My Favorite Things – Culinary Time Travel in the Big Apple

When a friend told me that a new Portuguese bakery had just opened up at Broadway and 71st, I couldn’t wait to go and try it.  With only a month’s business under it’s belt, Choco Bolo is still working out some of its kinks (service was a bit confused and could have been faster!), but I didn’t care when I espied the Portuguese pastries behind the counter.

Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese Custard Tarts), at right…

Photo of Pasteis de Nata at Choco Bolo taken by Joana Miranda

I ordered one Pastelo de Nata with coffee…

Photo of pastelo de Nata taken by Joana Miranda

(and devoured it.)

That got me to thinking today about good recipes for this delicacy.  A quick internet search brought me to the James Beard award-winning site of publisher, editor-in-chief and cookbook author David Leite.  My husband and I cook from his wonderful cookbook The New Portuguese Table as often as we can.  The recipes in this book elevate traditional Portuguese cooking to a new level, while keeping the flavors that are synonymous with this cuisine intact.

Photo of cover of The New Portuguese Table Cookbook by David Leite

If you’re feeling inspired, you can make your own Pasteis de Nata.  Check out David’s Pasteis de Nata recipe here.  Although a bit time consuming…

You just might find yourself transported to Lisbon!

Photo of trolley in Lisbon, taken by Joana Miranda



Filed under My Favorite Things, New York, resources, Review

6 responses to “My Favorite Things – Culinary Time Travel in the Big Apple

  1. Hi Joana,
    An Pastel de Nata a day keeps the doctor away 🙂
    My favorite!

    P.S. Do you recognize them? 🙂

    • Ola Pedro,

      Gostei tanto de ler o que escrevistes a cerca do Jane’s Carousel, e de ver a tua foto dos bilhetes! Uma amiga minha que viva em Brooklyn disse que o carousel em Prospect Park e ainda mais bonita. Talvez se vems visitar podemos fazer uma visita a cada carousel.

      Na verdade, eu gosta ainda mais de Queixadas, mas nao tenho encontrado nenhuma queixada aqui. My mother apparently “overdosed” on queixadas when she was pregnant with me. Maybe that’s why I love them so much; for sure, it explains why she won’t eat them to this day!

      Ciao – Joana P.s. Qual e a diferenca entre um Pastelo de Nata e um Pastelo de Belem? Aren’t they pretty similar?

  2. Hi Joana,
    OK! We have to try both carousels 🙂
    Supposedly a “Pastel de Nata” and a “Pastel de Belem” should be the same but as a big fan of a good “Pastel de Nata” I must confess that I do not like “Pasteis de Belém”.
    You can only eat them while they’re hot and yet the dough is never crispy as I like it.
    There’s plenty of vanilla flavor which I don’t link and once they get cold they are unpalatable, at least for my taste.
    Honestly, so far I have not figured why Pasteis de Belem are so famous.
    I also like Queijadas a lot.
    The best ones are from Sintra. From a store/factory called “Piriquita” who also have the wonderful “Travesseiros”.


    • Ola Pedro,

      Obrigada pelo explicacao a cerca de Pasteis de Nata e Pasteis de Belem. When I was last in Portugal with my husband, we went to Belem on our first day in Lisbon because my father said we had to go to the verdadeira fabrica de Pasteis de Belem. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the right pastelaria and we ate a maybe inferior Pastel de Belem. 🙂

      I know Piriquita well and have eaten many a Travesseirro from there. I’ve also had Queijadas from Sapa in Sintra – supposedly the best. Nao sei se contei, mas a minha Tia vivia em Algueirao. Passamos muitos semanas durante os veraos ficar la com ela, e sempre fazemos passeios a Sintra. By the way, when I was took my husband to Sintra, we had a wonderful meal at Casa Don Pipo. It’s not in the touristy section – actually, quite near the estacao de comboio – and isn’t fancy, but the food was excellent. Tive la uma sobramesa de Tarte de Queijada que era muito bom. O recheio era parecido a uma Queijada, mas a massa era mais paracido a um tarte.

      Desculpe os erros no meu Portugues!
      Ciao –

  3. la mamma

    woo-hoo!, Volta e meio torno a visitar A Grande Maçã para comer Pasteis de Nata! (Mais alguns outros que vi na tua fotografia)…
    uma grande beijoca para joaninha de La Mamma

    • Um grande beijoca e beijinhos para ti, tambem. A proxima vez que visitas “A Grande Maca” levou-te para comer “queixadas” (ou *queijadas*, se preferirs[?]) na pastelaria Choco e Bolo. Ate melhor vai ser se conseguo fazer os pasteis em casa.

      Ciao – Joana

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