Doces Fálicos - Gastro Obscura


Doces Fálicos

One small Portuguese town celebrates a saint with phallic cakes.

In the village of Amarante in northern Portugal, January 10 and the first weekend in June bring festivities honoring Saint Gonçalo de Amarante, as well as the accompanying doces fálicos, which are undisputedly phallus-shaped cakes. 

Also called bolos de São Gonçalo, the phallic cakes are a bit of a mystery. Amarante is a conservative town, and Saint Gonçalo doesn’t have anything to do with fertility or childbirth. It’s likely the tradition dates back to pre-Christian rituals. Nevertheless, the penis-shaped cakes are a common motif and snack in the town. They are often given to single women as good-luck charms. Size and recipes of the cakes vary from vendor to vendor, but typically, they are covered in powdered sugar or filled with cream.

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Anne Ewbank Anne Ewbank