The Azores, a remote archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, holds a treasure trove of culinary delights. Among them is the revered Cozido de Furnas, a traditional Portuguese stew that is a part of the rich culinary heritage of the Azores. The dish's name translates to "Cooked in Furnas." Furnas is a town located on São Miguel Island in the Azores, and it is famous for its geothermal activity, which has given rise to a unique way of preparing this dish.
Every day before sunrise, restaurant owners and families drive to Furnas Lake to bury large metallic pots containing the ingredients for Cozida de Furnas into their own fumarole, or cooking hole. The ingredients used in the dish are a reflection of the Azores' fertile lands and abundant livestock. The stew typically consists of beef, pork, chicken, and various types of sausages, all locally sourced. The vegetables chosen are a colorful array of root vegetables, including potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, yams and cabbage, all locally grown. The ingredients are carefully layered in the pot to ensure even cooking and a mingling of flavors.
The high heat and steam generated by the geothermal activity gently cooks the ingredients, allowing the flavors to meld together. The succulent meats sit atop the vegetables, allowing their juices to infuse the stew as they cook, creating a delicious and comforting dish. But preparing Cozido de Furnas is not for the impatient. The slow cooking process takes several hours, encouraging a sense of anticipation and togetherness among those eagerly waiting for the savory stew. As the fragrance of the simmering dish fills the air, locals and tourists gather around to witness the unveiling of this culinary masterpiece.
When the pot is unearthed and the steaming cozido is revealed, the aroma that wafts from the pot is enough to make any mouth water. The tender meats and vegetables are served in generous portions, accompanied by traditional Azorean rice, bread, and wine. The first spoonful is an explosion of flavors, an authentic taste of the Azores.
When visiting the Azores, trying Cozido de Furnas is a must to taste the region's culinary heritage and experience the natural cooking method that makes this dish so unique. Experience it for yourself on a customized Quest Travel Itinerary. Our most popular itineraries include Taste of the Azores, Azores Culinary Exploration, Two Island Azores Winter Getaway, and Best of the Azores.