Welcome back to Expat in Lisbon and you are just in time to check out some photos from the holiday season! Christmas 2012 was a big deal here and there were plenty of Christmasy stuff such as big Christmas trees and Santas and other “usual” decorations. You have seen those already so, I decided to show you the holiday cheer that is unique to Lisbon. Did I hear someone say BACALHAU (codfish)? Yep! I will be revealing my Bacalhau a Bras recipe later in this post!
During the Christmas season the street performers come out in force to take advantage of the increased tourist traffic. Take my advice, it is worth giving them a coin to see what they do! Here we see a free mini-carnaval for kids set up in Praça do Rossio.
I’d like to see the giant Christmas tree that you hang this ornament on! So a good Christmas in Lisbon post would be incomplete without showing you some of the food we enjoy here in Lisbon during the holiday season. First exhibit: Cakes.
The four cakes in the middle on the middle rack with the white outer frosting layer are called “Bolo Rei” or “King’s Cake” in English. The pieces on the top are usually candied fruit and candied fruit rind. The cake on the far left is called “Bolo Raina” and is “Queen’s Cake” in English. Both Bolo Rei and Bolo Raina are very traditional in celebrating Christmas here in Portugal.
I honestly thought I was having a flashback to an earlier era when I saw this stand near Rossio. They sell a delicious dessert/snack called Fartura. Portuguese is an interesting language, because a “factura” and “fartura” sound essentially the same. The former means a receipt from a purchase and the latter is the delicious treat below.
Farturas are essentially deep fried batter which is then cooled and sprinkled with a lot of sugar. I opted for the Churro instead of the Fartura. A churro is essentially the same thing but with a different twist. They are filled with chocolate, cherry, or egg cream!
Yeah, I have one of those…each! Seriously delicious. Well, a stroll around Rossio would not be complete without a visit to A Ginjinha. What is Ginjinha? It’s a sweet and sour liqueur made from cherries, and it’s absolutely famous in Lisbon and drinking it is pretty much a national pastime.
Hah! This poster is amazing. It describes two brothers, one who never drinks Ginjinha and the other who drinks 6 cups a day. It goes on to describe the non-Ginjinha drinker as ugly, too skinny, and weasly whereas the 6 cup a day drinker is nice and fat and “knows the virtue of this divine ambrosia”. Well then I think I shall partake of this divine ambrosia and leave you with best wishes for the holidays and a Happy New Year!
BACALHAU A BRAS RECIPE: for 4 people
One large salted codfish, two large onions, 4 tbsp olive oil, fresh coriander, 2 bags of potato strips (really skinny, shredded style potato chips, also called shoestring potato chips), olives, 6 eggs, black pepper, 4 bay leaves. One wok.
Soak the salted codfish for at least 12 hours in water, changing the water a few times, then use your hands to strip it into pieces. Set aside. Slice the onions into strips and set aside. Crack the six eggs into a bowl and whisk together. Take one cup of coriander and roughly chop it only once. Put olive oil, pepper, and bay leaves into the wok and turn onto high heat.
Once the olive oil is hot put the onions in and cook until glistening. Then add the bacalhau. Cook for another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potato chips and stir. Cook for another 3 minutes. Push all the contents of the wok to one side of the wok exposing the wok surface. Pour the 6 eggs into this space and let it cook for 30 seconds before mixing it in with the rest of the mixture. Mix in the eggs and then add the coriander and mix. Finally, sprinkle olives on top and serve.
Bacalhau a Bras! Merry Christmas from Portugal.
Well that’s it for this post and I thank you for stopping by Expat in Lisbon again! Remember to tell your friends, like, comment, and subscribe. It really helps me out to know what you guys think and if you have any feedback that you’d like to share with me don’t hesitate to put it in the comments. Thanks and have a happy holidays!