Experiencing somewhat of a renaissance in recent years, Portugal’s capital and largest city of Lisbon is now a very popular tourist destination. The allure and enchantment of the city is found in its easy going charm, intimate alleyways, and its structures that are constructed out of white-bleached limestone. If you really want to experience some of what Lisbon has to offer the international traveler, look towards the tasty cuisine that is available every place you go, especially when it comes to the desserts.
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The following are some suggestions regarding the best desserts around Lisbon that you can take advantage of whenever you are visiting the city:
The Pastelarias – these are the pastries that can be found throughout the city, the pastéis de nata being the primary favorite of the Portuguese people. They are typical served fresh and warm right out of the oven and then served with sweet sides such as cinnamon and confectioner’s sugar. These are definitely a must-eat treat when you are in Lisbon.
Bolo Rei – a Christmas dessert which translates as the King’s Cake. It was originally baked to celebrate the baby Jesus being visited by the three kings (wise men). This is a sweet dough ring with a hole in the middle of it and topped with crystallized pieces of fruit.
Leite-crème – another one of the more popular desserts that the Lisbon locals prefer. This is a great compliment to any meal, especially Rojões à moda do Minho (fried pork with rice). It is basically an egg custard but the Portuguese sweeten it up to the point that it is far more decadent than the egg custards you may have grown accustomed to.
Arroz doce – this is a rice pudding which is typically seasoned using both cinnamon and lemon. Although you can occasionally find this during the year, it is more of a holiday dessert enjoyed around Christmas and New Years.
Doce de chila/gila – a candied squash that is accented with fios de ovos (candied egg threads). These threads are usually used as a decoration or filling. One way or the other, this is a sweet treat you want to be sure and experience.
Most of the desserts that you will find when you are vacationing in Lisbon are egg-based in nature and extremely rich tasting. They are typically seasoned with different sweetening additives such as cinnamon, confectioner’s sugar, or vanilla. When you are in northern regions of the country, desserts are very rich and extremely sugary.
However, the southern regions prefer the use of almonds, figs, and even marzipan. This consists of almond meal and sugar while being lightly flavored with rosewater. In any event, you’re going to enjoy the desserts of Lisbon and Portugal, no matter which one you choose to sample.
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