Moliceiro Walk in Aveiro

The City of Aveiro, Canals, Moliceiros and Soft Eggs

Take a moliceiro stroll through the channels of the Ria de Aveiro, eat the delicious soft eggs and learn about the traditions through the stories through the mouth of both the cagaréu and the cheboleiro. It is an unmissable experience. We are going to visit Aveiro.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The Ria de Aveiro, sister of Ria Formosa in the Algarve, it is a lagoon region and the mouth of the Vouga River, with particular characteristics. Here, sea salt water is mixed with fresh water from the various streams that flow here.

Aveiro and its traditional boats

There are several vessels that navigate the channels and the Ria de Aveiro, with different characteristics, depending on the purpose for which they were built.

Moliceiro was used to collect the moliço, different species of algae, which were used to fertilize the land. It is a very elegant boat, with colorful decoration and original humorous references.

It is one of the ex-libris of Aveiro, along with the Eggs Moles.

Moliceiro and the cagaréu

Mercantel is a vessel traditionally used in the transport of salt, but also used for the transport of sand, mud and rush. It is distinguished by its larger size and simpler, less exuberant decoration.

Bateira is a small boat with a flat bottom, low sides and a fusiform shape. Typical of Pateira de Fermentelos, a natural lagoon between Aveiro and Águeda, it is moved by rod and used in fishing and transporting people.

Moliceiro Tour through the Canals and Ria de Aveiro

Moliceiro's tour begins and ends at the pier next to the old Captainship of the Port of Aveiro, also known as Casa dos Arcos.

This construction, initially a tidal mill, is linked to the early years of the Vista Alegre porcelain factory and is currently the Aveiro Municipal Assembly.

Along the moliceiro's journey through the canals, one can appreciate some of the most emblematic Art Nouveau buildings that the city offers and, also, the salt flats of the so precious “white gold”.

The trip is all the more interesting if, at the command of the vessel, our host is a cagaréu that punctuates the explanations about the city, with details of daily life that are so close to him.

Mercanteis Wharf and Botirões Bridge Bairro dos Cagaréus
Mercanteis Wharf and Botirões Bridge

Cagaréus and Ceboleiros

There is a popular expression that says: “whoever is from Aveiro is either a cagaréu or a ceboleiro”. It even rhymes, as is usual among popular Portuguese expressions.

The Beira-Mar neighborhood, parish of Vera Cruz, located to the north of the central channel is inhabited by people connected to the Ria and the Sea, fishermen, marnots and moliceiros, who spent their lives inside the drummer, moliceiro or mercantel. Physiological needs occur when least expected and required the use of the aft of the vessel. Hence the expression “crap aft” that gave rise to the word cagaréu.

The cagaréu inhabited the north and south of the canal, in the parish of N. Sra. Da Glória, the ceboleiros.

It was in this area that the Mercado das Cebolas was held, an area of ​​the descendants of the oldest settlers and merchants.

Aveiro Soft Eggs

Those who visit Aveiro cannot fail to taste this specialty of the conventual sweets, the Eggs Moles of Aveiro.

To discover how they are made and to know their history and properties is surprising. For this, in Sweet Workshop, you can attend a workshop and find out how this recipe has been preserved and has reached our day.

In the past, nuns used egg whites to treat clothes and to use yolks, they conceived this sweet. But, as the quantity of soft eggs produced was greater than their consumption needs, they used them as a means of exchange.

Later on, some of the people gathered in the convents and who were not kept in confinement forever, knowing the precept of making soft eggs, helped to promote them, selling them together with other products from Aveiro.

Aveiro Soft Eggs are certified with Protected Geographical Indication (IGP) by the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) and, therefore, it is mandatory that their production take place in the Aveiro area.

Aveiro Soft Eggs
Aveiro Soft Eggs

All those who produce and sell Eggs Moles from Aveiro and use this designation must strictly respect the original recipe.

Eggs may not be from the area, but the process must remain the same as the original recipe, with no automated processes. Everything has to be done by hand, respecting the origins.

Thus, when you taste a soft egg, you know that its content is always the same, however the freshness can vary and, therefore, be more or less dry and the taste slightly different.

The shelf life of Aveiro Soft Eggs is 15 days and they must not be kept in the refrigerator, as the cold changes their texture.

And when hunger strikes, click on this link to know that restaurants recommend.

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