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12 Cabo Verde Food With Easy Recipes To Delight

By a wide margin, corn is the primary Cabo Verde food source and largest contributor to the Cabo Verde food and recipes scene. The national dish of the country, Cachupa, relies heavily on this ingredient. Seafood, sweet potatoes, rice, and beans are also common staples. Bananas, sugarcane, and coffee are all staples in the diets of Cabo Verdeans because they are all products of the country.

There is also the delicious Bol de Cus-Cus, a cake made with corn and sugar Cabo Verde food that is traditionally served warm with butter and cabra (goat’s) cheese, and the delightful Queijo de Cabra com Doce de Popoia, a typical dessert that is typically served with slices of cabra cheese and also papaya jam. After dinner, finish with some Fogo coffee pudding.

Coconut milk is widely consumed as a beverage in the country. The national drink of Cabo Verde food options is grog, a sugar cane liquor. Unless sweetened with molasses, the drink is not sweet despite its name.

Assado Limao (Lemon Chicken) - Cabo Verde Food Recipes To Delight Your Taste Buds

12 Cabo Verde Food Recipes To Delight



1. Percebes from Hola Foodie

1. Percebes - Cabo Verde Food Recipes

Spanish for goose barnacles these Cabo Verde food and recipes — are the unquestionable secret gem of Spanish seafood. Not the prettiest looking food, nor the easiest one to eat. And with prices hitting the rocket amount of 300 euros per kilo during the Christmas season, nor the most affordable one either. However, they are indeed the most appreciated one.

Ask any connoisseur about the tastiest Cabo Verde food and recipes of them all and I’m pretty confident that most —if not all— will choose these alien-looking paw-shaped crustaceans. But why?

Percebes —as it happens with many luxury ingredients— are cooked in a super simple way in order to preserve all its original qualities. We can tell you how to cook percebes in less than five seconds… Boiled in seawater and that’s about it. Now the issue is how to eat them… Easy if you know how or a mission if you don’t.

2. Cachupa Rica from Food and Meal

2. Cachupa Rica - Cabo Verde Food Recipes

One of the most famous Cabo Verde food and recipes of the islands is Cachupa. It is a stew made from corn, beans, sweet potato, cassava, or cassava flour. It is also made with meat or fish, often morcela. It is considered a national dish, but the regional variations make each one unique. The following are some of the best ways to enjoy Cachupa in Cape Verde.

This traditional, homey Cabo Verde food is made by slow-cooking a stew with a variety of vegetables. It is reminiscent of the Cassoulet dish that is popular in France and Brazil. The main ingredients in this stew are beans, potatoes, and pork, but it can also include vegetables. Sometimes, chorizo is added to the mix, and this dish is known as a ‘rica’, and it is only made during prosperous times.

3. Búzios à Portuguesa from Ruralea

3. Búzios à Portuguesa

It is a wonder that we are sure will delight those who can try this Cabo Verde food and recipe. With the Portuguese style whelk salad it is not difficult to be successful at your table.

You can adapt the preparation and ingredients according to your personal taste and preferred flavors. But you really have to try it to enjoy the Portuguese style whelk salad and become a fan.

4. Jagacida from International Cuisine

4. Jagacida - Cabo Verde Food Recipes

This Cape Verdean staple Cabo Verde food and recipe–generally called “jag” these days–has been on tables in our region since the mid-nineteenth century. Like some of the best local cooking, jag’s transmission has mostly been an oral history affair, mother to daughter. That said, a few early twentieth-century Yankee cookbooks do contain recipes for “jagasee” and, interestingly, do not refer to it as anything terribly exotic.

What do you like to put in your jagacida recipe? I would love to hear about it as I know there are so many wonderful options. Be sure to let me know in the comments below.

5. Cuscuz from Crumb Snatched

5. Cuscuz - Cabo Verde Food Recipes

I realize that not everyone knows what cuscuz is. Truthfully, Cuscuz is kind of hard to define. Simply put, cuscus is a Cabo Verde food and recipe for a breakfast that’s made mainly of corn flour or mandioca (yucca) flour. The corn version (this one) also contains sugar, cornmeal and mandioca starch (aka manioc or tapioca starch). Most people add a touch of cinnamon.

The dry ingredients are moistened with water and steamed in a binde, which as I mentioned, is a traditional Cape Verdean clay pot. Most Cape Verdeans use a flower pot (yes, one that you can find at the Home Depot) and insert it into a large tin can. The seam is sealed with a paste that’s made from the reserved corn flour, and the cuscuz is covered and steamed on the stove top.

6. Pudim de Leite (Custard Dessert) from Great British Chefs

6. Pudim de Leite (Custard Dessert)

This classic custard based dessert is a common feature of restaurant menus across Europe, Africa and South America and is also known as flan, tocino de cielo and pudim de leite. Perfect for a light dinner party dessert, this Cabo Verde food can be made in advance and is wonderfully simple to prepare.


Want more ideas to round-out your Recipe Box?
A lot of great options are in these posts!


7. Cape Verde Pastels from 196 Flavors

7. Cape Verde Pastels - Cabo Verde Food Recipes

I found this site with a whole slew of Cabo Verde food and recipes and printed out two and let the kids choose which one (now saving this start to draft, so we’ll find out in a few minutes, days which recipe was chosen).

Pastel, which is pronounced pach’tel in Portuguese and Spanish is the name given to various crispy or fried foods of many Spanish or Portuguese speaking countries, whether the preparations are sweet or savory. Moreover, in the category of sweet pastels, let’s not forget the famous Portuguese pasteis de nata.

8. Assado Limao (Lemon Chicken) from Panelinha

8. Assado Limao (Lemon Chicken)

You can bookmark this Cabo Verde food and recipe to serve on feast days, family lunches, gatherings with friends. It’s guaranteed success. Lemon and herbs give it a special flavor and the preparation technique guarantees soft and juicy meat.

9. Moreia frita e salada com infusão de pétalas de rosa from Media RTP

9. Moreia frita e salada com infusão de pétalas de rosa

For this Cabo Verde food and recipe cut the moray eel into slices, open them up and remove the backbone. The steaks are put to marinate in garlic vines, made up of white wine and garlic, bay leaf, pepper and chili peppers are added, and they should remain like this for a few hours – 4 to 5.

10. Portuguese Kale Soup from International Cuisine

10. Portuguese Kale soup

This amazing dish from Cape Verde called Caldo verde is a Portuguese Kale soup. The flavors of this Cabo Verde food and recipe are awesome with the linguica and chourico sausages and the texture with the onions, potatoes and kale was perfect. This is a very flavorful soup that will now be added to my favorites. It makes a delicious meal on its own or a perfect start to a Cape Verde meal.

11. Arroz de Atum (Cape Verdean Rice with Tuna) from Black Foodie

11. Arroz de Atum – Cape Verdean Rice with Tuna

A traditional Cape Verdean diet is rich in fish and seafood so arroz de atum (also referred to as arroz ku atum) is a perfect taste of my island nation in one bite. Unlike most Cape Verdean dishes, it doesn’t take a whole afternoon or day to make which is perfect with my busy schedule and family life.

I recommend imported tuna from Cape Verde or Portugal for this Cabo Verde for as the pieces are meatier and it’s usually a little bit saltier than American tuna. Plus, its packed in olive oil which lends the dish a distinct taste.

12. Mini Donetes from Crumb Snatched

12. Mini Donetes - Cabo Verde Food Recipes

These homemade Cabo Verde recipes dessert for fried mini donuts are inspired by Cape Verdean donetes which have crisp, golden outsides and soft cake-like centers! They’re made without yeast and are glazed with caramel. Shaved coconut topping is optional.

If you like these donetes, you’ll love this recipe for gufungine, which is a Cape Verdean fried pastry made from cornmeal! Donetes are slightly sweet and have delicious cake-like centers. They can be dusted in sugar after frying, or glazed with a caramel topping called calda de caramelo. Once the donuts are dipped in caramel, you can top them with sweetened shaved coconut if you’d like!


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