“Cozido das furnas”! A treat for some, a negative gastronomic experience for others.
The “cozido das furnas” is nothing more than the necessary ingredients for “cozido à portuguesa” (boiled meat, sausages, potatoes and vegetables) left in a tightly covered aluminum pot inside one of holes dug in the warm ground of Lagoa das Furnas lakeside, S.Miguel. These canals from the earth’s depth carry steam, magnesium and sulfur to the surface thus keeping that ground hot, giving the “cozido” its special flavor.
In the past the inhabitants of the Vale das Furnas parish used the sites of hot ground to dig holes and bury hens stuffed with vegetables and wrapped in cloth to be cooked there.
This ritual has become frequent and shared by a greater number of inhabitants who took advantage of the cooks’ skill and art. The success of the dishes spread to the coming generations and it is nowadays an income source for the local restaurants.
Even nowadays the tradition is still alive in the so-called “burial of bones” on the last days of July. That is when the inhabitants of the parish go on pilgrimage to the lakeside where each family prepare their meat, fish or dessert dishes in holes they dig or using others already dug before, sharing cooking secrets.
Do not miss this “cozido” with the accent from Azores.