In the Algarve countless, partly exotic and also almost unknown fruits grow. The taste is particularly intense and the fruits are much more vitamin-rich than fruits, which were transported for several thousand kilometers and then stored in cooling houses.
Orange trees can be found (even in large plantations) all over the Algarve. Harvest time is December and April.
On the N125 and on some back roads there are many stalls that are usually kept directly by the producer. The prices are very moderate.
The citrus fruits and flowers are at the same time on the tree.
Lemons grow like oranges in plantations as well as in gardens or just on the street. The fruits have an incredible aroma when eaten fully ripe and directly from the tree.
The trees are often on the roadside, off the main roads. Quince jelly is a Portuguese specialty. It is offered firm in shallow trays in every supermarket.
Quinces cannot be eaten raw. They are not poisonous, but very hard, woody, sour and bitter.
The Nespera tree was brought as an ornamental plant from Asia in the 18th century. Today the trees are everywhere in the Algarve.
The fruits are edible from February to March. As long as they are yellow they taste a bit sour. In deep orange color, they are fully ripe and sweet. Good as a snack for in between, but also suitable for jam or jellies. Fully matured fruits will not last long.
Medronho (strawberry tree fruit)
The strawberry tree grows as kind of a bush and reaches a height of about 5 meters. Outside Portugal, it is used as an ornamental plant. He has white to pale pink flowers from which then develop the fruits.
The ripe fruits are used to make jelly, liqueur and high percentage Aguardente de Medronho. This brandy is a specialty of the Algarve.
The fruits are also edible without manufacturing.
Pitanga (Surinam cherry)
The Pitanga grows as an evergreen shrub or tree and grows 5 – 7 meters tall. The fruit is harsh-sour-sweet. In shops, the fruit is hard to get, as the ripe fruit rots very quickly.
What looks like a small chilli pepper at first glance, turns out to be a delicious cherry.