A trip to Lisbon is incomplete if you have not had the opportunity to taste the Belém cakes. If you do not particularly like the sweet, know that it is the most characteristic sweet and famous cuisine of Portugal. If you love sweets, you have an unmissable with Belém pastries. This delicious dessert known in Portugal as pastéis de Belém, or pastry cream, is actually a sweet pastry made with a cream-based egg yolk, milk and sugar which rests on a wafer which is sprinkled with icing and cinnamon. You can buy Belem cakes from any of the many bakeries that are in Lisbon or you can taste them in any cafetetería as breakfast or snack, or at any restaurant for dessert.
If you travel to Lisbon it is a must to taste the cakes in the historic Belem pastry factory where they are produced since 1837 which jealously guards the original recipe. Know that this delicious sweet was developed by the nuns residing in the Monastery of Jeronimos in Belém during the eighteenth century. After the Liberal Revolution of 1820 in Portugal convents were closed, which happened in 1834 in the case of Jerome. Thereafter, in the small grocery store of the former sugar cane refinery next to the monastery, they started selling Belém cakes. By then they had quite a few visitors who came to Belém to see the monuments, the monastery and the Tower and cakes. Little by little, they were becoming a culinary landmark.
When you get to Belem, next to the monastery, at the low of a typical home with blue tile facade you’ll find the small shop is always bustling with tourists buying Belém pastries. Here you will taste the original recipe which serves as a guide for the artisan to prepare the ingredients for the Belem pastry workshop called Secrets. While Belem cakes can be taken cold, from my point of view hot are best. This is how it was served in the old factory crammed cakes Belém.