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2016年9月26日 星期一

Pastèis de Belèm.( 正宗葡撻)

I do not know how many times those of us who work in Hong Kong have had a simple but very delicious afternoon snack called  Portuguese egg tart ( 葡撻) or in Portuguese "pastéis de nata" when taking a break.


This is the place which made it famous. It's just less than five minutes from the Jerónimos Monastery, which is in fact the real place where this recipe originated. Its creation is an excellent example of clever recycling. There's a little story behind this tasty snack: They were invented in the 18th century by the tart loving French monks and nuns of the monastery, who used huge quantities of egg whites as part of the starching of their shirts, collars, habits etc and had to think of a way of not wasting the egg yolks produced in the process. After a Liberal Revolution in Portugal in 1820, many monasteries and convents were threatened with closure. To earn some money, the monks of the Jerónimos Monastery started selling such pastéis de nata at a nearby sugar refinery to get some income. Notwithstanding this, the Monastery was closed in 1834 and when they did so, they sold the recipe to the owner of the sugar refinery who opened the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém in 1837. Ever since that moment, the same family has  been operating the same business here right up to the present day. 


The pastry restaurant is quite big: taking up two shop spaces


Workers busy preparing various pastries and snacks at the Cafeteria de Belém. Unlike other egg tarts sold in Hong Kong, the pasteis de Belém is sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon.




Two workers who had just completed emptying the egg tarts from the baking tray to the service tray.




An old cash register at the old cafeteria.



An antique weighing scale there



Two huge marble urns



an antique painted tile

 

A white chocolate castle in the form of the famous Tower of Belém just 10 minutes walk from the cafeteria and pastry shop


A wash basin



croquettes on sale


napkins of the shop


They sell Portuguese port wine too



The queue extends into the street


Other shops a little further down the same street. 


The streets are quite wide


The buildings are usually just two stories. This is the Museu dos Coches (Museum of Cars)



There are still trams running in the city



Of course, there are more contemporary looking buildings too, not just old ones.


A monument to King Edward VII, who visited Lisbon in 1903 to give his blessings to the signing of an Anglo-Portuguese treaty of alliance that year. The monument was at the head of the Parque Eduardo VII, originally called Parque da Liberdade (Liberty Park) and was renamed in honour of the king. In the park is the April 25 Monument which celebrates the Carnation Revolution on April 25, 1974,  the  military coup which brought down the repressive Estado Novo government in Portugal previously led by Salazzar and his protegé Caetano and and restored civil liberties.