So, “Pasteis de Nata” or “Pasteis de Belem”, “eggtarts” you are lost in translation? Let us explain you everything about these delicacies that you can taste during our gourmet Food Tours in Lisbon.
Everything began at the end of the 19th century for this jewel of Portuguese Pastry, in the Monastery of Jerónimos of Belém which, at the time, was an independent city and not a district of Lisbon as it is today .
In 1834, the monks were expelled from the churches and monasteries, following a liberal revolution a few years earlier. Near the monastery of Jerónimos in Belem was a sugar refinery and a small retail shop. A monk had the idea of selling small pastries made in his monastery in this small shop to make ends meet. The success was such that no one hesitated to travel, even long distances in order to taste what was already called the “Pasteis de Belem”(eggtart).
In 1837, the monks of the monastery bought the small sugar refinery to bake those famous delicacies. That’s how the Pasteleria Belem was created!
Over the years, the news spread very quickly throughout Portugal but as the name of “Pasteis de Belem” was protected by the monks, the name of “Pasteis de Nata” (literally “cream cupcakes”) was used in all the other bakeries in the country.
Today the Pasteleria Belém, which created these famous little Portuguese flans, sells up to 20,000 eggtarts per day and attracts people from all over the world because the original recipe remains secret and protected. Only a handful of its bakers are authorized to make these cakes in the secret room (“Oficina do Segredo”),
There are however some places in Lisbon that offer eggtarts that are really good or even better than the ones of Pasteleria Belem!
Book a gourmet food tour in Lisbon with our local guides to taste this delicious Portuguese pastry.