Bolo Rei – A symbol of the Christmas season in Portugal!

A taste of Portuguese Christmas. Secretly, I still prefer mince pies, Christmas pudding and good old fashioned Christmas cake.

Piglet in Portugal

Fascinated by this cake I decided not only to buy one but also research its origins.

Bolo Rei - a true symbol of the Christmas season

Bolo Rei is not simply a cake but a true symbol of the Christmas season!

The Bolo Rei (King Cake) originated in France and only arrived in Portugal during the mid nineteenthcentury. It is traditionally eaten on the 25th December (Nativity) and the 6th of January (Epithany). However, the cake is so popular that it is on sale from the end of November through to the Epithany. The bread-like cake is round with a hole in the centre like a crown and decorated with candied fruits and nuts to symbolize the gifts offered by the Magi. The Magi were the wise men who followed the star from the east to worship baby Jesus in Bethlehem. They were later referred to by the Church, as Kings. Hence Bolo Rei.

Inside the Bolo Rei are nuts…

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