Easter usually brings back memories of Spring, the first warm days of the year, green fields with wild flowers and my mom cooking bôla. Well, this year it looks like the first warm days of the year will be in May (maybe!), there are some wild flowers and I’ve just had a big slice of bôla.
Bôla sounds very similar to bolo, but it’s not a cake. The dough reminds you somehow of bread, but it has a certain sweetness to it, although it is not as sweet as brioche. It’s fluffy and a bit crumbly. Most types of bôla are filled with meat (several types of sausage, ham, etc.) because in some parts of the country it used to be eaten on Easter Sunday – people were not supposed to eat meat a few days before Easter, but it was OK to do it on Easter Sunday.
My mom makes this everyday year – for the whole family! Numbers vary, but that’s an average of 15 bôlas, that used to be cooked very early on Easter Sunday morning. Now she still bakes them, but she does so on Saturday afternoon and has a stand mixer. 😉
So, what does bôla have to do with this blog? If you’re in Portugal or plan on coming here you might just find this food in restaurants (as a kind of starter) or in cafés (some supermarkets also sell it). Today there are several types of bôla being sold all year round all over the country. Some have just ham, others have good old bacalhau, while others have sardines and some people actually make bôla with leftover meat from cozido à portuguesa. You can have it with some red wine or even a beer, but a tea will do just fine, as well. Happy Easter!
Have you ever tried bôla or is there anything similar to it in your country?