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The Casa Pasteis De Belem is the traditional home of the delicious Pastel de Nata, that is the staple food of the sweet toothed Portuguese. Pastel de Nata is a custard tart that is sprinkled with cinnamon. The chaotic cafe and bakery has been selling Pastel de Nata for over 150 years and no trip to the Belem district is complete without a sampling one.
The Casa Pasteis De Belem
The Pastel de Nata is believed to have been first developed during the 18th century by Catholic nuns based in the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, that stands across the road from the Casa Pasteis De Belem. The nuns baked these sweet cakes as a method of raising extra funds for the upkeep of the monastery. The Casa Pasteis De Belem bakery was the first place to master the recipe from the convent and started to sell the cakes to the public.
The monastery was forced to closed during the religious upheaval which engulfed Portugal during the 1820's but the bakery continued to serve the delicious Pastel de Nata. During this time the name of the cafe was altered to Casa Pasteis De Belem, named after the district that it stands in.
Pasteis de Nata in Lisbon
Since 1837 locals have gone there to get them warm out of the oven and sprinkled with the cinnamon and powdered sugar. Pasteis de Belem and Pasteis de Nata are identical custard tarts but outside of the Belem district are more commonly called Pasteis de Nata.
Casa Pasteis De Belem is situated opposite the main bus/tram stop in Belem. Visitors are either able to purchase the delicious custard tarts as a take away (or gift) or to simply eat them in the vast cafe that extends behind the shop front. The seating area is always very busy, noisy and chaotic but authentically Portuguese!