"Discovering the Perfect Pairing in Portugal: Pastel de Nata and Pingado Make for a Heavenly Combination"

The pastel de nata and pingado is a pairing that is hard to beat in Portugal. The pastry exterior may look chunky, but the crisp, flaky layers crumble in your mouth, leaving a custardy filling that is both neatly set and gooey. The filling has delicate pings of lemon and cinnamon, making it a delightful snack that is Portugal on a plate. Diana Nunes of Portugal 4U, which offers tailor-made experiences in the Algarve, describes the pastel de nata as “in our DNA”. She recommends having at least five or six espressos a day and something to warm the soul, which is the pastel de nata.

The pastel de nata is a simple snack that is a tradition in Portugal. It’s like a love song between the two, and it’s something that the Portuguese have eaten since they were really small. Nunes says that she eats three a day and that one is never enough. The pastel de nata is a signature food that is unique to Portugal and is a treat that is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

While many signature foods have gone global, nothing compares to the taste bomb, the squeak of pleasure, and the pure Portugal-ness of devouring a pastel in its native habitat. Pastéis are popping up on café counters all over Ireland, but the experience of eating one in Portugal is incomparable.

The market in Loulé is a popular day trip in the Algarve, where tourists can browse local handicrafts and goodies like almonds, figs, and honey while locals gravitate around the fish section. At the center of the market is a café where one can buy a pastel de nata and a pingado for just €2.35. This simple pleasure comes with a story, too. Pastéis are said to have originated in the 17th century when egg whites were used to starch clothes, and other uses were found for yolks. The first pastéis were invented at Jerónimos Monastery in Belém, now part of Lisbon.

A businessman acquired the recipe in 1837, and the shop he opened, Pastéis de Belém, continues to churn them out (and keep the recipe secret) today. There are a few legends as to whether pastéis de nata (nata means cream) came from a competing recipe or various takes on the Belém versions. Nunes says that the legends add to the charm of the pastel de nata.

Today, pastéis de nata can be found all over Portugal, not to mention the Azores, Madeira, and even former colonies like Macau and Mozambique. Whether you prefer them warm or cool, heavy or light on the cinnamon, burnt on top, or just gently charred, one thing is certain—you get addicted. Nunes says that her guests eat the first one and then don’t stop.

In conclusion, the pastel de nata and pingado is a pairing that is unique to Portugal. The simple pleasure of biting into a pastel de nata comes with a story, and the legends add to the charm of this signature food. Whether you are a local or a tourist, the pastel de nata is a treat that is enjoyed by all.

Categories: Travel News