Pastel de nata de Belém do not actually exist. What exists is pastéis de Belém, which later gave rise to pastel de nata or portuguese custard tatrs.
What we know today as pastel de nata arises from the attempt to replicate the original recipe of pastéis de Belém…
Today the most frequent presence in national cafes and super markets, the pastel de nata has its genesis, in the famous pastel de Belém. According to what is said, the original formula appeared in the nineteenth century, when monks of the Jerónimos monastery, in an attempt to survive a moment of crisis, began to commercialize the biggest symbol of Portuguese pastry, in the area adjacent to the monastery. Being a very busy area, with a large influx of tourists, “pastéis de Belém” had a natural spread, taking into account how good it is.
Afterwards, the recipe of “pastéis de Belém” ended up in the hands of a businessman
With the monastery closing and life becoming increasingly difficult, the monks of the monastery had no alternative but to sell the recipe to a Portuguese entrepreneur recently returned from Brazil. Knowing what he had in hands, he created and scaled a business and brand, which still persists in the hands of his descendants. The original recipe remains exclusive to pasteis de Belém and is kept out of the reach of onlookers, patented and kept under lock and key. Those who today, with the purpose of producing the delicacy, have access to it, do so only through a vote and oath of confidentiality and secrecy.
Portuguese custard tarts are the adaptation of the pastéis de Belém
When we refer to the cake that we find in 99% of Portuguese coffees, to say it, we have to call them pasteis de nata and not pastéis de Belém. Not that they are not good, they are, but one thing is not the other. Today it is possible to find dozens of variations of pastel de nata recipes that are worth trying: the traditional pastel de nata; the pastel de nata with chocolate; the gluten-free portuguese custard tart; the pastel de nata recipe for many kitchen robots, among many others. Find out, here on the pastel de nata portal, the best recipes. Explore and discover a little more about the history of this wonder that, less and less, is only of Portugal and, more and more, of the world.