Take the Portuguese pastry challenge!

You may have heard of pastel de nata, a sumptuous custard tart, which some argue is Portugal’s favourite dessert; but this is just one of the many delectable pastries, tarts and cakes up for tasting in our Portuguese destinations.

But less well known is the pious origins of the Portuguese pastry.

Let’s rewind a few centuries to when catholic convents and monasteries used egg whites to starch their vestments….

Legend has it the monks in the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon learned the art of making pastries when they’d been in France, so they used the leftover egg yolks to create their own pastries and tarts.

So there we have it, the Portuguese egg tart was invented thanks to laundry and monks.

Creative cooks and chefs along the way have developed these indulgent pastries more, and now they are heavy with egg yolks, sugar, and other rich yummy ingredients.

Apparently there are some 200 versions, and you’ll find them throughout our Portuguese destinations (mainland Portugal, The Azores and Madeira) in supermarkets, shops, bakeries, cafes and restaurants.

If you see the sign “Fabrico Próprio” it means the sweets are homemade.

We challenge you to try as many as possible during your stay!

Here are some you might be able to spot……..

Papos de Anjo (Angel’s Double Chin)
Flavoured with rum, vanilla and orange peel.  A bit like the English version of Rum Baba in small cake form.


Travesseiro de Sintra (Sintra’s Pillows)
Found in mainly Sintra, this is a rectangular flaky pastry made of almonds and filled with egg cream


Pastel de Belém (Pastry of Belém)
Given its name, it is found in Belém, Lisbon, and is the original egg tart! It consists of a salted crisp pastry and custard made with milk not cream


Pastel de Feijão (Bean Pastry) or bean cake

Made with grated beans and almonds


Queijadas de Requeijão de Évora (Evora’s Cheesecake Tart)
This small, sweet tart is made with a Portuguese cheese similar to ricotta. It is very rich with egg yolks.


A gorgeous traditional Portuguese egg pudding topped with plums.

Torta de Azeitão (Tortas of Azeitão)
A beautiful soft sponge cake made of sweet egg yolk cream, sprinkled with cinnamon.

Pudim Abade de Priscos (Portuguese Bacon Pudding)
Now the thought of bacon and sweetness may not appeal to everyone, but you can just barely sense the texture of the pork fat as it melds with the incomparable taste of the yolks and notes of port wine, cinnamon, and citrus fruit.

Archipelago Choice specialists

We specialise in personalised holidays to 11 destinations. Our team of experienced specialists can tell you all about the food in our destinations and are ready to put together your personalised trip; just give them a call on 017687 75672


Comments on Take the Portuguese pastry challenge!

  1. Kenneth Elborn

    Buy these from our local supermarket – first experienced in Portugal and now a regular treat – scrummy !

  2. Anu Solastie

    Tasted pastel de nata once in the Pastéis de Belém cafeteria, Lisbon. Very sweet and very yummy! I recommend that place but be ready to queue.

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