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Catchupa is the national dish with a base of beans and corn. Other items are added depending on the means of the family. Catchupa has many variations including:

  • Catchupa pobre: beans and corn soup
  • Catchupa rico: beans and corn soup mixed with meat and vegetables
  • Catchupa guisado: drained, refried and served with an egg and chorizo


The ocean around Cape Verde is filled with beautiful fish from grouper and lobster to tuna and wahoo. Whether grilled or baked in the oven, Cape Verdean seafood is absolutely delicious.



Grogue:  local sugarcane rum

This spirit is made by pressing sugarcane through a traditional press called a trapiche, which is turned by either cattle or a motor and releases the sugarcane juice. The juice is then fermented into the potent yet flavorful 40% alcohol.

Traditional Trapiche

Fun facts:

  • The trapiche is on the 500$00 escudo note
  • In São Vicente’s main square, Praça Nova, the people of Mindelo meet to walk around the square and socialize, sometimes for hours. The act is called fazê grog or “to make grogue”, in reference to the way a cow circles the trapiche.


Cuscus is a cake made from cassava flour and sometimes mixed with manioc flour. It is steamed in a traditional clay pot called a bindi. It is served with locally made goat cheese and sugarcane molasses.