Often called the first example of fusion cuisine, it is a mix of Portuguese and Chinese that arose when the Europeans wanted to have dishes that reminded them of home, but by necessity used the local ingredients to replicate the tastes and/or appearances as closely as possible.
A leading exponent of Macanese fare, Florita Alves, has been overseeing tasting menus and buffets at the Macau Tourism Institute this week – not only sharing the tastes with guests but also helping to ensure the young students gain experience in the local tastes and styles.
‘One famous example of Macanese food is African chicken,’ says Alves. ‘We use chilli and spices from Southeast Asia and Goa and also add coconut milk so the touch of the exotic is there.’
On here Macanese tasting menu was tacho cau-cau pele – assorted meat Macanese style.
‘It is like a stew and is a real example of the Portuguese influence in local ingredients. Instead of chorizo, we use Chinese sausage and we also use ham leg and chicken.
‘It has a history that spans five centuries, so it probably is the world’s first fusion food.’