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Street Food Friday: This Azorean Staple is Cooked by Volcano

O Cozido das Furnas, na ilha de São Miguel

A ilha de São Miguel é a maior e mais populosa dos Açores, uma arquipélago de nove ilhas pertencente a Portugal a cerca de duas horas (via avião) de Lisboa e Porto. Os produtos lácteos, carne, e frutos do mar são as melhores escolhas alimentares sustentados localmente encontrados em todas as ilhas, mas o prato carismático da culinária açoriana é encontrado apenas numa pequena localidade, as Furnas na ilha de São Miguel.

O Cozido das Furnas, ou simplesmente o Cozido, é um prato tradicional que remonta aos primórdios do povoamento da ilha, quando o calor natural do terreno vulcânico foi usado como um forno para cozinhar alimentos, como peixes, feijão, e mesmo bolos. 

«The ground-cooked Cozido of Furnas on the island of Sao Miguel

The island of Sao Miguel is the largest and most populated of the Azores, a chain of nine Portuguese-owned islands about two hours (via plane) from both Lisbon and Porto. Dairy products, grass-fed beef, and seafood are the top locally sustained food choices found throughout the islands, but the most dramatic dish in the Azorean culinary scene is found only in the small, volcanic town of Furnas in the highlands of Sao Miguel.

The Cozido das Furnas, or simply the Cozido, is a traditional dish that stems back to the early days of settlement on the island, when the natural heat of the volcanic terrain was used as an oven to cook food, such as fish, beans, and even cakes. That old-world process continues today for the Cozido, a word that translates to "baked," and the process is as much of an attraction as is its consumption.

Pork, chicken, beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and a variety of sausage types are crammed into an aluminum pot. The last ingredient is especially important. No water or spices (minus simple salt) are added to the dish. All the flavor comes from the different types of sausage used, which are flavored with anything from cinnamon to hot pepper. The slow cooking process extracts the flavors and the juices from the meat, setting the tone for the overall taste of the dish. Each restaurant sources its meats and chooses its spiced sausages from separate vendors, resulting in different-tasting products despite using almost the exact same ingredients.

Although many restaurants in Furnas offer the Cozido on their menus, the grounds of Lagos Furnas (Lake Furnas) is the only place where it is cooked. You can simply show up at a restaurant around lunch time and order one, or you can take a ride up to the lake and see your meal come out of a hole in the ground. We did the latter, and present the process below»

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1 comentário:

  1. I am lucky enough to have gone to Furnas and had a in ground cooked meal. so much fun that day while we waited the several hours for it to cook, then we went off and ate it with friends and family at an outdoor picnic. It was a wonderful experience.