Food and drink, Ovos moles de Aveiro

Ovos moles de Aveiro

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Ovos moles are sweets associated with the city of Aveiro and must be tried at least once, although they are an acquired taste. The name ovos moles means ‘soft eggs’ and like many of the sweets and desserts in Portugal the origins can be traced back to the nuns who had to find a use for all the egg yolks left over after they had used the egg whites to starch their habits. The centre of the ovos moles is a very sweet creamy mixture of egg yolk and sugar and it is coated with a soft wafer made of flour and water (reminiscent of communion wafer). Traditionally the sweets bear the shape of fish or barrels, both of which are symbols of Aveiro’s past when the main industries were fishing and the collection of seaweed. There are shops and kiosks all around the centre of Aveiro selling ovos moles in wooden barrel-shaped containers, which are beautifully decorated with paintings of the distinctive barcos moliceiro (seaweed-collecting boats), for which Aveiro is famous.