A Portuguese and an English Christmas

How different is Christmas in Portugal and the UK? 

Being Portuguese and married to an Englishman, means that we get 2 completely different Christmases! Another point of difference, is actually the dates and meals we celebrate – you can discover the differences!

Traditional salted codfish with all the trimmings - or bacalhau as we call it. Photo by http://natal.blogs.sapo.ao/20066.html

Traditional salted codfish with all the trimmings – or bacalhau as we call it. Photo by http://natal.blogs.sapo.ao/20066.html

In Portugal, the most important meal is dinner on Christmas Eve (24th), where we eat Portugal’s national dish, bacalhau, with cabbage, potatoes and chickpeas. Reasonably healthy, actually, as I have not mentioned the stars of the evening – the deserts!

Bolo rei or King cake

Bolo rei or King cake

From sonhos, to rabanadas, filhoses and one of my favorites.. King Cake (or Bolo Rei, as it is called in Portuguese).

I think I put on weight automatically just by looking at the “desert table” :), by absolute favourite being this “little one”:

Lampreia de ovos - or cholesterol on a plate

Lampreia de ovos – or cholesterol on a plate

We then open the gifts at midnight and have a nice long sleep.. until it’s time for lunch on the 25th!

Most families will have either turkey or “cabrito”, which roughly translated as kid (baby goat). At Mrs O’s parents’, we have both 🙂

 

Cabrito assado - roasted kid goat

Cabrito assado – roasted kid goat

After lunch, it is time to get back to the UK where another couple of days eating and drinking await! It is surprisingly difficult to fly in Europe on Christmas day, but BA now does, and we are grateful.

Back in England, we do miss out on the 25th, but thankfully, there is Boxing day, where we get to celebrate with the English side of the family – and eat some more!

Christmas pudding, which screams for brandy butter

Turkey is certainly on the menu, and I love the way it is cooked in England – with the roasted potatoes, bread sauce, brussels sprouts, gravy et al!

Oh and I almost forgot the desserts – Christmas Pudding, of course and copious amounts of cheese 🙂

Obviously a bit of dieting will be required in the New Years – 3 days of non-stop eating do take its toll.. but Mr and Mrs O certainly get the best of both worlds. What’s 1000 miles each way when we get the chance to be with both our families?

I am now very curious – what do you eat for Christmas? And is Christmas Eve celebrated in your part of the world?

xo

Mrs O

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