Del­ic­acy cooked in Azorean vol­ca­noes: “Vol­cano Corn” from Fur­nas and “Vol­cano Soup” or Cozido

Gluten-free del­ic­acy right from the vol­ca­noes of Fur­nas, not only for gluten-free eat­ers

Fur­nas is the most beloved tour­ist des­tin­a­tion on the island. Fur­nas is loc­ated approx­im­ately 45 minutes from Pon­ta Del­gada. Fur­nas has beau­ti­ful flora and fauna, and a won­der­ful land­scape. And last but not least it is the home of the most deli­cious volcano-made food.

I have read lots of reviews of the dish named Cozido, the sig­na­ture dish of Fur­nas. And I am look­ing at this excep­tion­al dish from anoth­er per­spect­ive. It truly is a del­ic­acy every­one has to try. For those with food intol­er­ances I have good news: Cozido is both gluten- and lactose-free. How­ever, I am afraid it will dis­ap­point all veget­ari­ans: it is a dish which con­tains (lots of deli­cious) meat.

What is Cozido exactly?

The word „Cozido” means steamed meat, or steam­ing food itself. Cozido is a meat dish cooked under­ground for 4 – 5 hours in the Caldeir­as (the vol­cano cal­dera) of the Fur­nas vol­ca­noes. As you might have guessed already, the nat­ur­al heat used to cook the dish is provided by the vol­can­ic activ­ity of the cal­dera.

Veget­ables and meat are layered in a dutch oven. The veget­able lay­ers usu­ally con­tain pota­toes, car­rots, cab­bage and yams. The meat can be dif­fer­ent parts of beef, pork (even includ­ing inter­est­ing parts such as the ears), cho­ri­zo, and the loc­al blood saus­age.

How is Cozido made?

Every morn­ing around 7am every res­taur­ant in Fur­nas pre­pares its own ver­sion of the Cozido in a seal­able dutch oven (pres­sure cook­er). The lay­ers of fresh veget­able and meat is arranged in the pres­sure cook­er, then the pres­sure cook­er is sealed. The cook­ers are then car­ried to the cal­dera and are put in cyl­indric­al pits des­ig­nated for this pur­pose. The cook­er is finally com­pletely bur­ied. The res­taur­ants use little flags to mark the spot where their cook­er is bur­ied.

In 4 – 5 hours the meat and the veget­able are cooked to per­fec­tion. Around 12:30pm the res­taur­ant per­son­nel come back to the cal­dera site to get their cook­er and trans­port it back to the res­taur­ant.

Every chef has his or her own ver­sion of Cozido, there­fore it might taste dif­fer­ently in dif­fer­ent res­taur­ants. The loc­al soft drink KIMA is the per­fect com­pan­ion of this dish. You can read more about KIMA here.

Where is Cozido made?

Cozido is made in Fur­nas, at a place called Caldeir­as das Fur­nas (the ovens of Fur­nas) next to lake Fur­nas. Entry fee is 2 EUR / per­son, plus there is a park­ing fee. Check it out on this map.

I have made a few pic­tures of the fumar­oles and man­aged to take a few snaps of the res­taur­ant per­son­nel unearth­ing their pres­sure cook­ers con­tain­ing Cozido.

Where can we try Cozido?

Cozido is on the menu of almost every single res­taur­ant in Fur­nas.

Are there more volcano-cooked dishes to try in Fur­nas?

Yes, there is anoth­er spe­ci­al­ity dish in Fur­nas: the sweet corn cooked in the boil­ing water of the vol­cano. Since I live pretty close to the fumar­o­las, I go and vis­it them pretty often. Once I noticed that white bags were put into these sul­phur­ic fumar­o­las, so I went ahead and asked what is in those bags. First I thought the bags are used to pro­tect the tour­ists from the hot and sul­phur­ic water of the fumar­o­las, that they act like some kind of block­er. But no, the bags con­tain sweet corn grown on the Azores, and the corn is cooked using the boil­ing water of the fumar­o­las. The cooked sweet corn is sold at a small stand nearby. It tastes deli­cious, com­pletely dif­fer­ent from the corn cooked in „nor­mal” water. It is very soft and tasty. I highly recom­mend that you try it! Bon appet­it!

In case you are still curi­ous about Azorean food, please write me your ques­tions on my Face­book page or here in the com­ments. Please like and share if you enjoyed read­ing. Thank you so much.

Leave a Reply