Rota do Petisco takes a break, but «100 years, 100 flavors» is born in Portimão

It is not a “definitive stop, it is a temporary stop to evaluate”

This year, there will be no Rota do Petisco in the Algarve, but this gastronomic event will be replaced by a new one, called «100 years, 100 flavors», which will take place only in the municipality of Portimão, from the 13th of September to the 13th of October.

The news was given to the Sul Informação by Luís Brito, president of Teia d'Impulsos, the association that, in 2011, launched the first edition of Rota do Petisco.

«We concluded that it was time to take a sabbatical. What has happened is that the Rota, in the last five years, with the exception of the Covid years, has been losing enthusiasm, both on the part of the establishments and on the part of the participants».

«After the evaluation and taking into account the commitment we have with our partners, namely the municipalities, the establishments themselves and also with snackers, always hoping to try new things, to have a new experience, we understand that a moment has come where this commitment could be at risk. In other words, our ability to fulfill what we committed to could be at risk. There was a feeling of frustration in recent years", added the association leader.

One of the problems experienced by establishments participating in the Rota do Petisco, in many Algarve municipalities, was that, at the price of 4 euros for a snack, «the effort was very great, taking into account the significant increase in food items, therefore the material- press, and then all the surrounding consumables, such as water, electricity, everything that surrounds the work of the restaurant or establishment».

In recent years, the problem of lack of labor has begun to emerge. Some of the restaurants and bakeries participating in the Route had to make “additional reinforcement”, which “no longer compensated for the benefits” that the event could bring.

«When the Rota started, in 2011, the reality was different, we were in the middle of the Troika crisis, there was no habit of going for a snack in restaurants in Portimão during the week. That's why the Route was created, to liven up the city center. Today is different», explained Luís Brito.

«We are facing a new social and economic reality, supported by a new paradigm that raises a set of constraints to the holding of what has already assumed the role of the biggest gastronomic event in the Algarve. Furthermore, Rota do Petisco was created with the aim of bringing more customers to establishments, but the seasonality of our region is decreasing and labor is increasingly difficult to find and maintain», added the president of Teia d 'Impulses.

For all of this, Teia d'Impulsos chose «to stop Rota, for now, in 2024».

But «we made a point of meeting in person with all our municipal partners, to explain our option to them and for them to understand that the investment they have made to date was not in vain, it was an investment that was good, that had good results. But now we don't want to put this whole story at risk».

It is not, assured Luís Brito, a «definite stop, it is a temporary stop to evaluate, so that we can try to find new mechanisms here and give a new life to the Route in the near future».

With the Rota do Petisco on pause, the gastronomic event «100 years, 100 flavors» will be born, which is the result of a «challenge launched by the municipality to Teia d'Impulsos», as part of the celebrations of the 100 years since Portimão became a city.

«We are going to invite Portimão residents and visitors to taste the best gastronomy in our municipality, not only that is traditional from Portimão, like sardines, but that is a representation of Portugal in general».

Luís Brito explains that the new event will have «some similarities» with Rota, but «it will not be about snacks, it will be a menu model».

Thus, from the 13th of September to the 13th of October, throughout the municipality of Portimão, the gourmets, armed with their “booklet”, they will be able to visit the 100 establishments that join.

Once again, the booklet, which will contain all the participants, will have a social mission, with the funds resulting from its sale going towards an IPSS in the municipality.

«This new event aims to boost culture and honor the traditions of the Portimo community, with the support of 100 participating establishments, which will showcase the best of their cuisine», concluded Luís Brito.



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