In the constant search to offer a more authentic gastronomic experience, our Chef at Mar d’Estórias has identified suitable ingredients for her culinary creations.
In this search, she has established local partnerships to supply these elements and now shares with you the origin of the products used in her kitchen.
Saturday mornings in the Levante Market are filled with the greenest leaves and freshly picked products from all the stands. Therefore, Chef Megan Melling goes religiously to the Reforma Agrária in Lagos to buy the ingredients she needs. Here you can find vegetables (such as peas and beans), free range eggs, flowers, selections of herbs in pots, maize flour, homemade Piri-Piri in oil or dried in the sun, homemade seasoned olives, as well as homemade jams and regional sweets (such as Dom Rodrigo), amongst others. However, the chef warns that some people resell ingredients from large retail outlets, so you should “avoid the bananas and shiny tomatoes.” Nevertheless, Megan complements her purchases with regular visits to the Avenida Market or Santo Amaro Market.
“Locally, buying more authentic products and sustainable agriculture can become a challenge,” says Chef Melling. However, the chef refers to some producers who already make door-to-door deliveries to facilitate those who want products that are not packed in the fridges of the big supermarkets; one option is the company Pé de Salsa (based in Mexilhoeira Grande), where you can choose your basket of vegetables or herbs to be delivered right to your door. Another reference is Natividade Correia (which sells in Reforma Agrária and has a weekly newsletter informing the seasonal products she has to offer) that also provides tomatoes from her land, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh figs, Piri-Piri, almonds and various vegetables. Or our BioSabor neighbours who are just outside of Lagos before arriving in Chinicato.
Returning to the pots and pans, we decided to choose our Pumpkin Sponge Cake as an example in the use of local products, since it contains pollen and honey from Cotifo (Melaria da Bravura), Algarvian orange and pumpkin (BioSabor). We invite you to taste this dessert in Mar d’Estórias on 2nd March and prove our philosophy of fostering local commerce and the importance that Mar d’Estórias gives to local and fresh products.