Acorns - The Chestnuts Of The South

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Monday, September 29, 2014 Under: food and drink

In Portugal the acorn is so important that they have a different name for each type of acorn. The acorn of the cork oak (sobreiro) is called a lande (or landre) and the acorn of a holm oak (azinheira) is called a bolota (or boleta).  

The acorns mainly serve as food for the pigs, but the bolota also used to be a very important source of food since the ancient Lusitanian people populated Iberia. It was a welcome addition to the shortage of cereals in the winter. People gathered the acorns in the autumn and turned them into flour to make bread in the winter. Even today they are still being consumed in some rural areas. The bolota is called the chestnut of the south.

Bolota, although containing tannins, which gives it a slightly bitter taste, is a fruit that continues to be consumed and enjoyed by some of the Alentejo region and in the rural Algarve. Unfortunately the traditional use of cooking acorn has been lost over the years and it is almost impossible to get acorns in large urban centers, but here are some recipes that did not fall into oblivion and are continue to be made by the people of southern Portugal . For those who never had the opportunity to consume acorns, you are strongly advised to do so. As well as being an important part of the food culture, it is a great and tasty food with various nutrients, vitamins and proteins.

Roasted Bolota

The Acorns can be eaten raw, but it is common to roast them in the coals of the fireplace. The sweet acorns can be eaten raw or roasted without any problem


Recipe Bolota Bread

The flour:

Take sweet acorns. Remove the peel and soak for several days, changing water frequently. Tannins will stain the water red. Resume until water comes out clear. This step is essential so that the loaves of bread are not bitter or indigestible. 
Then grind the acorns in a manual mill to obtain flour.


To make the bread, follow a common recipe of bread (acorn flour, water, salt, yeast). You can make it more attractive, as would the Lusitanian, incorporating honey, dried fruit or by adding a little olive oil, following the Roman fashion.

* You can add corn flour or wheat to make the bread more palatable.

Acorn Soup

Prepare a common bean soup, but substitute potatoes for acorns. Soups in Portugal once had all chestnuts or acorns at its base, but after the discovery and introduction of the potato in Portugal, this replaced the traditional nuts and acorns.

Sweet Acorns

Boil the acorns and after being well cooked, remove the peel and the skin. Grind the acorns and weigh them. Take the husks back up on the stove with a little water and sugar equivalent to the weight of the acorns. Let it boil a few minutes until dry. 
Serve in bowls with some dried fruit or jam, or use it as a filling for cakes, spread on bread ...

Just give it a try, you will be surprised!

In : food and drink 

Tags: recipe with acorns portugal  bolota  chestnut of the south 

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About Me

Marianne Hoesen Born in the deep south of The Netherlands, I moved to the central Algarve in 2007, together with my partner and 2 dogs. In the meantime we added some goats and chickens and are living a peaceful life in the rolling hills of the rural south of Portugal. I invite you to read a bit in my blog and to leave a comment afterwards. Also check out the holiday accommodations mentioned elsewhere in this website.


Algarve Portugal
café Portugal, bica
Esteva, rock rose, Algarve
sun, beach, Algarve
real cork real wine
beach Algarve
folklore dance Algarve
chicken piri piri

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