Text: Christian Hollweg
Photos: Ricarda Hollweg
How Belém came to unexpected fame
As a result of Portugal’s liberal revolution of 1820, all monasteries were closed and the monks and labourers expelled, also in the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. This extremely interesting World Heritage Site is located in Belém – now a part of Lisbon – and one of the main attractions of the City.
One of the dismissed employees of the monastery began to sell sweet pastries in a next-door general store, which soon became very popular among the vistors of the magnificent monastery and the also nearby Torre de Belém. The sweets which are baked following the unchanged “secret recipe of the monks”, said to be passed on exclusively to the master confectioners until today, soon became known as
“Pastéis de Belém”.
Special Pastéis de Belém
You can get Pastéis everywhere in Lisbon. You shouldn´t miss the little tartlets of sweet puff pastry, filled with a pudding-like mass, under any circumstances. They are served warm or hot and you can can refine them with cinnamon or powdered sugar, if you want. The “original” Pastéis that you get at the Única Fábrica dos Pastéis de Belém are particularly tasty. Go there, if you’re near! Ignore the queue in front of the restaurant. It´s just the takeaway row. Use the other door. The pretty and winded café has a total of 400 seats. They always have a table for you.
Menus are redundant and not distributed, because every guest wants the same anyway – and a coffee.
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