One of Portugal’s most appetizing fish is the Selene Setapinnis, commonly known as “peixe galo” (rooster fish). In Peniche, fishermen call it “alfaquique.” It is a word with an Arab origin, suggesting that this fish was prized centuries ago.
Peixe galo swims with a serious demeanor near the ocean floor where its colors make it almost invisible. It stays slim on a diet of squid, cuttlefish, and shrimp. Perhaps that is why its meat tastes so good.
Fried peixe galo with an açorda made with its fish eggs is a sumptuous meal, one of the simply extraordinary pleasures of the Portuguese cuisine.
Tasca do Joel, a great restaurant in Peniche, teamed up with a wonderful wine estate, Quinta do Monte d’Oiro, to make wine that celebrates the joys of the Portuguese Summer. They called it “surf wine” and the label reads:
“To those who didn’t go out last night and those who didn’t sleep, to the tourists and the locals, to the crazy ones who plunge ahead and the ones who hesitate, to the ones who like the right and the others who prefer the left, to lovers of the beach break or the reef break, to those who came out of the barrel wave and those who tasted sand, to all of these, and to the surf in Peniche we make a toast!”
We don’t know what magic went into the production of these wines. But it is impossible to drink them without longing to spend the Summer in Portugal!
Click here for the Tasca do Joel web site and here for the Quinta de Monte d’Oiro web site.
If you go to Peniche in the middle of October, you’ll find this normally sleepy village bustling with activity. The world’s best surfers gather here to compete in the Rip Curl Pro event at the famous Supertubos beach. Restaurants are full, television crews and photographers are everywhere.
If you want to stay away from the crowds, all you have to do is turn right at the entrance of the Peniche fort, on Rua da Boa Viagem, and walk to the Quebrado beach. There, you can seat in Bar do Quebrado, shown in the photo, enjoying a cold beer and a wonderful view.
With the excitement of the world surf championship and the quiet beauty of the seashore, no wonder Summer likes to spend Autumn in Peniche.
Peniche, a sleepy fishing village, used to be an island. But the waves worked tirelessly, carrying mountains of sand to connect Peniche to land. The sand banks they built created beaches that are perfect for surfing: Supertubos, Molho Leste, and Baleal.
Every October, the waves enjoy the fruits of their labor, watching the best surfers in the world compete at the Peniche Rip Curl Pro event. You don’t have to cart any sand to be part of this grand surf celebration. All you have to do is drive to Supertubos on the third week of October.