That our beloved Portugal is a very rich country in terms of gastronomy (and much more) we all know. But what are the typical Christmas dishes in our region?! This is a pertinent question considering that, although Portugal is a small country, there are different typical Christmas dishes and traditions throughout the country.
In our region, the Beiras, in the Christmas Eve (dinner of December 24) the King is boiled Cod accompanied by boiled potatoes and collard greens in their utmost purity and, of course, watered with plenty of olive oil. However, with Coimbra attracting portuguese from all over the country, traditions often mingle because there is always a family member who is natural from North or South and brings with him the traditions of his “home” further enriching the Consoada. So it has become very common to see cooked octopus with boiled potatoes from the region of “Trás-os-Montes” and “Douro” in the dinner of 24.
On Christmas Day (December 25), families are delighted with a succulent “cabrito“, traditional of the mountainous regions near Coimbra, accompanied by baked potatoes and greens. In recent years, the Roasted Piglet has also been present at the Christmas table. Maybe because of the geographical proximity to Mealhada, land of Roasted Piglet, or because any pretext is good to have it… the truth is that many Portuguese families no longer dismiss it.
About sweets, diversity is also present. It’s the “rabanadas”, “sonhos”; “bolo rei”, “filhós” … endless candy that delights us this time of year.