River fish
Baixo Guadiana

In the Guadiana River and tributaries there are 16 species of fish, of which 10 are Iberian endemisms and 4 exist only in the Guadiana river basin. Among the main species of commercial interest that have survived are migratory species such as eel, lamprey, shad and saboga, and others such as mules, the barbs. To these species are added other, essentially marine, that at certain times of the year, the river rises with the tide: the corvina (or corvineta, because it is smaller), the gilded and the sea bass.


The saboga or savelha, fish with enough pimples, is much sought after by these bands, especially by their roe, used in cold salads. The remaining fish can be used in the famous fish stew of the river, usually made with the fish of less commercial value and available at the time of confection: saboga, muge, barbo, or achigan. The caldeirada is said to have arisen when the fishermen at sea, in order to recover from the effort of the work and to take advantage of the fish of less commercial value or unsuitable for sale, used it in the confection of their meals. Hence it is a typical dish of fishing areas.


The lamprey, appreciated by some and hated by others, is another of the most sought after dishes from January to April. Its preparation requires special care of bleeding and cleaning, and may or may not be exfoliated and obligatorily removed the gut and gall with extreme security, otherwise the whole product is incompatible. It is usually cut into slices, left for several hours to marinate in a mixture with their own blood, red wine, garlic, bay leaf, salt. It is then stewed and accompanied with white rice.

*Image in Roteiro dos Sabores do Baixo Guadiana 2018