Pastéis de Nata from Lydia’s Bakery Inc.

The first time I ever sank my teeth into what was to instantaneously become my favorite sweet pastry was in the summer of 2009 in a cafe in a Chiado plaza in Lisboa on my road-trip with my friend Eszter. Before our first long day of site-seeing we decided to fuel up with a large breakfast and, as we had heard tales of splendor about Portuguese pastries, we decided on a traditional bakery in the main plaza. We each ordered a cappuccino (I ordered an extra shot of espresso) and we picked two pastries to share, one of them a flaky layered sweet cheese creation and the other a circular cup-shaped pastry filled with some sort of yellow cream with golden brown blotches over the surface which were flying off the counter faster than anything else. As I bit into this dense and surprisingly heavy little bowl, my front teeth drowned into a thick sea of sickly sweet and creamy custard with a slight caramelized, toasted sugar flavor while my back teeth came down against a crunchy, buttery layered crust. It was an incredibly combination of textures and the espresso cut the mind-numbing sweetness of the custard cream beautifully. It was over in 3 bites but was an experience I have never forgotten.

Pastéis de Nata from Lydia’s Bakery Inc. in New Bedford

I was thrown back into that beautiful plaza a few days ago while sitting in my cold fluorescent office in Boston. My coworker and buddy Mark brought me these treats from Lydia’s Bakery in New Bedford and as I ate them, though a little rigid from sitting in the refrigerator until lunch-time, the smooth custard and crunchy shell instantly reminded me of that first bite of Lisbon. Deliciously sweet and packed with love, the real deal.

One thought on “Pastéis de Nata from Lydia’s Bakery Inc.

  1. Pingback: Bacalhau in Macau « My Amused Bouche

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