Aljezur Sweet Potato Festival links Arts and Culture to Gastronomy for the first time

The Sweet Potato Festival will once again animate the Espaço Multiusos de Aljezur, from the 25th to the 27th of November. […]

photos Portugal agro 16The Sweet Potato Festival will once again animate the Espaço Multiusos de Aljezur, from the 25th to the 27th of November. In addition to the variety of recipes with this delicacy, this year's edition will have a novelty: the existence of an event throughout the fair that will link gastronomy to arts and culture. 

In statements to the Sul Informação, José Amarelinho, mayor of Aljezur, revealed that this novelty is part of the recent artistic project «Lavrar o Mar», promoted by Cooperativa Cosanostra, which is part of the «365 Algarve» program. One of the first appearances of this project will, in fact, be at the Sweet Potato Festival.

As for the “Lavrar o Mar” initiative that will take place in Aljezur, José Amarelinho said “that, in time, it will be better publicized”, but that it is “without a doubt, the biggest news of this Festival”.

Officially presented at the Portugal Agro fair, which took place from 28 to 30 October at FIL, in Lisbon, and where the Sul Informação has moved, the Sweet Potato Festival will also have the usual sweet potato-based confectionery contest, as well as showcookings, in which «the chefs will be challenged to give new interpretations» to this delicacy.

As for the number of visitors, José Amarelinho believes that «about 30 people» will go to the village of Costa Vicentina over the three days of the event. "This is a Festival that manages to sell tons of sweet potatoes, which is very good for the Sweet Potato Producers Association," he added.

Sweet potato this one, of the variety Lyra, which is “unique”, for being the one with the Protected Geographical Indication. “We are concerned about the imitations that appear, such as the Chinese or South American ones, but this is the real one: the one that does not deceive anyone”, defends, between laughs, José Amarelinho.


photos Portugal agro 1

At the stand dedicated to the Algarve, the mayor of Aljezur was distributing to visitors to Portugal Agro samples of what will be held at the Sweet Potato Festival: from pies to pastries, passing through cornucopias. All done, of course, with "the real" sweet potato. From those who visited the Algarve stand, Amarelinho received thanks and guarantees of presence at the Aljezurense event.

In addition to the «many who visit us», this Festival also represents «the return of many to their land», in the opinion of José Amarelinho. As for those who stay in Aljezur, many are betting on the cultivation of sweet potatoes. In addition to those who make it for their own consumption, since «everyone has a little sweet potato in the backyard», there are those who do business in the cultivation of this delicacy. “Currently, there are more than 20 producers, associates, who do this”, explains the mayor of Aljezur.

This reality is a mirror of "the great weight that the sweet potato has in the local economy", he adds. But, as the event will also feature regional handicrafts and products from the rest of the Algarve, «the Multiusos space is starting to get small for so many people, whether exhibiting or visiting us», says José Amarelinho proudly.

Although there are perspectives, given by the mayor of Aljezur, for a large event with seafood in the future, for now the only guarantee is the fact that the «sweet potato» will once again be queen from 25 to 27 November in Aljezur. Even because… «sweet potato is that food that fills our souls, whether with beans, cabbage, fried or roasted», concluded, smiling, José Amarelinho.


Photos: Pedro Lemos|Sul Informação