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Aveiro – The Portuguese Venice
The unique lie of the land has endowed this enclave with canals plied by colourful boats known as moliceiros, decorated in the style of Venetian gondolas. This has led it to be nicknamed “The Portuguese Venice”.
The town centre is criss-crossed by these canals, which visitors must take to reach its sights, particularly in the old quarter of Boira Mar with its traditional houses and its estuary salt pans. A feature well worth observing are the typical azulejo-tiled facades. These veritable works of street art are all over Aveiro.
Aveiro has a vintage appearance which nevertheless blends well with modernity. This mix is partly the result of the proximity of the town’s university, which makes for a lively atmosphere at virtually any time of the year.
And Confectionery Too
If you’re visiting Oporto, you have the perfect excuse to head for this unusual town, which you are sure to enjoy. Don’t forget to try their typical ovos moles, a delicious confectionery originally made by the nuns of the Convent of Jesus. Legend places its origins in this convent around the 16th century. One of the conditions of the nuns’ oath of poverty was to not eat eggs. Despite using lots of them in the confectionery they made, a huge surplus built up month after month. According to period documents, this stockpile was added to by large amounts of sugar the nuns were allocated by Manuel I of Portugal. The sugar, eggs and the stamina to stir this sweet mixture for hours on end yielded what we now know as Aveiro’s ovos moles.
The recipe has hardly changed at all, although many confectioners now round off the process using a lukewarm syrup to which the eggs are added, and the mixture is stirred over a slow fire. The ovos moles are coated with wafer and normally moulded into the shapes of sea creatures, notably seashells, conches and fish. The sweet flavour is reminiscent of a Spanish, egg-yolk candy known as yemas de Santa Teresa de Ávila.
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Text by Tensi Sánchez de http://www.actitudesmgz.com
Photos by Fernando Sanz
Texto de Tensi Sánchez de www.actitudesmgz.com
Fotos de Fernando Sanz
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