They are delicacies that grow spontaneously in the fields. They are part of the local cuisine since ancient times, being an important part of the culinary and cultural identity of these lands of the south. The origin of its use in the kitchen was carried out in times of deprivation. At that time the most humble people resorted to the wild products, and used with bread to make made soups, “açordas” and “migas”. Nowadays they are delicacies of a unique flavor that attract many to the Alentejo region.
Wild asparagus (Asparagus lenuifolius) is difficult to harvest. Protected by plant thorns, their crop requires trained hands and sharp eyes. They are found in the fields between January and March after the rains. On the table they are served traditionally wrapped in eggs or “migas” (made with leftover bread, garlic and olive oil).
The art of finding mushrooms is not for everyone. For these lands the most common species is the Amanita ponderosa known locally by the name of “silarca” or “tortulho”. Catch up after the rains in early spring. Here they are cooked with eggs or grilled with salt and pennyrile.
Tuberas – Truffles
They are called túberas, tubras or criadilhas (Terfezia spp). These white truffles are mushrooms that grow quietly next to the roots of gum rockrose. They are collected between February and March after the rains. But you have to have an eye, see the cracked earth and dig on the surface to find the treasure. The preparation in the kitchen is laborious, but its subtle taste and unique texture justify the work. In the kitchen they are made with scrambled eggs and with “migas”, but the truffle soup is really an unforgettable dish you should try!
In Mértola there are several restaurants and taverns offering dishes with these delicacies, particularly asparagus and truffles.
Check out our restaurants here