Nata – the real deal! Portugal’s culinary gift to the world

Nata - the genuine egg custard tart from Lisbon's famous Pasteis de Belem bakery

We found the mouth-watering Nata egg custard tarts at three Portuguese bakeries in Edmonton, but this photo shows the original confection we ate at Lisbon’s famous Pasteis de Belem bakery.

This  bakery has been producing these original recipe morsels in Lisbon since 1827.

When our tour bus drove by this famous shop, we saw the crowds on the sidewalk and decided we’d bypass the busy store.  Besides, we saw Nata on every street corner.  The thing is, while all Natas may look alike, everybody uses their own recipe, and they don’t all taste the same.

Pasteis de Belem is the 123 year old bakery in Lisbon that produces the original Nata egg custard tart

Pasteis de Belem is the 123 year old bakery in Lisbon that produces the original Nata egg custard tart

A Lisbon local told us not to be put off by the large crowds milling outside this bakery every day.  There are 400 seats inside; just wait until somebody leaves and you don’t have to line up.

The local adviser was correct.  The crowds we had seen on the sidewalk were just tourists hanging out.  The line up inside was short, and if we wanted a coffee and Nata and munched our delectable treasures standing at the bar just like the locals do, our wait would only be minutes long.

That’s what we did.  If I recall correctly, the Nata cost 1.10 Euros, and were served warm from the oven and sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar.  They were outstanding!  And they were definitely the best tasting Nata we ate.  The puff pastry crust was lighter and flakier than any others, and the egg custard filling was smoother with a creamier texture.  (Some Nata offered by competitors have a more firm, gelatinous texture that is more like out-of-the-box pudding.)

The Pasteis de Nata pastry shop is one of those ‘must-visit’ popular tourist destinations you have to experience when touring Lisbon.

Service is fast at Pasteis de Beleme pastry shop. Despite the crowds, you get in fast, especially if you order your coffee and dessert and eat standing at the counter as locals do






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