July 9, 2019

How to Cook with Volcanoes in the Azores

When you’re in the Azores, you can eat the classic Portuguese stew, cozido, with a fiery twist found nowhere else: it’s cooked with volcanic heat, underground.

On our Azores Multi-sport Adventure, you’ll enjoy an invigorating week of biking, kayaking, whale watching and more, before arriving on São Miguel, the biggest island in the beautiful Azores archipelago. All the adventuring will leave you hungry, so get ready to settle down into the restaurant’s signature meal: cozido das Furnas.

This cozido is made exclusively in the town of Furnas, a historically rich locale ranging back nearly 500 years. Among the area’s hot springs and vineyards, São Miguel features many active volcanoes with documented eruptions going back as far as 1444.

No need to get all hot and bothered – not only is the Azores completely safe to visit, locals have figured out how to tame the heat for their tasty creations. It’s a great spot for kids who crave a more traditional meal, like chicken and rice, too.

To make cozido das Furnas, a chef usually cuts up several meats and veggies, including chicken, sweet potatoes, carrots and more. Azorean ingredients, such as taro root and morcela (blood sausage), give Azorean cozido a distinctive, local flavor. It’s a hearty meal for a volcanic appetite.

After the ingredients are sliced and diced, the chef places them in a heavy pot and lowers it into a hole in the ground. Then, the magic happens: heat rises from the planet’s crust through natural vents, known as fumaroles, and cooks the pot for six hours. During this time, the meat gets tender while its moisture soaks into the other ingredients. All underground!

When it’s time to eat, the pot is lifted from the earth with poles and delivered to the restaurant, where hungry guests dig in.

Cozido das Furnas is a unique, delicious and unbelievable experience that can only be found in the Azores. After exploring lava-rock caves or climbing majestic Pico Mountain, you may think you’ve learned everything there is about volcanoes, but you’re just warming up!