15 delicacies from Madeira not to be missed
Banana, limpets, sugar cane honey, passion fruit, pitanga berry or yams . .. come discover the richness of Madeira's products with the help of chef Benoît Sinthon (Il Gallo D’Oro . The Cliff Bay . 2 Michelin stars) !!
The bay tree is one of the primitive species of the "Laurissilva” forest found throughout the islands of Macaronesia, mainly on Madeira Island. Its branches are used in the traditional Madeira kebab, releasing some of its aroma to the meat morsels threaded onto it.
This very traditional, Arab-influenced bread is cooked on a "caco”, a flat basalt stone slab – or any other type of stone. Nowadays, the most common cooking surface is a metal plate over a wood fire. Made with wheat flour and sweet potato purée.
Each bite of this cake full of spices and dried fruits is a discovery. Savouring it reveals eastern flavours consorting with European, connected through the cane honey and embodying the Portuguese maritime adventures.
A peculiar fruit. Its sweet, almost banana-like flavour also brings us hints of pineapple.
This exotic fruit mixes well with other fruits of the island, such as banana, passion fruit or even tamarillo. Benoît often works with it in sorbets or granita.
The "prata” variety is the star of the banana world. It can be eaten raw, marinated, caramelized. The banana is always a crowd pleaser when mixed with other fruits, or different ingredients.
There are tens of passion fruit varieties here, all part of traditional Madeira gastronomy. Its peculiar taste, sometimes sweet and others tart, makes it a challenging ingredient in any dessert.
As it ripens this fruit goes from green to orange to red, reaching a blackish red when it is fully mature. I can use it for a sorbet, or add it to a vinaigrette.
Whoever has tasted this wine gets its richness at the first sip. Even the most remote of imbibers cannot help but discovering its complexity or aromas and flavours. That wealth –easily uncovered with a tasting – can be intelligently applied to making sauces, to blending marinades and to devising seasonings.
Certain produce seems to taste better at a particular time of year Sweet potatoes enchant in a wintry weather. Being so prevalent in the island’s traditional cuisine, sweet potato may be a good match to the autumnal flavours of aniseed, celery, quince and grapes, among others.
SUGAR CANE HONEY
The end product mousse is a delicacy in itself. "When I visited the sugarcane mill at Ribeiro Seco with Henrique and Benoît, I remember how excited the chef was about the possibilities this product opened up for his cuisine”.
Die gute Qualität und die Temperatur des Meers vor Madeira bieten dieser vor den Makaronesischen Inseln weit verbreiteten Meeresfrüchten besondere Lebensbedingungen, die uns diesen wundervoll jodigen Geschmack bescheren.
Everyone knows what tuna tastes like. Except that schools of it cruise just off Madeira’s coastline, which means we can have it fresh, in all its glory and without much ado.
"Yam reminds me of artichoke”, Benoît said. That is why he often uses it with black olives, dried tomatoes or tomato "confit”.
From the depths of the Atlantic comes a remarkably ugly and aggressive-looking fish whose flesh stuns us by its texture, its taste and by how delicate it really is.
“MADEIRA by CHEF BENOÎT SINTHON”
Does that sound mouthwatering ? There's even more to discover in the
book "MADEIRA by CHEF BENOÎT SINTHON”. Here, the chef of Il Gallo D’Oro, the
restaurant of The Cliff Bay hotel (Madeira . 2 Michelin stars), shares the
influence that the island's products have had on his culinary creations.
Find out more here . ..