Interview: D. Assunção



D. Assunção is one of the latest inhabitants of a rural community (Mealha) in the inland
of Tavira municipality, in Algarve, Portugal. She was invited to prepare a community meal
in the parish main village Cachopo, using traditional recipes and ingredients.

Concelho de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal 


Description of the environment where one of the activities listed above takes place:
(Please, specify: 1 – name of the local area, 2 – if it’s a place well-known for a specific activity and – if so – which one; 4 – information about plants and landscape related to Mediterranean environment linked to the activity; 5 – any relevant information linked to the research). If it’s possible, take pictures/shoot video of this place.

1 – Cachopo is a freguesia (parish) in the municipality of Tavira (Algarve, Portugal). The population in 2011 was 716 and the territory is an area of 203.53 km².
2 – No.
4 – All products used for this activity are produced locally and have been used in the inland rural communities for centuries.
5 –
This activity gathers all the community around the same dining table, and it is followed by dancing traditionally and playing music, where all the participant are welcome to dance folk dances and to listen to traditional music. This is an occasion for intense celebration of the products and of the land where it
Is taking place.

Description of the technique/method/practice implemented. Please, specify – if it’s the case – the timing, the steps and the aim of the activity (to have more material: pictures + video shooting of the usage if it’s possible).

In the video, D. Assunção explains how to prepare the traditional “Jantar de Grão” and other traditional dishes from the Algarve’s rural inland.
She started to prepare the Community Dinner at 11:00, slowly putting the local ingredients in a 300l copper pan which is named Caldeirão, as the name of the Mountains where this activity takes place.
The “Jantar de Grão” is being prepared and cooked slowly, 9 hours all together, so it was ready to be served by 18:00h.


300L Cooper Pan; Wood spoon; slow burning wood fire


The ingredients are:
Chickpeas; Sweet potato; Pumpkin; Cabbage; wild herbs (acelgas); Garlic; Onions, Pork Meat; Sausage, Olive Oil, etc.


Since this activity is promoting the cohesion of the territory, the process is that the cook prepares a meal for all the community together, which is an excellent opportunity for them to gather together, share the meal and enjoy themselves. So to promote the territory itself, the meal is consisting of local ingredients.

How did you learn this method/technique/practice?

She learned the recipe from her grand-mother, when she was still a child.

Personal reference to Mediterranean traditions (working together, sharing, harvest/fish together etc.)?

The aim of the meals are promoting locality and sharing.

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