these are the posts tagged ‘traditional sweets’:


folhado de tavira

you know when things look rather promising and then they turn out to be a disappointment?

yeah. i wanted *so much* to like the cake that bears our new hometown’s name… but in the end, it just wasn’t all that great. i’ve tried it twice now, thinking that perhaps the first try had been a fluke — but i couldn’t finish it in either of the attempts, so i think it’s a lost cause for me.

one has to wonder though, what is the point of a folhado (or puff pastry) that is so saturated in syrup as to ruin all its flakiness and turn it unto an unrecognizable soggy mess? :| why would you do that?

when our friend F came to visit a couple of months ago, he pointed to some in a café and asked what they were made of. the person behind the counter replied “sugar!” and left it at that.

i guess if you like eating sugar, this is good stuff. :D

dom rodrigo

yesterday at a restaurant over lunch, a british lady sitting with a group of friends on the table next to ours asked the waitress for a dessert recommendation, “something typical!“, she said. the waitress pointed to one of the few items on the menu that didn’t have a photo and said “try this — you’re going to like it. if you don’t, you don’t have to pay!“. she laughed and ordered it.

while we waited for our food to show up, i wondered what she had recommended… and then when she came over carrying a mysterious tinfoil pyramid, i knew she’d made a good choice. the group of friends ooooh’d and aaah’d at the contraption while she twisted and unwrapped the surprise package until an unappetising “nest” emerged. urged by the waitress, she hesitantly scooped a bit onto her fork… and then proceeded to gobble the whole thing in a flash! :)

dom rodrigo

dom rodrigo is a traditional sweet from the south of portugal, consisting of (what else!) egg yolks and sugar, sprinkled with a bit of almond. the yolks are turned into angel hair, delicate golden strands drenched in a syrupy concoction of almond and more yolks.

here’s the boy opening his:

it looks like a mess and would probably be a hard sell were it merely scooped onto a plate, but the fanciness of the package gives an almost dignified air to the whole thing.

not that it matters how it looks because the taste of it… goodness. those gooey strands are the thing of dreams! they melt in your mouth and leave nothing behind but sweetness, the faintest hint of cinnamon, and a crave for the next hit.

dom rodrigo

a couple of scoops later and it feels like it’s over before it even started. soon enough you’ll find yourself trying not to lick the paper!

folar de olhão

folar is a traditional portuguese easter cake — the equivalent to hot cross buns. there are several different types of folar here in algarve, but they’re usually a layered cake, cooked in small pots. they do a delicious version of it in olhão that is so good they sell it year-round in supermarkets!

granted, it doesn’t look like much from the outside, but when you slice through it…

… magic! layers over layers of moist cinnamon-y goodness, compacted over time under a thick syrup. it might be ugly, but it’s oh-so-good. don’t knock it until you try it!

ps — well, i’ll be damned — looks like we’ve been eating it wrong all along… this explains so much!

pão de rala

one of the good things of going all the way to the top of alentejo for the boy’s flight, was the opportunity to visit évora, an oasis of history and culture in the middle of the region’s golden prairies. naturally, we couldn’t let the occasion pass without trying some pão de rala — a cake that the nuns in a local convent used to make. it’s a rather deceptive cake, as it looks just like bread and olives from the outside…

pão de rala

… but when you break it open…

pão de rala

… magic! :D the little “olives” are made of marzipan and cocoa, and the bread’s filling consists of tons of egg yolks, sugar, almonds and chila (fig-leaf gourd).

as you would expect, it was a-ma-zing, really delicate and soft… though a bit on the heavy size, as sweets go. ahem. turns out, in our naive enthusiasm, we bought a whole pão de rala, which i suspect was meant to be shared with a group of people.

“perhaps a small slice would have been a more sensible portion”, said the boy.

pão de rala

i regret nothing! :)

rebuçados da régua

so, before the hiatus, i was going to tell you what we got as prizes in lieu of medals, when we ran in douro back in may. can you guess?

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rebuçados da régua, of course! :D they’re an old-fashioned and very typical local confectionery, which is guaranteed to bring back nice memories to everyone who ever traveled in douro’s train line. some old ladies there still make them, keeping the tradition alive.

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there are 9 identical sweets in each transparent bag, all wrapped in paper. the sweet is rather basic, made of melted sugar and honey, plus a few secret ingredients, they say. the result is a hard candy that looks almost like a huge amber gemstone. they’re beautiful!

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aaah… tastes like nostalgia! :)