Bolo do Polvo
Bolo do Polvo is a Bragacao dish that makes use of a local variety of flatbread known as Bolo and wraps itself around cooked calamari for an often low-brow hand food, served at festivals and celebrations. The dish was apparently one birthed of mercantile desperation, but is now quite successful and has a minor spread outside of the Bragacao areas of Aloria.
Bolo do Polvo has long been a part of Bragacao culinary tradition. Bolo itself is believed to have been a product of the Allorn Empire, from much rougher and unsophisticated bread given to Ailor slaves for their consumption. Others claim that the dish emerged naturally at the same time as the caco, a flat basalt stone slab used in Bragacao cooking, and was refined in the early decades of Daen Ailor society after the collapse of the Allorn Empire. Regardless of Bolo’s origins, Bolo do Polvo itself is also an easy dish, emerging in 66 AC from the capital city of the Kingdom of Lusits. The story goes that in Portimao, at the Vinda-de-Idade of the newly declared republic and under the eye of Serene Doge Afonso I de Lobo the Magnificent, a street vendor by the name of Endo was in trouble. He had a prime stall positioned at the intersection of the city’s largest lane and the harbor, and while he had Bolo bread to sell, he knew he would not make back his investment on this alone. He then noticed some of the seafood stalls of the harbor selling their wares and saw how many people turned away from the calamari. He, instead, chose to test this food as a topping for his bread. He greatly enjoyed the taste and knew it would attract attention, and so it did. The Serene Doge himself came by the stand before the night was over, and the dish was catapulted into stardom within Bragacao territory. Since that time, the dish has remained a popular festival and street food across the Kingdom of Lusits and Bragacao-settled regions. The usage of calamari has largely seen Bolo do Polvo remain local to the Bragacao, as has the bread used to make it, but some regions in general Southland Culture areas have adapted their own varieties, with spreads or added possible toppings and fillings. The dish is unlikely to expand or retract in popularity over the coming years, but the course of culinary fate is as unknown today as it was to Endo at his stall that day over 200 years ago.
Bolo do Polvo has two parts, the Bolo and the Polvo, which are each of a different preparation intensity. To make Bolo (this particular recipe forming fifteen to twenty cakes), first, the yeast should be dissolved in water in a small bowl, with a small portion of the sugar. After ten minutes, it should be slightly foamy, and should next be added to a larger bowl. The sugar, eggs, salt, flour, and milk should then all be added in and stirred until the dough begins to come together. Now the melded butter needs to have been left to cool, if not outright chill, during this time, and it is added last, being stirred into the dough. The dough should then be turned out onto a floured surface and kneaded for a further ten minutes, or until it has reached a smooth, elastic consistency. The dough should be returned to the large bowl and covered with a cloth, being allowed to rise up until about double its size, over the course of forty to fifty minutes. The dough should then be broken up into fifteen or twenty equally sized balls, shaped into a flat, round shape, and placed on a floured cloth. They should be arranged an even distance from each other and allowed to rise for an hour and a half. Once this has passed, they should be taken and placed onto a frying pan, and cooked gradually over low heat. Both sides should be golden brown. However, the traditional way of making the Bolo involves the use of a caco. The same process should also be used here.
The Polvo or calamari portion of the meal comes in the form of the octopus or squid. After they have been boiled, their limbs and other edible parts should be hacked off of the body, and set next to the Bolo to allow for easy handling. To create a Bolo do Polvo, someone needs to only ladle or place a healthy portioning of the boiled calamari onto a Bolo, give it to another, whereupon they fold the baked good in half, likely breaking it in the process, and create a rough sandwich (though the Bragacao insist it is a wrap, as many Bolo created in the traditional style in their markets often bend with this folding process). Regardless of this fact, the meal should be eaten immediately.
- The dish looks like a sandwich, with the thick, circular bread of a Bolo folded in half around a pink, white, or mix of the two colors-filling of long pieces of meat pressed between the two parts of the Bolo.
- Bolo do Polvo has a strong seafood smell to it given the use of calamari between the Bolo bread, which is generally limited in smell beyond that of fresh bread.
- Bolo do Polvo has a dense consistency, with the thick, slightly sweet bread contrasted by the wetness of the calamari meat, which is also often elastic and tough to tear with the teeth (though many find that part of the fun of eating it).
- Some believe that Endo lied about how he came up with Bolo do Polvo to explicitly impress the Serene Doge at his commercial skills. Regardless of the truth of this, the dish did still come from this point in time and did not exist in any notable way before it.
- The most common additives to the meal are garlic butter, cooked leafy greens, and salt.