This dish pays tribute to products and recipes from three of the nine islands of the archipelago, namely: alcatra is a traditional meat dish from Terceira, being the protein in this version is the “sea steak,” bigeye tuna; the pineapple from the Azores is roasted and transformed into a fresh and aromatic sauce; and the São Jorge cheese brings the dish a salty and spicy touch.
If the croque-madame had been invented in the Azores, it would be like this. This reinvention of the French classic features two highly appreciated products from the archipelago: the São Miguel “bolo lêvedo“ (a slightly sweet bread) and the São Jorge PDO Cheese. For this recipe, chef Pedro Oliveira uses a cheese aged for seven months.
From the imposing Ponta dos Rosais to the mystical Fajã de Santo Cristo, the Poça de Simão Dias and the pictoresque village of Velas, we wandered around São Jorge in chef Vitor Sobral’s company. On his way around the island, the chef took some time to visit Santa Catarina Indústria Conserveira SA to work his magic on a tuna. And then? And then we had the pleasure of watching the chef turn this and other wonders of the Azorean sea into dishes that we won’t forget. And if these dishes remain in our tastebuds’ memory, the moment we shared at the table will also stay in our mind. It is not every day that moments like these are savoured in a place as unique as the cosy Quinta da Magnólia, with the island of Pico lurking on the horizon. To toast to all of this, a Verdelho from the neighbouring island of Pico. Here’s to you, São Jorge!