Macanese cuisine has been promoted in the city and abroad ever since Macao became a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy in 2017. This promotion and preservation of the world’s first fusion cuisine, which was reinforced as part of Macao’s government policy earlier this year, has just been strengthened once again as the city’s Intangible Heritage inventory went from just 15 items up to 70. Macanese gastronomy was already on the list but now specific local food items have been added, giving more protection and promotion to our city’s colourful culinary heritage.
As a result of the new additions – and as travel restrictions for tourists from the Greater Bay Area are starting to ease – we dedicate some of our stories on Macanese gastronomy. We focus on the past, present and future of the cuisine, as well as Macanese restaurants abroad. Street food – which, over hundreds of years, helped put Macao on the global al fresco dining map – is also a culinary art we tuck into. We talk to the hawkers who keep this tradition alive and discover the stories behind their food trolleys.
Also included is the city’s Military Club, which celebrates its 150th birthday this year. This is a local institution that’s rich with culture and history. The institution has seen momentous change over the past century and a half but its food – some of the best Portuguese dishes available in Macao – still plays the same important role it once did.
At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic in Macao has stabilised, we detail the financial support of almost MOP 50 billion (US$6.26 billion) given by the government to the local population, be it for businesses, freelancers or senior citizens, with the aim of gradually restoring and boosting the local economy. At a recent Economic Development Council plenary meeting chaired by Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng, he said: “We [the government] have to make good use of the advantage of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ system, so as to be well prepared for [Macao’s] active participation in the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and lay a more solid foundation for Macao’s sustainable development in the long term.”
The worldwide battle against the novel coronavirus is still ongoing and in Portugal, we interview cousins Dr Tânia Évora and Dr Sara Évora, who are fighting on the frontlines far from their home city of Macao. They share how thankful they are for their close connection to the city as they claim that knowing the moves made by the government in their hometown meant they became better informed during the initial phase of the pandemic. Macao, though a city of only 32.9 square kilometres with a population of less than 700,000, is a city of perseverance – shown by its people, its history and, of course, its unique gastronomy.
*Photo by António Sanmarful