The story behind the secret recipe of “Pastéis de Belém”

Flaky on the outside, creamy and sweet and on the inside, the “pastéis de Belém” is a must-try for anyone visiting the city of tiles. But what is the secret behind the long line going out the door of the little shop close to Jerónimos Monastery? 



Back in the seventeenth century, some Catholic monks of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Belém, were the first to produce the egg tarts, by using yolks leftovers from the starching of clothes. The monastery was also selling them before getting shut down in 1834, as a result of the religious orders being expelled during the Liberal Revolution.


To continue their production, the former clerics from the monastery sold the recipe to a confeitaria close by, which quickly became the most famous bakery of Lisbon and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Today, the iconic Pastéis de Belém (not “pastéis de nata” as they are called in the rest of the country) can be prepared only by six master bakers who know the original secret recipe from the Belém’s monks.

If you are planning to visit Lisbon, don’t forget to visit the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém, to enjoy these tasty palm-sized delicacies with a cup of coffee or glass of Porto.


And if you are eager to discover more about Portugal don’t hesitate to contact our local experts by visiting the page: Ovation Portugal


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