1. You are a tourist because you are reading The Rough Guide, The Lonely Planet or some other travel guide to Lisbon. You see a picture of this mythical creature of a dessert called Pastel de Nata and you, being a tourist, want to have one too.
2. In your designated travel guide, you read about Belém and how the “Pastéis de Belém” offers the best and most authentic pastel de nata in town.
3. The long queue outside consisting only of tourists makes you suspicious.
4. You are right.
5. You go back to your hotel with free Wi-Fi and google “eating a pastel de nata” and by google’s grace you stumble upon this blog and article. You are happy.
6. In this article you read how the pastéis de Belém are really not all that great as everyone claims they are and how instead the “Manteigaria” next to Praça Luis Camões sells delicious homemade pastéis de natas, made on the spot. They make 1500-2000 per day and ring the bell whenever a new batch is ready.
7. You go there and buy one. Because you are a tourist, you choose a pastel de nata which is not too heavily caramelized on top because you think all the others are burned. You receive one on a plate and are not sure how to proceed with this edible cup of custard.
8. You ask for a spoon to spoon out the custard.
9. You really shouldn’t ask for a spoon. Look around you, nobody is doing this. It’s a cardinal sin, like cutting spaghetti with fork and knife and then consuming the mess with a spoon. Whatever afterlife comes next, for sure it won’t be a pleasant experience.
10. Enjoy it. You taste how the pastry on the bottom and side is flaky, crispy, buttery and the still warm custard-filling is creamy, much smoother than in any other regular pastelaria or the wretched “Pastéis de Belem”. It has a slight hint of vanilla and lemon.
11. No, you really do not eat this with a spoon. Put the spoon away. Now. Good, now go back to step 10.
12. Your pastel de nata is finished and you cannot resist to order another one. You go to step number 13 for further encouragement.
13. Who’s a good tourist, hm? Who’s a good tourist?
(Nout Van Den Neste)
Opening hours: Daily from 8:00 to 0:00
Address: Rua do Loreto 2
Phone number: 213 471 492