My family Christmas


03 February 2020

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My family Christmas:

Christmas is a season loved everywhere in the world! Portuguese also love this festivity, and being mostly a Catholic country, is celebrated with all the honors it deserves.

We make the Christmas tree, but the most important symbol of Christmas in most of our houses, is the Nativity Scene!! The majority of the Portuguese families make the Nativity scene in their living rooms in a special place! They can have small clay, wood or porcelain figurines or they can have big Nativity Scenes (like my own). I know a lot of people who have collections of Nativity Scenes from different Portuguese regions or from different parts of the world!!

Christmas Eve dinner, or Consoada, is all about Portugal’s national dish –  Bacalhau – this is probably the most traditional option for Christmas dinner, although octopus is also common in the North of Portugal and in the Algarve.

Meat doesn’t feature at all and the bacalhau recipe used for Christmas is known as Bacalhau de Consoada.

It´s made with cabbage, boiled eggs, boiled potatoes, and it is very simple, particularly when compared to other Bacalhau recepies. We add olive oil to get that special taste!!!

The deserts…Humm… they are so many and so special…

Rabanadas or fatias douradas (French toast with a port wine, cinnamon, sugar and lemon sauce) and Sonhos are both deep-fried and covered in sugar, and have a very festive taste! The amazing aroma of Sonhos being fried and invading the kitchen, is the aroma of Christmas I remember from childhood… Popular desserts are also Arroz Doce (rice pudding), and Aletria.

A lot of deserts made with eggs and sugar, (old recipes from our convents) are also very common on Christmas table:

Lampreia de natal, a dessert made almost entirely of egg yolks and shaped like a lamprey fish, sometimes makes an appearance. Papos de Anjo, Castanhas de Ovos e Trouxas de Ovos are some of this delicacies!!

Bolo Rei it´s a style fruit cake,that is made of dried fruits like raisins, nuts, and also has candied fruits on the top.

The 25th December: We can eat again bacalhau and is known as Roupa Velha (old clothes) and is basically a mash made from all of the leftover of the last night bacalhau, vegetables and potatoes! Everything is mixed with olive oil and some garlic. It´s seasoned with cumin!

At my family home, we eat Roupa Velha and also roasted Turkey with a magnificent sauce!! It´s magical!!!

Premium table wines and Port wine are the perfect companions for this feast!!

What are you waiting for spending Christmas in Portugal?

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