Pastéis de Belém
To this day, the famous pastéis de Belém (custard tarts) are produced in A Antiga Confeitaria de Belém. The sweetest Lisbon specialty is a small pie made with egg yolk and it must be eaten warm and powdered with cinnamon and sugar. The history begins in 1834, when the monks living in Jerónimos monastery decided to sell some creamy puff pastry, homemade by them. The little treat eventually became known as pastel de Belém (Belém pastry), drawing the attention of the several visitors who used to walk around an area that, back then, was still a suburb. This bakery opens every day of the year and, from June to September, only closes at midnight.
In 1837, an entrepreneur bought the recipe from the monks and started a business that has been in the same family for four generations. Over the decades, the original bakery store expanded, to turn into what now looks like a labyrinth of rooms. The recipe, however, was kept unchanged and it is only shared amongst pastry chefs, who sworn to never revealing it. People can actually watch them being prepared (at a distance) through a glass that gives access to the so-called the secret room. To taste one of these pastéis de Belém and take a bica (espresso coffee), sit on one of the many tables continuously sought after by many visitors.