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Pastel de nata (Portuguese pronunciation: [pɐʃˈtɛɫ dɨ ˈnatɐ]; plural: pastéis de nata; Chinese: 葡撻), also known as Portuguese custard tart is a Portuguese egg tart pastry dusted with cinnamon.[1] It is also made in Brazil and other countries with significant Portuguese immigrant populations.

Pastel de nata
MargaretCafe PasteisDeNata.JPG
The typical appearance of the pastel de nata, in this case, produced in Macau
Alternative namesPastel de Belém
葡撻 (Cantonese)
Place of originPortugal
Region or stateSanta Maria de Belém, Lisbon (originally); produced worldwide within the Lusosphere
Created byReligious of the Monastery of the Hieronymites
Serving temperatureFresh from oven, with cinnamon and icing sugar
Main ingredientsEgg yolks
Food energy
(per serving)
ca. 300 per 100 grams (3.5 oz) kcal



The Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém in Santa Maria de Belém.

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.[2] These monks were originally based in France where these pastries could be found in local bakeries.[citation needed] 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.[3]

The Pastéis de Belém were mentioned by The Guardian as the 15th most tasty delicacy in the world.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Julian Baggini (18 February 2015). "Custard tart fight: can the British version ever compete with Portugal's pastéis de nata?". The Guardian.
  2. ^ Pastéis de nata were created before the 18th century by Catholic monks at the Jerónimos Monastery (Portuguese: Mosteiro dos Jerónimos) this fact is found here
  3. ^ "175 anos de pastéis de Belém [175 years of pasteléis de Belém]". Correio da Manhã (in Portuguese). 12 August 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  4. ^ Fox, Killian (13 September 2009). "The 50 best things to eat in the world, and where to eat them (The Guardian)". London.

External linksEdit