Sadly, it was our last lesson with Hannah this week. All the students have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the culture of Brazil and Portugal. Hannah’s knowledge and experience, of life in Brazil have been inspiring. However, this week she brought a ‘taste of Portugal’ with her; ‘Pastel de nata’. This is a traditional Portuguese pastry best described as an egg tart, sometimes sprinkled with cinnamon or icing sugar. The most famous place to eat pastéis de nata in Lisbon is the Pastéis de Belém factory.
The pastry was first made by the monks at the Jerónimos Monastery in Belém were. Convents and monasteries used egg whites for starching clothes. They used the leftover egg yolks to make cakes and sweet pastries.
In the 1800s, many people abandoned religion and closed down many convents and monasteries, the monks started selling pastéis de nata to bring in income.