When you think of Portuguese sweets, Pastel de Nata or Pastel de Belém is one of the first specialties that come to mind. The famous custard tarts of puff pastry, egg, milk, sugar and the perfect blend of lemon and cinnamon are the most popular sweets in the country, and both are delicious hot and cold.
In fact, it has everything to do with its origin.
The first recipe of the Pastel de Belém was created in 1837 by the monks of the emblematic Jerónimos Monastery. To date, the recipe is kept secret and therefore becomes a true specialty! Thus, only at the Fábrica Pastéis de Belém, the family pastry with more than 100 years where they are made, you will find the original Pastéis de Belém. Only there these little custard tarts can be called that since its name was even patented!
All others, from other patisseries in Lisbon, from other areas of Portugal or even exported to other countries are called Pastéis de Nata.
So, once in Portugal, taste both and find any difference!
Photos: Historic Cafés Route/George Loverdos