Espada or Black Scabbard Fish
Espada or Black Scabbard Fish

Flavors of Madeira

In Madeira there exists a fish that you won't find anywhere else. The espada or black scabbard fish has enormous eyes, sharp needle-like teeth and a body shaped like a scabbard. And while espada meands "sword" in Portuguese, this is not swordfish, which is known as peixe agulha in Madeira and espadarte on the continent. No matter what the name, this fish is delicious and its tender flesh melts in the mouth.

They say that there are 365 recipes for cod in Portugal, one for every day of the year. I'd be tempted to say that there are just as many for espada in Madeira. It can be prepared "a la Delicia" with bananas, with passion fruit, poached in champagne or simply fried, just as a few examples.


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