Olhão’s ‘Folhar de Olhão’ has been named one of Portugal’s Seven Sweet Wonders.
It is the only Algarve sweet among the seven winners of the competition, which held its final on Saturday night (September 7) in Montemor-o-Velho, Coimbra.
“We thank everyone who, in Olhão and in the rest of the country, helped this dream become reality through their support and their votes,” Olhão council said on its Facebook page.
It added: “Olhão’s best kept ‘secret’ has now been revealed”.
Folar de Olhão is an extra sweet variation of Portugal’s popular Easter cake. Covered in a sugary glaze, the mouthwatering sweet – sometimes called a kind of bread instead of a cake – boasts several layers of caramelised sugar and cinammon, making it deliciously gooey inside.
These days it can be purchased at supermarkets all over the Algarve, even outside the Easter season.
British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has even featured a recipe of the cake, provided by local baker Filipe Martins, on his website.
The six other ‘Wonders’ are the ‘Crista de Galo’ from Vila Real, the ‘Amêndoa Coberta de Moncorvo’ and the ‘Mel Biológico do Parque Natural de Montesinho’ from Bragança, the ‘Roscas de Monção’ and the ‘Charutos dos Arcos’ from Viana do Castelo and the ‘Bolinhol de Vizela’ from Braga.
The competition, which boasts the ‘High Sponsorship of the Presidency of the Republic’, aims to distinguish “local products, brands, the preservation of the quality of ingredients and the capacity that the country has of innovating and renovating its traditions”.
While it is the public who decides which sweets make the final cut, there is a specialised jury that at an earlier stage selects which sweets will be voted for by the public.