The gastronomy of the island of São Nicolau is rich in flavor and tradition. Its specialty is the “Modje São Nicolau”, a meat stew made of castrated goat and vegetables (manioc, green banana, potato, pumpkin, and yam, all diced into cubes). This dish is very popular in wedding parties where it is served with “Xerém”, which is made from maize. Equally important are dishes like “Cachupa Rica”, which is considered a national dish, “Caldo de Peixe” (fish broth), “Xerém”, “Cuscuz”, “Ralon” “Papas de milho moído servidas com leite” (a pulp of minced maize served with milk), “Milho em Grão”, and “Farinha de Pau” (manioc flour), “Midje Assóde”, Midje Intor” (roasted and boiled fresh corn, respectively), as well as several other dishes made with fresh and tasty fish, not to mention seafood and canned tuna fish. Restaurants and bars usually serve small portions of seafood locally known as “bafas”, as entrées or appetizers.
The sugarcane brandy or grogue, the famous “Grogue Terra”, is the most traditional drink of São Nicolau. The “pontche” and other liquors also complete the menu of traditional drinks of São Nicolau and the municipality of Ribeira Brava in particular. There is a large variety of herbal tea products which are often used for medicinal purposes.
Traditional Fruit Jams and Jellies
Traditional jams and jellies made of guava, papaya, coconut, sweet potato, pumpkin, milk, among others, are worthy of note. Pastry also plays a significant role, as well as white goat cheese.