Loulé: Algarve Chefs Week 2016

Saturyday evening tasting session in the market hall of Loulé - see all images in the gallery
Saturday, 30 April 2016 | Gastronomy

From May 6 to 15 twelve of the best chiefs of the Algarve – from Carvoeiro in the western to Praia Verde in the eastern Algarve – are serving a special three course menu, composed around the emblematic Ceviche, for a price of only 30 € (drinks not included).

The 6th edition of this already traditional gastronomic event in is dedicated to the Ceviche, a delicious dish traditionally consisting of fish and seafood, marinated in orange or lemon juice, products that are eternally linked to the Algarve, considered by many as the “best fish in the world” and their famous citrus fruits.

Yesterday evening we had the opportunity to taste several of these specialties in the municipal market of Loulé. At the place where normally fish and seafood are sold, the 12 chiefs and their teams had arranged selected delicacies around the motto of the week. For only 10 € you could taste 6 selected variations of Ceviche, a Cataplana and a dessert. We were impressed to see the big interest of the younger Portuguese generation in that culinary event.

Although Ceviche is widely associated to Peruvian cuisine where one can find authentic “Cevicherias”, its origin dates back to over 2.000 years ago. Some historians such as Juan Jose Vega say that “seviche” actually originates from the arab word “sibech”, referring to “acid food”. Juan Jose Vega also adds how Moorish women used to marinate fresh raw fish with orange and lemon juice for the Incas, creating therefore the Ceviche. The link with Peru was brought by Moorish women from Granada, who accompanied the Spanish conquistadors and colonizers.

In a true homage to the Moorish past occupiers of the “Al-Gharb” region the motto “Al-Sibesh” was selected for this gastronomic highlight of the year 2016.