27 Jun 2017
Posted in Food & Beverage, History, Tidbits & trivia

How sweet it is.

On a visit to the historic district of Belém in Lisbon, Portugal, be sure to carve time out to taste pastéis de Belém, likely the city’s original (and most delectable) egg custard tarts.

At the beginning of the 19th century, a sugar refinery operated as part of a small general store next door to Belém’s famous 15th-century Jerónimos Monastery (a UNESCO World Heritage site).

The 1820 Liberal Revolution shut down all convents and monasteries in Portugal and expelled the clergy and laborers. In an attempt at survival, someone from the monastery began selling egg tarts. An instant hit among locals and visitors alike, the sweets soon became known as pastéis de Belém.

In 1837, the baking of pastéis de Belém moved from the monastery to the adjacent sugar refinery. Following the monastery’s original secret recipe, master confectioners hand-crafted the pastries in the establishment’s Secret Room. Today, the recipe remains unchanged, the tarts are still made by hand, and the secret recipe is known by only six bakers.

Don’t miss your opportunity to nibble on a bit of Portuguese history.

For information about a journey to Portugal, contact Mariana Tosic at mtosic@rcrusoe.com, or call 888-490-8008.


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