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.