Located in the back corner of the fruit and vegetable section of Portimão’s municipal market, Presuntaria do Mercado opened at the end of July this year. The owner of this new venture, Rui Águas, knows a thing or two about high-quality meat products. His main business, Alves&Águas with a butcher shop also in the market, is a trusted supplier of many of the Algarve’s top hotels and restaurants, including the likes of Vila Joya and Vila Vita Parc, both of which have been his clients for over 30 years.
Rui is passionate about cured hams and other meat products made from the Ibérico black pig and has long sold fine quality Pata Negra hams at his butcher shop. But the idea was hatched this year to open a space dedicated to a particular premium brand from Spain where visitors can also browse a small but very well-curated selection of Portuguese wines, and even sit down to enjoy a glass whilst sampling the delicacies on display.
The Pata Negra ham and the other products come from a producer by the name of Beher, located near Salamanca, which interestingly sends its premium pigs that are fed with 100% acorn (bellota) to Portugal where the company owns land. Once ready for slaughter, the pigs are returned to Salamanca and the hams are cured for 40 months.
Rui himself has become skilled in the art of cutting the hams and he will cut to order whilst clients wait or there is the option to buy vacuum-packed portions. As well as the premium 100% bellota ham there is also another variety from the same breed of pig, fed with 50% acorn and 50% cereal. Both hams are excellent, the second variety being a more delicate flavour.