Meggin’s Perfect Weekend – Madeira | My perfect weekend in Funchal, Madeira | Trip to Funchal

Meggin’s Perfect Weekend – Madeira | My perfect weekend in Funchal, Madeira | Trip to Funchal

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“Hello and welcome to our weekend in Funchal
on Madeira. This island is full of fresh fruit, fresh
flowers of course and fish. And thanks to a springlike climate, there
is so much to do here, and I’m going show to you the best ways to spend a weekend.” Madeira is often called an island paradise
in the Atlantic. It’s closer to Africa than Europe, but belongs
to Portugal. The capital Funchal is located on Madeira’s
southern coast. It makes for a great weekend escape at any
time of year. My tour kicks off in the central market which
sells local produce. But only one vegetable here has special status: “Ironically Funchal isn’t named after some
exotic bird or wild fruit. It’s named after fennel, this pretty unspectacular
vegetable. Why is that? “Because is was covered with it when it was
discovered. Completely covered. They had to set it on fire so they could explore
it. And it burned for seven years. “Seven years?! Well what is so special about fennel found
on Madeira?” “It’s sweeter, sharper. Because of the subtropical weather and the
volcanic soil, that’s a great combo for the fruits and the veggies, for everything!” For flowers too! The vendors stand out in their traditional
red outfits. 80-year-old Isabel Pereira is an institution
here, as is one of her flowers. “Birds of paradise flowers come from here
and everyone who visits wants to buy one. “ “Do they smell?” “No nothing!” But they’re still pretty to look at! “And this is our shopping tip: Buying an original
bird of paradise in Funchal! Isabelle can you wrap this up for me? Thank you! Ciao!” The fish hall is where everyone comes to buy
the day’s freshest catch. Everything here comes from the waters surrounding
the island. But seeing them spread out like this doesn’t
whet my appetite. I head over to the fish stand run by Sergio
Goncalves to hear what he has on offer: “This is quite a fish market. Sergio, how many kinds of fish do you have
here?” “Today we only have about ten but in general
we have more than 50.” “I see a really scary looking fish. What do we have here?” “This is the black scabbard fish.” “I see it all over here. What is so special about it?” “This is a typical fish from Madeira. Lots of people eat it because it’s cheap for
a family. They can take one full fish. It will be enough for two or three meals.” Meggin “And what does it taste like?” “This is the filet of this fish. It’s white meat. And it’s a hard fish. It’s not so soft. It’s very consistent.” “I’m going to try this fish later on this
evening. Thank you very much for informing me about
it. So we’ll see how it tastes later on.” “Well that was a fun and colorful market. Now like I said before, I’m going to try that
black scabbard fish later on this evening, but next up: a taste of Madeira wine.” And for that I’m off to Blandy’s wine lodge. Wine expert Rita Azu-vedo is going to give
me a quick lesson. Visitors can try out several different varities
of Madeira wine. This lodge was established in 1811 and holds
vintages that are almost 100 years old. Today, Blandy’s is the largest producer of
Madeira wine on the island. “So, I read that Madeira wine originated more
or less by accident. Is that true?” “Yes it is. In the 18th century when they used to take
the Madeira wines on the ships to supply the sailors, it was on one of those voyages to
Funchal that there was some wine left over. And when they tasted it they saw that it had
better qualities. At the very beginning they thought it had
to do with the movement of the ocean but it was three years later when they discovered
that it didn’t have to do with the movement, but it had to do with the heat.” So that brings me to my next question. The taste of this is quite strong. Does that have to do with the production. What is the difference in producing this wine
compared to other wines?” “I mean Madeira is all about fortified wine,
a liqueur with sixteen to twentytwo percent alcohol. It’s in the same category as port, sherry
and muscatel.” “How do you say cheers in Portuguese?” “Saude!” “Saude!” “It’s quite strong but very woodsy and spicy.” And already I’m starting to feel the effects
of this fortified wine. So now’s a good time to get some fresh air
and take in the other sites. The coastal promenade leads to one of two
cable-car lines that run up the hill. Earlier today I got a slight culinary impression
of some of the things on offer in Funchal… Time now to get a scenic impression with a
cable car ride.” It’s a steep journey to the top, reaching
an elevation of over 500 meters above sea level. that about 15 minutes and is for anyone afraid
of heights!” “So we made it! Yay. I made it to the top. Now I’m going to go check out the church now.” The Church of Our Lady of Monte was built
on the foundations of a 15th century chapel. It underwent several renovations after it
was destroyed in an earthquake in 1748. The current structure was completed a hundred
years ago. Meanwhile, what goes up must come down. Ok this is the activity that I have been waiting
for all day. A toboggan ride on dry land. And it’s our activity tip on our weekend in
Funchal. Fabio here is going to take me down in this
sled.” “How fast are we going to go?” “So we’re going to go about thirtyfive kilometers
per hour.” “35 kph? With no seatbelts? “Here we go!” These traditional basket sleds date back to
the 19th century and served as a fast way to transport goods and people down the hill. “My ears are popping!” “Oh my god… this is crazy! Why are we going sideways?? Stop going sideways. No, no, no! Go straight! Slow down! Help!” As day turns into night, I change into something
more elegant for my date with the black scabbard fish. The Santa Maria restaurant in the old town
is one of the places which serves it. Normally tourists aren’t allowed into the
kitches of top restaurants, but we are going to get a sneak peak behind the scenes in the
kitchen of chef Ana Camachu who is going to prepare that black scabbard fish that we saw
earlier today. And there she’s got it in her hands. Ana, so how do you prepare this fish? “So we prepare it with olive oil, salt and
oregano. Just simple. “And how long does it take to prepare?” “Five to ten minutes.” “Alright, well then, I’m going to let you
get to it. I’ll go take my seat.” And this is my culinary tip for a weekend
in Funchal. It really does take just a few minutes to
prepare and is usually served with seasonal vegetables or just potatoes.

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  1. I miss the daily episodes of Euromaxx on dw now a days. It’s only once a week now and I wish you will return to the daily episodes. Namaste from India. Love LOVE your programme.

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