Capital of the Madeira archipelago, Funchal is now a modern, cosmopolitan, rejuvenated city that boasts over 600 years of history. Set in a magnificent natural amphitheatre overlooking the Atlantic, this city requires a scenic cable car ride to the hill and from the hill to the city centre, along the mythical routes that once served as a means of transport for the locals. From there you can see almost everything and from there everything is colour because all of Madeira is an island. It is an island with personality, natural beauty, tradition, and flowers. Lots of flowers!
From the fragrance and freshness to the delicate colours that populate the slopes of the island and are concentrated annually in a parade along the avenue, Madeira’s flowers come to life at the Flower Festival. It is one of the biggest attractions of the archipelago and has been announcing the arrival of spring for decades. It celebrates the diversity of the abundant flowers found on the island. The streets of central Funchal are invaded by music, the tireless celebrations of locals and tourists, the colour and the gentle and ephemeral scent of the thousands of flowers that decorate the streets and floats, more sumptuous every year. In elaborate floral carpets, in the costumes of those taking part in the parade, the markets or in themed exhibitions, at this time of year in Madeira the delicacy of the flower gains a whole surprising dynamic.
Included in this invitation to the Madeiran feast, another feast awaits guests who cannot do without the full experience: swordfish fillets with banana and passion fruit, a typical combination in the region. The recipe is as simple as it is tasty: cut two Madeira bananas in half, coat them in flour and egg, and fry them in very hot olive oil. Separately, heat two tablespoons of butter and the pulp of 3 passion fruit, adding three tablespoons of cream, stirring constantly until reduced. Comur takes care of the rest so can enjoy the festivities of the flower show. On a balcony overlooking the Atlantic, legs outstretched and sunbeams toasting the day, open a can of swordfish fillets in extra virgin olive oil by Comur, place them on a plate and drizzle the delicious sauce you have just prepared over them and the bananas. Add a chilled ‘Brisa’ (Portuguese for “breeze”) to go with that for an authentic Madeira flavour. And another breeze coming off the sea, stroking the skin gently while tasting the delicacy you have just prepared, to make it perfect.
In the meantime, a walk around the Cathedral, the main religious site of the archipelago, leads you to the Comur store, the ideal place to visit and enjoy the materialization of Madeira’s personality, tradition, and flavours. In Funchal, the festa do mar is a gathering of preserves that parade, too, in the Flower Festival, in the welcome to spring, but also in other events that welcome summer, autumn and winter because in Comur the party is on in every season of the year.