Aveiro is the capital city of the Ria de Aveiro (Aveiro Lagoon), which it shares with all the municipalities of the Aveiro Region, having as one of its distinctive personality notes of being the City of Canals in Portugal.
The water that engulfs the main waterways is the mirror of the city, flowing the Botirões, Central, Côjo, Pyramids, St. Roque Canal and Paradise Canals. The lagoon flows constitute a primordial element of the municipality of Aveiro’s personality lining up in narrow extensions, that owe their formation to the economy of salt exploration, imposing a singular grace in the urbanity. They punctuate it with liquid landscapes, which reflect, like colourful and soft watercolours, its people, buildings and “moliceiro” boats, garish colourful marine vehicles that were once destined to the harvesting of seaweed and sargassum, that permeate these veins of urban anatomy, giving life and movement.
We venture into what may be the most obvious gastronomic influence,the tradition linked to water, in its condition of coastal city: cockles, clams and oysters, the mussel, the eel, skate, which are sometimes found in stews. Seabass is one of the most found fishes in the region, since between January and February this species comes to spawn in the lagoon.
On this same menu, there can be fried eels with “escabeche sauce”, monkfish rice, seafood cataplana, and also “marinhoa” meat (protected designation of origin), famous for being very soft and juicy and, therefore, used in grilled dishes. Part of the gastronomic culture of the region are the wood oven roasts on clay baking sheets and the “Bairrada” piglet.
On the desserts, the raivas, alemães and regueifas timidly affirm themselves as typical sweets of the region, since Aveiro is synonymous with the convent art of “ovos moles”. This is a sweet treat made step-by-step, where homegrown eggs are one of the essential secrets, as well as the quality of sugar and the wise know-how of those who master it, a wisdom passed on from generation to generation.
As an example, Maria da Apresentação da Cruz house, operating since1882, uses this ancient knowledge to form the orange paste that fills the wafer molds, with motifs linked to the sea such as shells, whelks or fish. In his celebrated work, Os Maias, writer Eça de Queiroz, references this delicacy: “There are six barrels of soft eggs fromAveiro. It’s a very ‘chic’ dessert”.
Aveiro, 26 – 29 October
Aveiro is the chosen city to once more showcase the best films from Portugal and from all around the world.