditional Portuguese architecture and famous church, locally known as "Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Assunção".

Warning fame of Portuguese chorico has grown and this festival, that happens on the same day every year, now causes the village to be inundated not only by local Portuguese, and the expat community, but holiday-makers and visitors travelling from far away, solely to take part of the Chouriço Festival.

Celebrating chorico in proper Portuguese festival style includes entertainment of a Carnival style parade, live music, singing and plenty of dancing. An auction featuring a wide variety of traditional sausages will be held and all proceeds go to charity.

Not yet in the Algarve, but thinking a holiday home or giving it a try with a rental? If a home in the Algarve is something your contemplating a great place to get valuable information from industry professionals  is to visit us at the upcoming Overseas Property Show, being held Jan 27th & 28th, in Birmingham, at The National Motorcycle Museum. Renting is also a great option to test the waters and discover the areas you like best. So many delicious options!  



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