Mr. Ouriço, the cake

Ouriços bolos - ph. DR


Text and Photography: Filipa Teles Carvalho


Manuel J. Gandra in «Sabores, Cheiros e Comeres Regionais de Mafra» (Flavours, Smells and Regional Food of Mafra) describes the Ouriços as «a particular specialty in Ericeira». In the work «Ericeira, Gastronomic Culture» the name of these confectionery vary, according to the house that sells them. In the book, it is explained that, according to what is known “by word of mouth”, they began to be produced in Casa das Cavacas, at the beginning of the 20th century.

Everything would’ve started with “Xiquinhos” – commercialised by “Café Xico”, that no longer exists, and “Eiriços” –, that would begin a series of variants, from house to house, to the ones with the current name, differences and recipes aside: «Ouriços».

Each place that makes and sells them in Ericeira has their own secrets, doses of eggs, sugar and yolks and uses their exact measures of love and art in the “alchemy” of sweetness.

No café Salvador, a leveza impera a simpatia acompanha. Uma simpatia que é profissionalismo, que alimenta também e não é pouco, a alma de uma pessoa.

After the basic recipe, each one is making their versons, more or less topping, more or less almonds, lighter or “browner”; in short, there is only one “Ouriço” cake but, simultaneously, there are Ouriços for all tastes.

For the few who aren’t into the sweetness of it, it goes well with bitter coffee. Let’s say it’s a winning combination for those times when life craves candy but we don’t feel like having any processed food.

“Ouriço” is an animal and a cake, for now. Who knows what else it will be?

Esta publicação também está disponível em | This article is also available in: Portuguese (Portugal)