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Ribeira GrandeLocal Products

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Ribeira Grande - Local Products

They represent a brand of uniqueness and quality of Ribeira Grande. They include various handicraft items, which are tokens of the richness of our heritage and reveal the way of being and living of the inhabitants of Ribeira Grande; "lapinhas", pottery, and weaving are some of the most representative examples of the works made by our craftsmen's industrious hands.

Tea, grown on the slopes located between Porto Formoso and Gorreana and processed in the only tea factories in Europe - the Porto Formoso and Gorreana Tea Factories - is the municipality's major ambassador. With a different taste, we find the famous liqueurs produced at the Mulher de Capote factory. Made from natural products, they are recognized as a brand of excellence at the regional level.

Be sure to taste the bean "queijada" from Ribeira Grande, an authentic and locally produced pastry, or the delicious biscuits made by hard-working and talented hands at our local companies.

The most typical handicrafts

  • "Lapinhas"

    Miniature nativity scenes made from shells, limpet shells, clay, wood, dried flowers and moss, assembled on wooden supports and protected by glass cases. This 12th-century tradition began in the convents and reached the skilled hands of the ladies of São Miguel, who are still making them today, always based on the initial concept. Nowadays, in Ribeira Grande, it is common for the families to have a "lapinha" in their living room.

  • Records of the “Santo Cristo dos Milagres” (Holy Christ of Miracles)

    The records, a tradition that began in the convents of Ponta Delgada (Esperança and Santo André), have a rectangular wooden frame closed with glass. The printed image of the Holy Christ is combined with a depiction of Mother Teresa da Anunciada on her knees, close to the image, in a contemplative mood. These figures are surrounded by decorative flowers made from different materials: silver or gold tubes, velvet, silk paper, feathers, fish scales, beads, wax, satin, among others. They are an expression of the strong religiosity of the people of São Miguel.

  • Fish scales

    Works made from fish scales result from a time-consuming, meticulous and delicate process. The scales are dyed using water with different colours and, once dry, they are cut into small pieces and transformed into delicate petals that are put together according to the creativity of the skilled hands that shape them. Nowadays, it is possible to find various items, from pictures to decorations and costume jewellery.

  • Weaving

    This is one of the archipelago's oldest traditional industries. The art of weaving is still very present in the municipality of Ribeira Grande, where there are still many active weavers, namely in the hamlet of Lombinha da Maia and in the parish of Lomba da Maia. Linen, wool and cotton are transformed into beautiful pieces like blankets, quilts, rag carpets, regional garments, ribbons, among others.

  • Pottery

    The island's first pottery factories appeared in the second half of the 19th century, in Ribeira Grande, where we can still find two operating production plants; the factory that makes decorative hand-painted panels and various decorative items, and the pan, roof tile and brick factory.

  • Tea

    In Ribeira Grande we find the only tea plantations in Europe, a unique landscape in the archipelago. The island produces black tea and green tea. In terms of black tea, we find the following varieties: Orange Pekoe, Pekoe and Broken leaf; as for green tea, there are two categories: the traditional one (which only uses the first three leaves) and the most aromatic one, which only uses the first leaf.

    It is an ecological product and the two varieties are considered digestive, especially the green tea. It is considered a depurative tea with a regenerative action.

  • Liqueurs

    Passion fruit was introduced in the island, particularly in Ribeira Grande, in the second half of the 19th century and that led to the development of the first liqueur factory, which produced passion fruit sweet liqueur, dry liqueur and brandy. This factory is still operating today and keeps on innovating and broadening its range of products. It is currently one of the most important liqueur factories in the Azores. While visiting the factory or its shop, you can taste the variety of flavours produced at Mulher de Capote.

  • Bean "queijadas" from Ribeira Grande

    Thanks to the way it is prepared, the bean "queijada" from Ribeira Grande stands out for the quality and refinement of its flavours and is one of the town's hallmarks. It can be found in various local cafés and shops.

  • Assorted biscuits

    Ribeira Grande's biscuit industry is very rich and diversified (butter biscuits, coconut biscuits, "carrilhos", cat's tongues, cinnamon biscuits, "dedos de dama", "catarinas", almond "areados", among others). You can find the biscuits made in Ribeira Grande in both traditional shops and supermarkets or shopping centres.

Did you know that...

In 1563, an intense seismic and volcanic crisis at the Pico do Sapateiro and the Lagoa do Fogo destroyed virtually the entire town