Codfish: a must of Portuguese cuisine

The almighty king of the Portuguese table also pays a visit on Christmas, namely on December 24th. Codfish can be cooked in 1001 different ways, but on Christmas evening it is prepared in a very unpretentious way: boiled with potatoes and the so-called “Christmas cabbage”. In some regions of Portugal, the remains are cooked on December 25th for lunch. This mix is called “roupa velha”, literally translated “old clothes”. An historical note: the introduction of codfish in the Christmas menu dates back to the dictatorship period of Salazar, around the 30’s of the 20th century. Codfish as a political propaganda weapon.

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Octopus: delightfully tender

In the north region of Portugal and also in the north area of Center of Portugal there is the habit of eating octopus on the evening of December 24th, instead of codfish. Either octopus rice, boiled octopus with boiled potatoes or fried octopus filets, the result is absolutely delicious! This gastronomic habit was highly oppressed by the dictatorship of Salazar that imposed codfish as the main Christmas dish. During those times, there was even octopus smuggling in the north of Portugal and octopus was seen as a very exquisite ingredient, suitable for a special festive season like Christmas. Those populations resisted, and nowadays octopus is still the king of Christmas tables!

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Serra da Estrela cheese: a royal delicacy

The king of Portuguese cheeses is a must at the Christmas table in Portugal. Its reputation dates back to the 14th century, for the cheese produced in Serra da Estrela was often sent as a gift for the Royal families, especially during Christmas time. This exquisite product is simply perfect for those endless family meals, as well as perfect match for noble Dão wines.

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Rabanadas: a true Christmas classic

To make it simple: a sort of French toasts. Aka “golden slices” or “egg slices”. This sweet is a true Christmas classic and an inventive way of using old bread that fried and covered in sugar and cinnamon is absolutely irresistible !

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Christmas fires: a symbol of solidarity and brotherhood

Especially in the inland of Center of Portugal, there is the enduring tradition of piling up wood in front of cathedrals and churches and to lit the “madeiros”, big fires. A way of bringing communities closer, as well as a symbol of the spirit of solidarity and brotherhood so typical of this holiday season.

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Filhoses: a must-eat tradition

Traditionally baked by the fireplace on December 24th left a perfume in the air which is a mix of many ingredients: 12 eggs, 1 kilo flour, 2 dl olive oil, orange juice, brandy, 6 soup spoons of sugar, cinnamon and bakers’ yeast.
Outside it’s cold, but after a delicious codfish with Portuguese cabbage, we must taste the “filhoses”. A true must in all Portuguese tables.

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Cabeça: A sustainable Christmas Village

Cabeça, Christmas Village invites us to discover a genuine Christmas, inspired by the very best of Serra da Estrela: people and the mountain. The main goal is to dress up the whole mountain village for Christmas. All Christmas décor works are carried out by the village inhabitants. The used materials are all natural and are carefully sorted out, respecting the environment and biodiversity. The colour is given by Serra da Estrela wool, supplied by several textile companies of the region.

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