Pastel de nata
|Alternative names||Pastel de Belém|
|Place of origin||Portugal|
|Region or state||Santa Maria de Belém, Lisbon (originally); produced worldwide within the Lusosphere|
|Created by||Religious of the Monastery of the Hieronymites|
|Serving temperature||Fresh from oven, with cinnamon and icing sugar|
|Main ingredients||Egg yolks|
|298 per 100 grams (3.5 oz) kcal|
|Cookbook: Pastel de nata Media: Pastel de nata|
Pastel de nata (Portuguese pronunciation: [pɐʃˈtɛɫ dɨ ˈnatɐ]; plural: pastéis de nata), is a Portuguese egg tart pastry, originally from Portugal which can also be found in countries with significant Portuguese immigrant populations.
Pastéis de nata were created before the 18th century by Catholic monks at the Jerónimos Monastery (Portuguese: Mosteiro dos Jerónimos) in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém, in Lisbon. These monks were originally based in France where these pastries could be found in local bakeries. At the time, convents and monasteries used large quantities of egg-whites for starching clothes, such as nuns' habits. It was quite common for monasteries and convents to use the leftover egg yolks to make cakes and pastries, resulting in the proliferation of sweet pastry recipes throughout the country.
Following the extinction of the religious orders and in the face of the impending closure of many of the convents and monasteries in the aftermath of the Liberal Revolution of 1820, the monks started selling pastéis de nata at a nearby sugar refinery to bring in some revenue. In 1834 the monastery was closed and the recipe was sold to the sugar refinery, whose owners in 1837 opened the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém. The descendants own the business to this day.
- Fox, Killian (13 September 2009). "The 50 best things to eat in the world, and where to eat them (The Guardian)". London.
- Merle, Dominick (11 August 2004), "There's history - and a secret - in every bite", The Christian Science Monitor, retrieved 23 April 2012
- Amaral, André; Pires, Carla; Castro e Silva, Daniel; Medeiros, Luís; André, Mário Rui (December 2011), O Segredo do Marketing dos Pastéis de Belém (PDF) (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: Escola Superior de Comunicação Social, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa
- Pastéis de Belém: Hot on the Trail of a Legend from Leite's Culinaria