Food and Drinks
The land provides for one of the tastier dishes of Santa Maria. The Turnip Broth is made with a local kind of turnip, small and dark in colour. Besides the turnip, some pork meat, farmhouse bacon, the local sausage called chouriço and sweet potatoes are also added to the water. The broth is poured into a dish containing slices of bread, and the rest of the ingredients are served in a separate tray.
As for sweets, there are many local recipes. Tigeladas are often served in restaurants; however, light crisp cakes (cavacas), meringues, honey-cakes and cinnamon-based pastries are more typical, along with the biscoitos de orelha (ear biscuits), so called due to their shape.
Rockmelons grown on the island have attained fame and a gourmet status over time. As for the handmade sausages, the highlight goes to the Alheira of Santa Maria.
This is an island with a wine tradition, although poorly practiced now, but there are still some families who produce local wine, mainly for domestic use, from the vineyards that grow in plots of land confined by grey stones. Other beverages, such as the aguardente and some liqueurs made from fruit, have also attained fame and tradition.