Barrigas de freiras’ (Nuns’ Bellies), the sweet yolk
‘ovos-moles’, ‘dons rodrigos’ and Santa Clara pastries are heavenly sweets
certain to win you over. And, these celestial delights keep on coming.
What about the famous Belém pastries, whose recipe remains
a closely guarded secret, or the ‘Abade de Priscos Pudim’, a 14th century legacy
from one of the best Portuguese cooks, or the ‘toucinho-do-céu’
(lard-from-heaven), prodigious in its spices!
The convents would enter
into great rivalries to see which could produce the best sweets and desserts
with results best described as divine!
The ‘Sericaia de Elvas’, based on a recipe brought back by
a 16th century Portuguese governor of India or the Madeira sugarcane cake, a
wonderful island invention that combined cane with European spices, are just a
couple of other examples of the Portuguese taste for all that is good and sweet.