It has been such a while since I took you around Olhão’s superb fish market. When we first arrived in 2014/15 I couldn’t stop taking photographs of the stalls which resulted in post after post on the fish. Here are some of them;
- Floundering in Fish – great shots of the market as well as flounders
- A kind of Caldeirada – Portuguse fish stew and scabbard fish
- Inspired or overwhelmed by the peixe – I suspect most tourists are the latter
- A fish is . . . – a closer look at a range of fish to be found in the market
- The many Sea Breams – includes a video on how to fillet them
- ‘A chub is the worst fish that swims‘ – we completely disagree!
- One of the many pleasures in the Algarve – includes a few of our favourite fish
These days I rarely take photographs of the market but the eating of the fish hasn’t stopped. We visit the market a few times every week, eating fish three or four days. Often more!
The reason though for my post today is I wanted to share with you a Christmas delicacy from Olhão. The main ingredient is black mouthed dogfish, which is called litão in Olhão, and letão elsewhere in Portugal. Not to be confused with leitão which is a small suckling pig!
Like bacalhau the fish is salted and air dried, but with far less salt (passado por um pouco de sal). The drying stage was once a common sight around the harbour in Olhão. Sadly though we’ve not seen the air drying racks (picture below) for a couple of years, and the area where is used to happen is now being developed into an urban park. It is happening somewhere though, as the fish continues to be sold in the market, and TV crews still regularly visit in November/December to share the story of Olhão’s unique Christmas dish.
If you are intrigued, visit my 2016 post which includes multiple photographs of the drying stage. Click here to visit.
I have eaten a traditional litão dish, and multiple variations of bacalhau. Both are best described as comfort food rather than cordon bleu, but that doesn’t detract (in my opinion at least) from their tastiness. I have even prepared bacalhau myself but have yet to attempt to cook with litão. That is all going to change when we return in January. I have a basic recipe, thanks to Tomázia, and I am hoping the friends who are joining us in February will be up for trying it with us. I will keep you posted! In the meantime as it is almost Christmas, let me finish with one of my favourite photographs of the view from the market.
Those are all new delicacies to me – well other than cordon bleu, which I love. What’s wrong with cordon bleu??? Vince’s and my traditional Christmas is lasagna. I rarely get turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy anymore.
I last had turkey about 30 years ago!
Wow! My best friend in CA usually fixed either turkey or ham. We were always part of her family.
Comfort food beats cordon bleu hands down!
That’s so true 👍
This post SO makes me want some fish stew!
Hee hee, hope you can make one next week!
Great fishy post! Feliz Natal e un Feliz Ano Novo
Thanks Sue, and to you too
It is a pity that the drying fish have been over taken by modernisation. Love the boat. Not a fan of fish in general so will be interested what you conjure up for Mr B 🙂 🙂
I’ll keep you posted!!
I’ve only been to Portugal once, long ago, but I do remember the fish markets. Love the boat – was that decked out specially for Christmas?
Their markets are such a joy.
And yes it is done every year. It’s a replica boat of one that made the journey to Brazil to advise the king that the French had been routed from the Algarve.
Becky, What a great post! The fish market at Olhão is truly phenomenal, a must see experience – the noise but not the smell – there isn’t any, which is as it should be! the incredible variety of fish and the general hustle and bustle. I find it hard to resist the urge to follow people home from the market just to see what they do with the fish that they buy – there’s so much to learn! Meanwhile I will devour your links to your previous fishy posts and will start working through them right now! p.s. Have a great Christmas and a fabulous New Year – hopefully we will at last get back to Olhão then!
Awww thank you so much. Delighted to learn you love the market as much as we do.
Enjoy exploring my fishy posts!
Feliz Natal 🤶
I’ll have to follow up these links after Christmas – not a hope just now. Fascinating stuff. Bon Nadal i felic any nou!
That would be great if you can, but in meantime Feliz Natal e um Feliz Ano Novo