© Nicola Di Nunzio
WHERE TO EAT
QUALITY, REFINEMENT AND CARE
In the municipality of Serpa the quality of the cuisine results from the refinement and care applied to the preparation of the dishes. The fundamental ingredient is the excellent bread that accompanies, in a tasty harmony, the lamb and pork meat or game meats such as rabbit, hare, partridge and wild boar. Also important is the careful selection of seasonings: olive oil, lard and herbs such as parsley, mint, coriander, pennyroyal, water mint and oregano, among others.
This region’s traditional dishes are thus born out of this apparent simplicity of means: the migas (side dish made from sautéed bread, garlic and olive oil), the açorda (sliced bread with garlic, coriander and poached eggs to which are added other ingredients, according to the type of açorda), the borrego à pastora (lamb stew), the lavadas (cold pressed tomato soup), the gaspacho or vinagrada (another cold soup, made with raw vegetables), the masmarras (bread and garlic porridge, served hot), the grãos com alho e louro (chickpea with garlic and laurel), the surra-burra (during the pig slaughter season, using fresh pig’s blood) and the caldeiradas de peixe do rio (freshwater fish stews).
Two natural products that grow spontaneously in the region are also notable for their exquisite taste: the asparagus, which can be harvested in the plain’s olive groves, and the mushrooms, picked in the wilder area of the Mountain.
For dessert, Serpa offers fruit and sweets. The melon is especially appealing, with a remarkable taste that results from the generosity of the soil and the specificity of the climate. Among the sweets, the “tarte de requeijão” (curd cheese pie) is a must.
To top off the menu, the good local wines must not be overlooked, especially the full-bodied, dark reds, with their smooth taste and several domestic awards.
This is the setting that will allow the visitor to enjoy the pleasure of eating well, an act of culture that, in Serpa, is dignified by the originality of the cooking and the quality of the products.
Both in the municipality’s seat and in its parishes, the existing restaurants can lead to the discovery of examples that ennoble the true Alentejo cuisine.