1. Espetada Madeirense
The “Espetada“, made with beef cubes in a laurel skewer and grilled on wood or charcoal. Many restaurants have tables with iron structures applied in the center, to hang long laurel skewers in which broil the meat pieces. To accompany the dish, the locals suggest the Fried Corn “Milho Frito” and Bolo do Caco, traditionally baked in a tile bit on fire.
2 Prego no Bolo do Caco
The “Prego” (steak sandwich): grilled steak, served on traditional Madeiran Bolo do Caco. The ‘Special Prego’ includes lettuce, tomato, ham and cheese, sometimes served with fries. An economical and extremely popular dish for lunch.
The “Picado” or “Picadinho” is a traditional Madeiran dish, and therefore prepared in almost all of the restaurants of the region. It is traditionally prepared with beef cut into small cubes, fried and seasoned with garlic and pepper.
The “Picadinho” is usually served on a platter being shared by several people, who chop with a toothpick or a fork.
You can still find “Picado” made of octopus and squid , although the recipe and presentation are a bit different.
4. Cozido Madeirense
The famous Madeiran stew (Cozido Madeirense) is a dish based on salted pork, sausages and whole vegetables, among them sweet potatoes. It is cooked in wood, which gives a great taste and flavor, the ingredients are all mixed in a large pot, and all cooked at the same time. To accompany, couscous.
5. Sopa de Trigo (Wheat Soup)
The Wheat Soup is one of the specialties of the island, characterized by its gummy texture, much appreciated by residents and also by theones who visit the island. It is a great soup to eat in the winter because it is very dense, due to the amount of vegetables it takes.
There are several variations of the recipe, each home does its own thing. The richest recipes are prepared with pork and various vegetables, in the humblest, only lard and seed are added.
6.1 Bolo do Caco
The “Bolo do Caco” is a typical wheat bread of Madeira and Porto Santo. This bread, made from wheat flour, is flattened and has rounded edges. Its name is due to the way, until very recently, it was cooked: on a basalt stone, called “caco”, on hot coals.
It can be consumed hot, such as a meal entree, barred with garlic butter to melt, or even as main delicacy. It is common to be used in making sandwiches based on the “Bolo do Caco” with most varied fillings, such as steaks (Prego no Bolo do Caco), ham, swordfish, octopus.
6.2 The “Carne de Vinha D’Alhos
Carne de Vinha D’Alhos is a traditional dish of the Christmas season in Madeira, although it is consumed all year round.
It is made with pork, white wine, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper, and left to marinate for at least two days. At the time of eating it is fried along with the marinade and a bit of lard.
7. Sopa de Tomate (Tomato Soup)
The tomato soup and onion is one of the references of traditional Madeiran cuisine. Served with poached egg and bread, it is to eat and cry for more!
8 Frutas Tropicais (Tropical Fruits)
Tropical fruits that grow on the island, such as bananas, mangos, papayas, pomegranates, grapes and avocados are undoubtedly an endless delight. Why not to try the tabaibos, also called “figs of the devil”? These fruits, from a species of cactus, are appreciated for their juicy freshness. Pass through the Farmers Market (Funchal or Ribeira Brava) and sample some of these fruits for free. A number of tropical fruits that are worth a try.