Top 10 festive food traditions in Europe

Whether it’s cinnamon biscuits in Brussels, potato-anchovy casserole in Stockholm or Christmas pudding with a twist in Copenhagen, there’s a wealth of culinary delights on offer at yuletide

During the festive season the Portuguese capital overdoses on cakes, desserts, fried pastries etc, with people queuing to buy them in pastelarias (bakeries). My favourite are sonhos (dreams) – light, deep-fried doughnuts, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. They can be made with flour and eggs, or with flour and mashed boiled pumpkin. There are good ones at Pastelaria Versailles, a beautiful, art nouveau cafe dating back to 1922. Still, bolo rei (king cake) is probably the most popular treat and you’ll see it everywhere. The old cafe Confeitaria Nacional (near Rossio square) introduced this French cake to Lisbon in the 19th century, and now it’s baked all over the country. It’s dry, with soft dough, and is not too sweet, with nuts and candied fruits. Bolo-rainha is the same but without the candied fruits. Whoever finds the dry broad bean hidden inside has to buy the next bolo rei.
Célia Pedroso, who offers foodie tours of Lisbon through culinarybackstreets.com

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