It’s lamprey season and there are those who travel kilometers to enjoy the delicacy. Follow our roadmap.
Arriving at the time of lamprey many people set out on a gastronomic tour that only ends in mid-April.
And there’s no denying it: in this case, you either love or hate it, but when you love, it really means it. It’s one of those loves that no one explains, but thank you very much. Even anxiously waiting all year round for the proper season for consumption and, when it arrives, travel the necessary kilometers to go to the favorite restaurant.
In some parts of the country, another dedicated gastronomic season has already begun, namely in Minho lands, and it is expected that it will be a very positive harvest.
According to the workmen, this must be one of the best Januarys ever. The forecasts suggest that it will be a good harvest.
The heavy rain that has fallen in recent months has helped fresh water to enter the sea and bring the fish to the river more quickly for spawning.
Tradition associates fishing and consumption of lamprey in the North and the Minho and Lima rivers, where it is caught in good numbers and various gastronomic festivals are held, with this fish as the protagonist. Find out where you can eat and events you can’t miss.
lamprey season: where to eat?
Thus, until mid-April it is possible to eat, but without needing to cry for more, as there are many good restaurants where the lamprey season is taken very seriously. Meet some.
The menu at the O Moinho restaurant brings together the region’s specialties, and of course the lamprey, which is treated with care, could not be missing. Note: after capturing the fish, it is kept alive in tanks dug in the riverbed, in a natural environment, until the time of cooking. And then there are two very traditional ways of making it: lamprey rice or lamprey Bordeaux style.
- Household: Largo do Corro 1, 4980-614 Pte. da Barca
- Contact: 258 452 035
bridge of Lima
Carvalheira opened its doors in 1995 and is one of the best known and sought after restaurants in Alto Minho and in bridge of Lima.
It is therefore not surprising that during the lamprey season this snack is on a very typical and traditional menu, which makes this a place of pilgrimage in special seasons.
- Household: Rua do Eido Velho, nº 73, Fornelos – 4990-620 Ponte de Lima
- Contact: 258 742 316
Adega do Sossego
Also to the North, you will find Adega do Sossego, an incredible restaurant in Melgaço where you can taste old recipes, as if you were at your grandmother’s house.
And even the decoration helps to create that memory, as the restaurant is located in an old rural house, with wooden beams on the ceiling and stone walls. During the lamprey season it is always full.
- Household: Weight – Paderne, Melgaço
- Contact: 251 404 308
Gaveto is part of the gastronomic tradition of the city of Matosinhos, known for its connection to fresh fish and seafood and, in that sense, and now more central and accessible, it is also a good option for those who like lamprey.
You can always count on very fresh products and traditional cooking, which will make anyone a fan.
- Household: Rua Roberto Ivens 824, 4450-279 Matosinhos
- Contact: 229 378 796
Solar dos Presuntos
If you are in the capital, there are also good restaurants there to enjoy the cyclostome that is so much talked about during this lamprey season. Solar dos Presuntos is a good example.
It has a traditional cuisine, with a strong influence of Minho regional cuisine, hence having this seasonal fish on its menu.
- Household: Rua Portas de Santo Antão, 150 – 1150-269 Lisbon
- Contact: 213 424 253
Lamprey season: there’s even a confraternity
It’s realy true! The Confraria da Lampreia de Penacova was founded on August 3, 2006, with the aim of defending and promoting “traditional Portuguese gastronomy and, in particular, the municipality’s gastronomy, with Penacova-style lamprey being the best known dish.”
The attire of these confreres consists of an overcoat, a black hat with a wide brim, a black suit and shoes, a white shirt and tie. Insignias are also used, of which a white and blue medal stands out, symbolizing river water and sea waves, in a clear allusion to the famous lamprey.