A traditional Aveiro confection made of a delicious “sweet egg-yolk paste” wrapped in a wafer-thin pastry shaped like oysters, clams, cowries and fish, as a tribute to the maritime traditions of the region.
“Soft Eggs from Aveiro” were first made in several convents of the region. The egg whites where used to produce starch for the nuns to iron their habits and priest vestments from neighboring monasteries and for clarify wines. So the nuns decided to put the yolks to good use and, mixing them with sugar, started creating what became true icons of the Portuguese cuisine and which recipes ended up surviving the extinction of most of the convents in the 19th century.
The “Soft Eggs from Aveiro” are an outstanding example of this fine art, and come either in pure paste form inside miniatures of the wooden barrels carried by the local fishing and transport boats that ply the “Ria de Aveiro” routes, or enclosed in a wafer-thin pastry shaped like oysters, clams, cowries and fish, as a tribute to the maritime traditions of the region.
A delight to the senses, this regional sweet.
It was the first conventual sweet to be certified within the European Union. The certification seal assures the quality and authenticity of this product.
Portuguese “conventual sweets” have strong cultural, economic, historical and religious roots dating back to the 16th century, when sugar was called “Europe’s white gold” and coming into Portugal in abundance from sugar cane plantations in Brazil and in the Madeira island.
This is at the very root of the “sugar culture” practiced in monasteries and convents where nuns and monks would devote a lot of their time to the preparation of egg and sugar based confections.