Barriga de Freira

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

One of many doces conventuais, barriga de freira (nun’s belly) was first produced in the seventeenth century by nuns in the western Beira Litoral province. The origin of the name is unknown, though the variety of cleverly named doces conventuais attests to the humor and inventiveness of medieval clerics. Egg yolks form the base of this dessert; they are combined with crumbled bread, sugar, butter, lemon peel, nuts, and sometimes dried fruit or port wine. This mixture is often spooned into rice paper casings whose bulging half-moon shapes do indeed resemble a plump belly.