|Serving temperature||Fresh from oven|
|Main ingredients||Flour, butter, sugar, egg, custard, milk|
|Literal meaning||egg tart|
The egg tart (commonly romanized as daahn tāat (Cantonese Yale: daan6 taat1), dàntǎ (Mandarin), or dan tat) is a kind of custard tart found in Portugal, Macau, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Argentina, Brazil, Britain, and various Asian countries. The dish consists of an outer pastry crust and is filled with egg custard and baked.
- 1 History
- 2 Categories
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
The egg tart is believed to have its origins in the Chinese city of Guangzhou. The English custard tart and the Portuguese pastel de nata are European forerunners of the Chinese egg tart, which displays characteristics of both. From the pastel de nata, English styles of cooking came to influence the tart. Chefs from Guangzhou arrived in Hong Kong bringing in tart recipes since Guangzhou had heavy European influence as a major port. Taking reference from the recipes of the custard tart, the chefs in Guangzhou turned it into egg tarts by filling egg custards in the middle instead, a similar way to make simmered eggs with the milk (燉蛋). However, as butter was very costly at that time, it was difficult for the chefs to make puff pastry for the tarts. Therefore, they may have used lard instead. During the 1920s, as there was a tough competition between department stores in attracting customers, the chef of each department store would invent a new dim sum or dessert weekly (每週美點) as an attraction. In 1927, Zhenguang Restaurant was the first to introduce egg tarts, which was very popular and attracted other restaurants to follow suit. 
Many Guangzhou chefs migrated to Hong Kong and brought recipes with them. Hong Kong received the pastel de nata egg tart from Macau which was a colony of Portugal and combined aspects of the Portuguese tart with their own. The modern egg tarts were first introduced in Hong Kong in the 1940s through cha chaan tengs which served foreign-influenced dishes. Hence, the modern egg tarts emerged.
Guangzhou style of egg tart is a sub-branch of the British cuisine custard tart. After it was invented in medieval England, custard tart was first introduced to China through the intensive communication between England and the Chinese city Guangzhou in the second half of the 20th century. Guangzhou style of egg tart was invented first by a chief from Zhenguang Restaurant in 1927. 
Development and Features
In Guangzhou, many restaurants started to provide egg tart during the time of "a new dim sum or dessert weekly"(每週美點), and the recipe of egg tart was gradually improved to meet local flavors. Generally, egg tart evolved into two types of outer crusts: shortcrust pastry or puff pastry, traditionally made with lard rather than butter or shortening. They are both filled with a rich custard that is much egg and less creamy than English custard tarts.
Today, egg tarts are one of the most recognizable dim sum dishes offered in a dim sum house. In Guangzhou, there are 3 basic types of egg tarts: dan tat (egg tart), pastel de nata (Portuguese tart), coconut tart. It is not only provided in yum cha but also provided in bakeries.
Hong Kong cuisine
In 1940, egg tart was first introduced to Hong Kong by the chiefs from Guangzhou, and superior western restaurants in Hong Kong started to include egg tart into their menu. In 1950, cha chaan tengs started to provide home-made egg tart with various flavors. Today, most of the cha chaan tengs order egg tarts from bakeries for economic consideration.
Development and Features
Egg tarts come in many variations within Hong Kong cuisine, including egg white, milk, honey-egg, ginger-flavored egg, which are variations of a traditional milk custard and egg custard, and also chocolate tarts, green-tea-flavored tarts, and even bird's nest tarts. 
Overall, Hong Kong style of egg tart features a smooth and reflective filling ingredient. Unlike English custard tarts, egg tarts are not sprinkled with ground nutmeg or cinnamon before serving. It may also be served piping hot rather than at room temperature like English custard tarts.
In June 2014, Hong Kong style of egg tart was formally included in The Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory of Hong Kong.
There is a slight difference between Hong Kong and Macau versions. Macau style of egg tart was evolved from the Portuguese cuisine pastel de nata (or called pastel de Belém). In 1989, Andrew Stow, a Britisher, brought the recipe of pastel de nata to Macau and started Lord Stow's Bakery. Stow refined the original recipe and invent Macau style egg tart (Also called Portuguese tart by the natives). Portuguese egg tart also made its way to Hong Kong, where it was influenced by British custard tarts by chefs from Guangzhou.
Development and Features
The Macau version of egg tart features a browned top which more strongly resembles the pastel de nata. The recipe of Macau egg tart was further improved and promoted by Andrew Stow's wife, Margaret. After a divorce in 1997, Margaret started her own business and renamed her bakery Margaret's Café e Nata. In 1998, Margaret sold the recipe of egg tart to the American fast-food-chain KFC, which later introduced Margaret's egg tart to mainland China and Taiwan. Stow also opened branches of Lord Stow's Bakery in other Asian countries, such as Japan and Singapore.
Margaret's egg tart is introduced to Taiwan in the 1990s. Egg tart was sold by bakeries and large fast food chains, such as KFC, and it became one of the most popular desserts in 1998. However, the popularity of egg tart faded out when most of the egg tart storefronts closed down in the early 2000s.
Development and Features
Egg tart is widely available in Taiwan, but have experienced bursts of popularity. In 1997, for example, egg tart pop-up storefronts became very common in Taipei and other larger cities. People queued up around the block to get one. Resurgences in popularity are fairly regular and strangely unaware of the history, for example in 2015 and again in 2018 when the American fast food chain KFC included egg tart back into its menu.
- Custard tart
- Dim sum
- Egg waffle
- List of custard desserts
- List of egg dishes
- Meringue tart
- Put chai ko
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Egg tarts.|
- A simple recipe for egg tarts
- The Christian Science Monitor There's history - and a secret - in every bite. 2004/08/11