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Everything you need to know to prepare a perfect São Martinho!

In contrast to the cold air outside, José is sitting by the fireplace beating the chestnuts for later roasting. He already has the pantry stocked with jeropiga and the meat bread is already in the large stone oven in the corner of the kitchen. He still has to prepare the cabbage for the green broth and start making the embers to roast the chestnuts and to entertain the family that does not fail the tradition of jumping to the fire. Every year at José's house there is a meeting scheduled on November 11th to celebrate São Martinho!


If you are thinking of preparing a magusto at home, this article was written with you in mind!


If you prefer to go out to eat chestnuts in the street, this article gives you the best suggestions from North to South of the country! Check out!

Prepare your home!

Decorating for S. Martinho couldn't be easier, cheaper and more accessible. If you're going to receive guests at home, bet on the natural products you have at your disposal: the dry leaves that fall from the trees, their branches or even the chestnut hedgehogs.


Decorate your table with a tablecloth in dark tones and make a makeshift centerpiece: use a glass vase and fill it with hedgehogs or chestnuts to make a centerpiece. Bet on brown and orange tones and give it a more rustic touch with decorative items you have around the house made of wood!


Suggestion: If you have children at home, take the opportunity to walk around and pick the natural products that will serve as decoration, they will love to participate!

How to roast the famous chestnuts?

Have you ever thought about trying to catch the chestnuts instead of buying them? Here, we guarantee that there will be no better feeling than picking up the chestnuts in the cold of the street and then arriving home, lighting the fireplace and enjoying them warm. But to take advantage of their characteristic flavor, you have to know how to prepare them perfectly!


Preparation mode:


Step 1 - Make a horizontal blow on the chestnuts (be careful not to split them in half!)


Step 2 -  Arrange the chestnuts on a tray and spread a lot of salt on top.


Step 3 - The ideal is to prepare a bonfire to roast the protagonists of the night in the most traditional way! But you can also use the oven at home: place the tray in the 220º oven for 25/30 minutes.


Step 4 - After roasting, put them in "cartridges" made with sheets of newspaper, just like the chestnuts we buy on the street!


  • Suggestion: Follow the chestnuts with Jeropiga, piquette or new wine.

Do you already know what you're going to do for the São Martinho Dinner?

Did you know that chestnuts have a strong presence in Portuguese cuisine? Welcome your guests with a dinner to eat and cry for more!

We suggest you try roasting pork or veal loin, tender and succulent meat, accompany it with some roasted potatoes and chestnuts too. Roasts are extremely simple dishes to prepare, traditional and that please many palates.

For vegetarians, you always have the option of making a chestnut soup with mushrooms: just make a stew with onion, garlic and oil, add the mushrooms and chestnuts, add water, let it cook, grind and that's it! It couldn't be simpler!

But after all, why do we eat the chestnuts?

Many years ago, on a cold and blustery autumn day, a Roman soldier came across a homeless man who asked for alms. With nothing in his pocket to give him, the soldier divided his cloak in half and offered it to the poor beggar so that he could bundle up. According to legend, this noble gesture made the storm disappear and a warm, radiant sun lit up the sky. A miracle that became known as the famous “Summer of S. Martinho”.


Every year, thanks to this legend, on November 11th we celebrate the Day of Saint Martin, the soldier with a good heart.


In times of São Martinho, tradition dictates that they make magustos! Some stories tell that the origin of magustos is related to All Saints' Day: it is believed that in November people prepared beautiful tables with chestnuts so that the spirits of the dead in the family could appear and eat them!

Want to celebrate São Martinho away from home? Follow our suggestions!



Rusga de S. Vicente in Braga has an old-fashioned magusto prepared to receive the entire population in the center of the city. The meeting is scheduled for Sunday, November 10th at 3:30 pm in the tower yard of the Keep. Participants can enjoy popular and religious songs, the usual bonfire jumping and other popular traditions.




Three days of party with street entertainment provided by Bagpipe Groups, bass drums, sing-alongs, face painting for the youngest e stands with varied cuisine and sweets from the region. These are the promises for the magustos organized by the Municipality of Oeiras in collaboration with ACECOA - Commercial and Business Association of the Municipalities of Oeiras and Amadora. The festivities are scheduled for November 10 and 11, at Largo 5 de Outubro, in the Historic Center of Oeiras, and on November 16, at Jardim do Palácio Anjos, in Algés.




In Portimão, this date is celebrated with the 357th edition of the São Martinho de Portimão Fair in the Fair and Exhibition Park between the 8th and 17th of November. In this event you can count on the traditional chestnuts and snack on some delicacies in the available bars and taverns. For fun, there will be no shortage of animation spaces with games and carousels.



The day of São Martinho is right at the doorand its time to taste the sweet wine, eat chestnuts by the fireplace and gather family and friends for an afternoon well spent. Follow the tips we share with you and celebrate this commemorative date with more flavor and more tradition.



Source: zome.pt

10 from November from 2021

Sara MartinsMarketing Assistant

Find out how you can prepare a magusto without major expenses, simple, practical and very stylish!

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