Angel Hair: Created By 14th Century Portuguese Nuns, This Goan Dessert Is Slowly Disappearing
Updated : September 03, 2021 11:09 IST
Angel hair also known as Letria or Fios de Ovos is a common Christmas dessert of Goa.
For about 450 years, India’s party capital Goa was a Portuguese Colony, the colonial influence continues to make Goa's cuisine extra special. You may have tried the spicy Vindaloo at some point in life, but we urge you to try it in Goa once to understand how the locals have kept their traditional recipes alive. Right from making the perfect Vindaloo sauce to caremelising onions, striking the right balance between the curry paste and the coconut milk, making Vindaloo is a true labour of love, that is well worth the calories too. If only, one could say the same about a whole gamut of Goan dishes that are losing relevance in present times.
Angel hair also known as Letria or Fios de Ovos, is a dessert that is commonly associated with the Christmas celebrations of Goa. The literal Portuguese translation of Fios de Ovos is ‘egg threads’. It is said that the dessert was created by Portuguese nuns in the 14th and 15th century.
Laundry was a common service at convents and monasteries, and back in the day, they would use egg whites for starching clothes, and thus be left with tonnes of egg yolks. To use these leftovers, the nuns came up with a fantastic recipe, where they would cook thin strands made of egg yolk and dip them in sugar syrup. The golden strands resembled the hair of ‘Angels’ and thus the name.
Angel Hair is also very popular in other parts of the world like Japanese, Brazil and Thailand, it reached there via the Portuguese many historians claim. In Portugal and Brazil, these thin golden strands are also used in a variety of savoury preparations and fillings, in addition to many indulgent confectionaries.
Here’s an easy tip you can use to make Angel Hair, beat eggs yolks and strain through strainer, pour in a squeezy bottle. In a skillet make a thin syrup of sugar and water on medium flame, once hot, squeeze out the ‘threads’ or ‘strands’ from the bottle right into the skillet. Once they are golden, take out the threads using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Serve it hot with an ice cream or pudding of your choice.