Can anyone tell me anything about "fig cheese" / "queijo de figo"?
I came across something that seems to be called "fig cheese" while searching the internet for a food containing both figs and chocolate. Apparently, it's something from The Algarve.
There's a lot of pages mentioning it, mostly copy-pasting a recipe from a very old book.
Here's a representative one:
I'm just wondering if this is for real or just the result of a lot of copy-pasting a garbage recipe. If it is for real, can you tell me more about it? I can't find anyone talking about it anywhere on the web.
Its a regional sweet or "doce" from the Algarve which is often served on the first day of may and sometimes called "queijo de maio." This makes a lot of sense given the dried figs, which would be from the previous harvest. They are also made into smaller sweets which are served in cafes shaped similarly. I would guess its the almonds which are important, more so than chocolate. In fact I have seen some older recipes which just use figs, raw almonds, and portuguese grappa (which might have a bit of anise flavor). The recipe appears to be a translation a recipe that appears on a number of blogs, which is probably from the book "A mesa no Algarve." I think they mistranslated the center or meat of an almond as "meal" and there are some other obvious auto translation issues. So I would suggest working with ground skin on almonds and going from there. Also decorate the top with almond slices. Editorial Verbo in Portugal has a good reference on portuguese sweets (and another on festivals and their food traditions) which I would love to reference as I am not an expert but that is not available so hopefully this helps a bit. There are also similar sweets (no chocolate) from the Northeast of Brazil using cashew nuts and fruit.