Our Day 1 in Lisbon was marked by Pasteis de Belém’s sweet egg tarts or “pasteis de nata,” made famous by countless travel write-ups that suggest them as one of the must-try goodies in Belem.
So like everyone else who read these articles, we trekked to the pastry shop a nd made it our first destination. (Hindi makapaghintay.) Much to our dismay, there was a longgggggg queue of tourists who were already probably drooling while inching their way to the payment counter (#1; #2 is collect your tart.) Most of us in the line ordered to-go, because the tables and seats were also full.
The Portuguese consider the tart “the real deal.” The recipe was said to have originated from the monks of the Jerónimos Monastery who were baking them to generate funds. Local history said it was purchased in the 1830s by the owners of this shop (originally a sugar refinery at that time), and since then became famous.
Dutchie and I hate to put vinegar in your sweet tooth. Because, we do not recommend that you list it down as one of your must-dos in Belem.
Having said this, after 30-minutes of waiting in line, we managed to get a box of 6 pieces- to get it done and over with, so to speak. We took a shorter queue of the Starbucks nearby and ordered our lattes, just so we’ll get a table.
The articles described the tart as “flaky on the outside and creamy in the inside.” However, our experience was the opposite. The crust was a bit hard and it will bounce inside your mouth as you bite. The so-called cream was almost liquidy and if you are not careful, it will fall on the table if not on your dress. It was also very sweet.
We were sure the tart had its good days. But what can an establishment like Pasteis de Belem do when they became phenomenal? They have to bag in the tarts to prepare quick deliveries at the counter. So we thought, maybe ‘nakulob’ (ano nga sa Ingles ito?) so crispiness of the crust was compromised.
Our verdict: We’d say it’s over-rated. I’ll stick with Lord Stowe for now, thank you. Wiel said the egg pie in Goldilocks may even best it.
And of course, no one can stop you from tasting it, especially when you are already in front of the bakery. Pumila ka na din at maki-tikim. After all, we Filipinos are known for our patience. Sa lahat ng bagay. Getch?
September 3, 2017