Pastéis de Nata are a sweet pastry traditional from Lisbon with its history connected to the heritage of the city.
It’s known that they were created before the 18th century by the monks from Jeronimos Monastery.
At that time the convents and monasteries had lots of leftovers of egg yolks because they used lots of egg whites for starching habits and other clothes. It was usual in convents to use the egg yolks to produce cakes and pastry. There are many sweet recipes from convents in the whole country.
With the extinction of some religious orders and the closure of many convents and monasteries the monks started to sell pastéis de nata to make money.
In 1834 with the Jeronimos Monastery closure, the recipe was sold and the new owners opened in 1837 the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém. The business is still running today, as a family business.
In 2009 The Guardian listed Pastéis de Belém as one of the 50 "best things to eat" in the world!