As in all countries fruit can be consumed throughout the year however, seasonal fruit really tastes so much better.
Given the different geographical features of Portugal, certain fruit tastes different depending on where it was grown in the country.
We’ve chosen five fruits that are grown in the country and that are enjoyed through spring and summer.
Loquats (nêsperas) are more commonly grown in the Algarve, although they can be seen in Lisbon where they are usually grown for ornamental reasons.
Originally from China, it is thought that the fruit was introduced to Portugal in the 16th century.
Typically, loquats in the Algarve ripen in April and are a choice meal for birds so, they need to be picked quickly for human consumption.
With a high sugar, acid and pectin content loquats are great to eat freshly picked, in a smoothie or in a salad with other fruit. However, as the fruit has a high seed content it is more usually made into jam, jelly and chutney.
The taste is described by culinarybackstreets.com “as if an apple has been procreated with an apricot and a plum”.
Again, Algarve is the ideal region in Portugal to grow figs (figos). Sold fresh locally, visitors can also buy them dried or made into morgados; roasted figs mixed with almonds, sugar and flavourings such as fennel, lemon and cinnamon.
Usually harvested from May through to October, the newer fruit is green and the older is purple in colour. Both are delicious and best served at room temperature.
What is more satisfying than sitting on a beach and taking a bite out of a slice of watermelon (melancia)?
Mainly grown in the Alentejo, a region bordering north Algarve, this juicy fruit is thirst quenching and low in calories.
In markets and supermarkets you can usually buy half or even quarter a melon as they are often quite large.
Pineapples (ananas) have been known in Europe since the 16th century.
Brought over from Brazil, the Portuguese transported them to the Azores, mid-way between South America and Europe, where today they are grown most of the year.
Portuguese pineapples are known for their juiciness and are particularly tasty in the summer season.
Spring has well and truly arrived when cherries (cerejas) are being sold.
Perhaps the best cherries are grown in the Leiria area of Portugal. They have the perfect balance of sweetness and sourness with a deep red colour.
In Portugal cherries are not only eaten raw. Ginja is a particularly tasty liqueur made from the fruit and tastes even better when eating a little dark chocolate with it. There are also numerous desserts and cakes available along with jam and gin!
For some suggestions of tasty autumn/winter fruit in Portugal click here.