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PASTÉIS DE NATA ARTESANAIS
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MADE FROM SCRATCH PORTUGUESE CUSTARD TARTS
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To talk about pastéis de nata we have to go back almost 500 years of history and gastronomic experiences.

The history of the pastéis de nata, which they used to be called pastéis de leite (milk pastels) before they were called pastéis de nata, is old, and we believe that those pastels were already known in the court of D. Manuel I, who before become king of Portugal, was the 4th Duke of Beja.
The Conceição’s convent in this same city was part of his protection and it is said that, from this convent they would continue to send to Lisbon the pastéis de leite that the king liked so much.

The Infanta D. Maria, granddaughter of D. Manuel I, married in 1565 the Duke of Parma and brought with her two chef-cooks and a set of notebooks also known in our days as "The Kitchen Book" of the Infanta D. Maria de Portugal.
It can be seen in our days at the Naples National Library with a total of 67 recipes, including the one from Pastéis de Leite.
The filling in this recipe is already very similar to what we have today, they were even cooked in the same type of molds as we use today.

The puff pastry, which was not invented in Portugal, appears for the first time in the records of the royal chef cook of Philip II of Spain, son of Charles V, grandson of D. Manuel I and cousin of the Infanta D. Maria, Francisco Martínez Montiño, author of the book "Arte de cocina, pasteleria, bizcocheria y conserveria" published in 1611: "During the eight or nine months he spent in Lisbon, he published a set of recipes in which the pastels made with puff pastry appears for the first time. From there probably the pastels acquire the similar form to those that we have nowadays."

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But the first reference to Pastéis de Nata, with the same name and all, appears later in the nineteenth century in the monastery of Odivelas.
To date it remains the first complete recipe, written in a notebook that has endured to the present day.
When the convent closes in 1866, due to the death of its last abbess, D. Bernardina da Conceição, a notebook appears that gathers 209 recipes probably compiled from the period of 1834, a year that all the convents and monasteries of Portugal were closed due the result of the Liberal Revolution that occurred in 1820: "In this notebook, directly in the beginning, maybe because it is very important, the first recipe is from the Pastéis de Nata. It has two versions, one to serve hot, and the other to serve cold. The only difference is that they mixed the cinnamon in the filling and, nowadays, the cinnamon is placed on top."
Simultaneously in the suburb of Santa Maria de Belém, near the Torre de Belém and near the spectacular Jeronimos Monastery, there was a small sugar cane refinery with a shop adjacent to it.
Until that time it was traditional to sell in the local markets the products made in the convents as them means of sustenance, but the Monastery of Jeronimos for the same reasons as the Monestary of Odivelas went closed and in an attempt to survive, someone from the Monastery offers to sell in this store in Belém those sweet pies, quickly called "Pastéis de Belém".
From then until now the history has been known, the store exists since 1837, and the founders descendants kept the original recipe in secret, remaining the same until today, thus allowing us now to appreciate the taste of the old Portuguese conventual pastry.
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Nowadays, in almost all Portuguese cafés or bakeries you can taste this delicacy called "Pastel de Nata", there are of course variations among who produces them.
Unfortunately, there is an increasing number of industrial production and it is estimated that reaches around 75% of the national production, this in addition to killing the tradition, may even end up killing the product.
Thus, in an attempt to glorify and recover traditions, mixed with a little folklore, in the few last years there have been regular contests among pastry shops who wish to participate, in order to know which is the best Lisbon artisanal Pastel de Nata, which has led to a significant improvement from the product in general from year to year.

Pastéis de Nata are so relevant in our culture that in 2011 they became one of the "Seven Wonders of Portuguese Gastronomy", as a result of popular vote.

Here at Beluso, we kept the artisanal process, moreover, we are the only Portuguese to produce from scratch this delicacy in Ghent.

Bruno Calheiros studied product design in Lisbon and have worked in this area more than 14 years, but deep inside he always knew it that he wanted to run is own business. When he moved to Belgium, he realised that here was nothing equal for what he had as ambition, so he started Beluso in 2015 as an idea where he can developed and search simple but authentic concepts, but most important, where he can bring the glory of a artisanal Pastel de Nata to Belgium.
Since he started, he has been busy looking for the most authentic and delicious recipe of this delicacy, and maybe because he have taken a diferent path than the other confectioners that he found in Belgium, led him to do research, to look in libraries, to experiment recipes with more than 200 years, to learn from it, to try again and at the end to have his own recipe.
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THE
BEST WAY TO ENJOY
OUR
PASTEL DE NATA

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Same day
Eat as fresh as possible at room temperature.

Days after
Keep in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days, if its more days we recommend to frozen them.(then you can always enjoy it as an ice-cream)

Hot
You can enjoy " freshly from the oven" when you reheat it using a oven at ± 160ºC ±15m.

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