In Portugal, the widespread practice of offering a gift to the godchildren at Easter is a Catholic tradition. It is still usual to offer Easter Cake with eggs (“folar com ovos”) or sugar-coated, chocolate or caramelised almonds, to the godchildren, family and friends. One of the meanings of almonds during Easter is the same as the eggs – they are a symbol of fertility and renewal.
Just a few days before Easter, Mar d’Estórias immersed in the Easter tradition of homemade caramelised almonds which, by the people of the south of the country, are called “amêndoas enxovalhadas”.
In the Algarve, this offering is a tradition that makes the mouth sweet, but arms sore. Alice mentions this laborious work process while stirring, with her wooden spoon, the pot full of almonds, water and sugar: “… they are quite good, but it is hard for me to enfold the melted sugar in the almonds!”
Mar d’Estórias went to learn how the people from Lagos make this oh-so-delicious delicacy, produced all year, but with great importance during Easter. Therefore, Alice, from Bensafrim, made herself available to explain to us how to produce these almonds. For that reason, we leave our thanks for the shared knowledge, the full tummies and the recipe:
2 cup almond kernels (with skin)
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of water poorly filled
1 teaspoon of chocolate powder (this is Alice’s recipe secret)
In a pot, bring all ingredients to the heat for half an hour (stirring occasionally). Lower the heat when the mixture is thicker and keep it low until the sugar is entirely white. Keep stirring and wrapping the almonds. Increase the heat so that the sugar begins to melt and turns into caramel. Wrap the almonds in the caramel and place them on a tray.
We confess that these almonds are such an addiction! However, its elaboration is due to time-consuming craftsmanship. So, if you are also addicted to them, but do not have one hour to be by the stove to pamper and pay attention to these sweet things, come to Mar d’Estórias because we have a version of these almonds in our shop.