Wednesday, October 21, 2009

when I think of Portugal, I think surf and sweets.

After watching the film "Pastry" at this summer's International Asian American Film Festival in NYC, I grew a strong craving for the popular Chinese pastry known as the egg custard. I was never a big fan of them as they were a "no, thank you" for me at family dim sum brunches. (Aside: the thought of carts full of steaming dumplings is making my mouth water as I write this in Girona, Spain). But having watched this film about a Chinese girl's coming-of-age and love for custards; receiving pink boxes full of freshly baked custards every time one of her four sisters got married; her keen sense of judgement on boys (if they couldn't distinguish a good custard from a not-so-good one, they were thrown out the door), I fell in love and grew hungry. Luckily, when I returned home, my mom took me to a Chinese bakery in Monterey Park where I had my picking of three different styled egg custards, two Chinese kinds and one Portuguese. I happily chose one of each.

You can just imagine how excited (and nostalgic) I was when I came upon the custards in Portugal, known as paséis de nata. With their multiple layers of filo dough, so thn and crispy filled with a light creamy egg bath baked to perfection.

The first two photos are of pastéises from from Peniche, Portugal, a fisherman's village and this year's hot spot for the ASP World Surf Tour.

After surfing in Baleal, I spent four days in Lisboa, the caital of Portugal and headed to the famous, Pastéis de Belém, where the heavenly delicacy was invented.
 Surf's up!

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