Trás os Montes

Trás os Montes. Cold land. Hot land.

From the top of the mountain, you can see the granite and schist formations, amidst a vast, very rich geological patchwork that exists in this region beyond the hills. Raiano, inhospitable and, at the same time verdant, almost mysterious, magical, this territory located in the northeast of Portugal occupies an area of ​​5,538 km2, consisting of nine municipalities – Alfândega da Fé, Bragança, Macedo de Cavaleiros, Miranda do Douro, Mirandela, Mogadouro, Vila Flor, Vimioso and Vinhais – where more than twenty PDO and PGI products exalt the gastronomic heritage, a centuries-old heritage handed down to each generation that passes through this “wonderful kingdom”, by the Portuguese writer Miguel Torga. The importance of the Meseta Ibérica Reserve is noteworthy, the enormous transboundary biosphere reserve comprising the natural parks of Montesinho, Douro Internacional, Sanabria and Arribas do Douro, and where fauna and flora concentrate a gigantic endemic diversity.

The Trás-os-Montes region is divided between Cold Land and Hot Land. (Cold Land and Hot Land), dictated by the different morphological and climatic characteristics.

Terra Fria of Northeast Transmontano. Vinhais, Bragança, Miranda do Douro, Vimioso and Mogadouro. The high altitude and the cold and humid climate are attributes common to these five municipalities. The whole is made up of the Serras da Nogueira and Montesinho and the Serras de Sanabria and Culebra. The Planalto Mirandês is extremely beautiful. The rivers were named Sabor, Rabaçal, Tuela and Maçãs. The marshes, a name given to the huge green meadows, contrasting the wheat and rye crops, are accompanied by the black oak shared by the chestnut groves, in spontaneous forests studded with cork oaks, holm oaks, olive trees, ash and juniper trees.

The product is praised, such as the Porco Bísaro, an indigenous Portuguese breed, indelible in Terra Fria. Try the alheira, beef chorizo, sweet chorizo, sour chorizo ​​and botillo, goatling, goat’s cheese, the lamb, mirandese steak obtained from meat Mirandesa DOP. Talk about conger and trout from cold-water streams, without forgetting barbel or carp. Include the chestnut, available in ten varieties – Yellow, Hazel, Boa Ventura, Côta, Judia, Lamela, Longal, Martaínha, Negral and Trigueira. Add the casulas (dried bean pods) cooked with the butter, double served with boiled potatoes, sausages, ham, and olive oil, as well as the gilt (freshly roasted pork) and the chichos (pork loin roasted on the grill), or the chis or chis soups, which are eaten on the day the pig is slaughtered and which are included in the compendium of typical recipes from Mogadouro. The making of the couscous is rehearsed.

Terra Quente of Northeast Transmontano. Alfândega da Fé, Macedo de Cavaleiros, Mirandela, Vila Flor and Carrazeda de Ansiães. The low altitudes and the hot, dry climate give the similarities between the valleys of the Rio Sabor, the Bornes and Passos mountains, and Mediterranean agriculture. Let's talk about cherries and almonds from Alfândega da Fé and chestnuts from Macedo de Cavaleiros, olives from Mirandela and Vila Flor, and grapes from Carrazeda de Ansiães. Add to that the cabbage penca, in the parish of Carvalhais, in the municipality of Mirandela, traditionally used during the Christmas season, and the typical Mirandela sausage, which appeared at the end of the 15th century. Pork meat and fat, poultry meat, wheat bread, olive oil and lard are some of the main ingredients in this much-appreciated sausage. Add the Terrincho Cheese DOP and the Lamb Terrincho DOP, both obtained from raw milk and the Churra da Terra Quente DOP sheep meat, respectively. Add the Olive Oil from Trás-os-Montes DOP, produced from the Verdeal transmontana, Cobrançosa, Cordovil or Madural varieties, and the Honey from Terra Quente produced by the Apis mellifera Ibérica bee species. From hunting come the wild boar, the partridge, the hare, the rabbit, the wood pigeon.

All this immensity of raw material is a greater excuse to explore the leafy forests and discover the streams, streams, and rivers, on their beds bathed in clear waters. It is a permanent challenge that invites you to explore the mountain ranges dotted with mountains and valleys, where endemic vegetation and preserved fauna prevail. It is an immense route, where the mountain villages enter, with their past, their customs and traditions, their people and their culture marked by the Winter Festivals, with the Caretos, the solstitial rites and the pauliteiros from Miranda to pair with the buildings that mark different eras of a history that begins in the pre-Roman era.