Due to the historical involvement with the estuary of the River Sado and the proximity of the ports of Setúbal and Sesimbra, the gastronomy of this region has a strong use of fish-based dishes and products that develop favorably in the climate of region.
Indeed, it was the proximity of their fish supply an important economic engine, particularly in the canning industry in Setúbal, but in the meantime languished since the mid-1970s until complete relocation to other parts of the country.
Although most of the local cuisine wasbased on fish dishes, the population migration from the regions of Alentejo and Algarve brought changes to the gastronomy with the introduction of new meat dishes and poultry, and açordas that have adapted to seafood and fish. Also part of the gastronomic repertoire of the city spirits (muscatel wine and liquors), cheeses, fruits and typical traditional sweets of the region.
Setúbal is known for cuisine based on grilled fish dishes, baked or grilled. It is very common to find the local restaurants that serve grilled sardines, usually served with boiled potatoes monitoring and seasoned lettuce salad with oil and vinegar. You can also find grilled or baked fish dishes such as spicy grilled mullet with made from fish liver sauce.
Other dishes on the sea-based products include: whelks and choco-based salads and octopus; seafood-based dishes Sado river (spider crab, crab, Crab); shellfish-based dishes (clams “Bulhão Pato”, oysters, lamejinhas, cockles, razors, scallops, sea snails); fish stews or seafood, made far more frequently in cataplanas (a legacy of Arab culture); and also masses of grouper or other fish.
Wine production in the Setubal region has led to internationally recognized products, with a variety of red and white wines of quality, made from grapes matured on the slopes of the Capuchin Convent. These products should stand out the Moscatel, a renowned liqueur wine origin demarcated centered Azeitão. The Arrabidine liquor, less known to the public, is produced by the friars who live in the Convent of Our Lady of Arrábida. In the production of liquor, whose manufacture, which began in the nineteenth century, is shrouded in secrecy, it is known that berries are used collected during the month of December at the Capuchin Convent and other unique ingredients of the region. The Arrabidine liquor is bottled and need to intern about 15 years before being consumed.
The repertoire of traditional sweets of the Setúbal region are part of the cheesecake, pies, and “these Azeitão” – biscuits in the shape of the letter “S”, made with flour, sugar, margarine, eggs and cinnamon. Setubal also stand out the Logs of “shell” of orange, made from oranges produced in the region. Finally, we emphasize the production of cheese as one of the significant craft and economic activities of the Blue Coast region.