insideKENT Magazine insideKENT Issue 69 Dec 2017 - Page 94

FOOD+DRINK Christmas Feasts AROUND THE WORLD cont. PORTUGAL Instead of the UK’s beloved turkey and roast potatoes, in Portugal you are more likely to find cod and boiled potatoes. But, this first course is not the star of the show – it’s all about the puddings, and there are plenty of them. The showstopper is the bolo rei (king cake). It’s named after the three wise men and it’s glorious and impressive, so the name certainly suits, even if it wasn’t meant for the magi. It’s a fluffy white sponge that is covered in crystallised fruit and nuts. A dash of cinnamon sauce and/or chilacayote (a type of squash) jam and the cake is completed. But, not for long, as it’ll be demolished once it’s put on the table. Dotted around there will also be finhoses, which are made from spiced dough topped with icing sugar, and formigos, which are balls of nuts and raisins stuck together with honey. PUERTO RICO In Puerto Rico, Christmas dinner is a long-winded affair; and that’s just the cooking part of it. The main meat served at the Puerto Rican festive feast is the lechon, also known as a roast suckling pig. It’s juicy, moist and delicious, but in order to get it that way, it takes two people turning it on a spit from the early hours of the morning (around 2am) so that it’s ready for lunch time. 94 Whoever those sleep-deprived chefs are however, they won’t be alone – the Christmas meal is so important that many friends and relatives come and have a party around the spit, drinking something called coquito, which is a type of eggnog made from condensed milk and rum, and is traditionally drunk from a coconut shell.