In Porto, Christmas is a very special time. From the religious and pagan traditions, to the gastronomy, this is a good time to discover the essence of the city and the region.
The celebrations begin in early December, with the ritual of preparing our homes for the christmas time. To put up the Christmas tree, decorating it with colourful baubles and tinsels, putting christmas decorations throughout the house, are activities that bring the family together and start the season’s excesses.
... the gastronomic side of Christmas
In Porto, salt cod fills the tables in Christmas time, with lots of olive oil and accompanied with many vegetables. You can find other salt cod dishes, such as bolinhos de bacalhau (salt cod croquettes) or bacalhau com grelos (salt cod with greens). In some tables there are also filled with some octopus dishes: octopus rice, octopus croquettes or even boiled octopus.
As for sweets, the table will not lack in rabanadas (french toasts), mexidos, bolo-rei, sonhos (puffs), filhós (fritters), arroz-doce (rice pudding) and aletria. There are also those who delight in doces de bolina, fruit salad and nuts. The menu will be full of puddings, leite-creme (custard), assorted cheeses, Port wine glasses or warm sweet wine, drink that warms the whole family through the night.