The soft eggs of Aveiro are not only a conventual sweet that, for those who know it, cannot resist tasting, as they have a unique history that deserves to be known in more detail.
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Portuguese gastronomy is rich and conventual sweets have a long tradition.
Soft Eggs with Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)
There are many pastry and confectionery products that, although they are recognized as being from a certain region, are produced in any part of Portugal. For example, Pão de Ló de Alfeizerão, Pão de Ló de Ovar, Docinhos do Algarve or Pasteis de Tentúgal.
The Soft Eggs of Aveiro have the particularity that they can only be produced in one of these Counties: Águeda, Albergaria-a-Velha, Aveiro, Estarreja, Ílhavo, Mira, Murtosa, Oliveira de Frades, Ovar, S. Pedro do Sul, Sever do Vouga , Tondela, Vagos and Vouzela. Eggs must be fresh and the wafers must respect the prescribed formats.
This is the first conventual confectionery product certified in the European Union and Portuguese confectionery with the Certification of Protected Geographical Indication - IGP.
In addition to the production having to be done in those places, they can only be produced by traditional methods, that is, industrial production mechanisms are not allowed to be called Eggs Moles of Aveiro.
This explanation alone makes our mouths water.
But what is the way they are produced?
History of Aveiro Soft Eggs
It was the Arabs, in the XNUMXth century, who planted sugar cane in the Iberian Peninsula.
But the great increase in sugar, used in sweets, has its origin in the introduction of sugar cane in the Atlantic area, by the Portuguese.
It was precisely in one of the first Atlantic lands, Madeira Island, discovered by João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira in 1419, that sugar cane was planted. The excellent climate associated with a fertile volcanic soil makes sugar cane much more productive.
On December 5, 1452, under the strategic guidance of Infante D. Henrique, a water mill was built to enable an increase in productive capacity, with the King remaining with one third of that production.
From then on, a part of this sugar belonging to the Portuguese crown, which it started to share with several institutions for medicinal purposes.
Egg whites were used to iron fabrics and the Nuns, in order not to waste the egg yolks, decided to give it an application. They added sugar, thus creating various types of sweets.
Legend has it that a Nun from the Convento de Jesus, in Aveiro, being forced to fast, will not have resisted and added to the egg yolks, sugar and water.
In order not to be discovered, she kept the mass prepared from hosts.
The next day, the delicacy was discovered by the companions of the Convent who, in view of the admirable taste, considered that there had been a miracle.
This very peculiar form of manufacture was passed down from generation to generation by the nuns and women educated in Convents.
Convent confectionery also served as a remedy for curing diseases. King Manuel I, in 1502, grants 10 annual sugar arrobas from Madeira to the Convent of Jesus.
At the Convent of Jesus this sweets were used in the pharmacy (pharmacy) as a medicine, but the Nuns also used it as a food supplement for many patients with signs of malnutrition.
With the extinction of the Religious Orders in 1834, when the last nun at the Convento de Jesus passed away, her employee, Dª Otília Soares, who knew the recipe and made the soft eggs at the Convent, started to make them at home, passing on the recipe to other hands.
Thus, the soft eggs of Aveiro were born and the popular dissemination of their production.
But the tradition remains, whether eggs or production, must be from Aveiro and the recipe must be the original.
The Original Aveiro Soft Egg Recipe
12 egg yolks, 12 tablespoons of sugar and 12 tablespoons of water are required.
Put the sugar in the water and the egg yolks are placed in this syrup, which is always stirred. Bring to a low heat and stir until the mixture is thick. It's time to remove yourself from the heat and cool and rest for a few hours.
It can be served inside molds of obreia (wafers) or in barrels, as is the tradition. The most frequent motifs incorporated in the hosts are linked to the sea and the Ria de Aveiro, such as shells, shells or fish.
One of the best kept secrets is in the way in which the gems are incorporated into the syrup of water and sugar, since it must be made by faithfully reproducing the balance of moliceiro boats in the Ria de Aveiro.
And when you are delighted with these Aveirenses sweets, think of the sea, the channels of the Ria de Aveiro and the friendly and cordial people that we find there.
- The City of Aveiro, Canals and Moliceiros
- At Ria We are a visit not to be missed
- Boating in Setúbal
- Aveiro Attractions
- Algarve Cataplana Recipe
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