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help me identify a tart from a portuguese bakery!

this weekend, my friend showed up with 12 tarts from a portuguese bakery. he knows that i LOVE the egg tarts. however, included in the mix were two tarts that i have not had before. one of them was a coconut tart (i think) with a maraschino cherry on top. the filling looked like it had been piped in. it was okay but nothing to write home about.

the second tart was something that blew my mind. it was sticky. there was no crust. it was shaped like a tart but when i peeled off the paper muffin cup (v sticky), i noticed that it was one big 'blob'. it was pale yellow-ish on the outside but more clear/white/translucent on the inside. when i took a look at the inside (after a few bites), it almost looked like there was a translucent, jelly-like noodle. it was very sweet. i didn't pick up on any nut flavours (i thought it might taste like almond but it didn't). i can't really say what else it tasted like though! i should've taken a picture but I was too busy savouring each bite.

i called my friend to ask him what he bought but doesn't speak portuguese and apparently the person helping him didn't speak english!

sorry if i've butchered the description but i'm hoping SOMEONE out there knows what i ate!!! if you could tell me the name and/or share a recipe, i'd be so grateful!

thanks!!!

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  1. Sounds really interesting. If worst comes to worst, you could always go back to the bakery yourself (if its local) and hopefully you'll see the pastry in question. Good luck :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: karrill

      sadly, my friend lives out of town... :(

      1. re: linguafood

        umm, isn't "pasteis" portuguese for pastries? i.e. the egg custard tarts are called "pastéis de nata". so i'm guessing the tart i'm looking for might be called pastéis de SOMETHING?

        1. re: lilaki

          good point '-). guess my portuguese ain't all that great. and the only pasteis i've had were the pasteis de nata. good stuff!

      2. The first tart definitely sounds like "coconut tart" (we can get it in Chinese bakeries here).

        Is this place a Chinese bakery? What you describe sounds more Chinese than Portuguese. I'm thinking that the jelly-like noodle is "young coconut" meat. You can get young coconut tarts in Chinese bakeries.

        7 Replies
        1. re: fmed

          hi fmed,

          what's young coconut?

          i've had coconut tarts (both chinese and portugese before. the tart that i'm trying to find definitely did NOT taste like coconut...

          1. re: lilaki

            Just an FYI since I think Cheese Boy posted the the correct pastry already...

            Young coconut meat is a more gelatinous and translucent than regular coconut meat. You can buy it fresh (inside a coconut), frozen or sweetened in a jar at many Asian stores - specifically Filipino groceries.

          2. re: fmed

            just thought i'd throw in that my understanding has been that there was a lot of cross cultural food influence between the portuguese and ... well asia, so there will be quite a few similar items. most of my examples are the portuguese influencing asian food culture though, for example dan tats (the natas already mentioned), tempura, and i think some of the baked bread/bun items. there are probably more things that i just don't recall.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              There is also Macau cuisine and pastries that have influenced many HK pastries. (The Portugese are said to have introduced Asia to the chili pepper amongst other spice trade goods.)

              1. re: pinstripeprincess

                My recent travels to Portugal have me wondering if most Chinese baked (not steamed) pastries aren't in fact descended from Portuguese pastries. Was baking a big thing in China before the Portuguese influence ?

                1. re: dump123456789

                  i'm not a cultural anthropologist and have hardly done any significant reading about this so i can't speak definitively, but my impression has been that baking was a huge portuguese influence and through macau mostly, as fmed had mentioned. hong kong seemed to adopt it quickly as well and so i tend to think of chinese baked goods as more of a cantonese/hong kong thing personally.

                  i know that with all the intense work that my grandmother puts into her food (some recipes calling for 2-3 days for completion), she has never once baked and she's from rural china.

                  then again, southern china is known to have a larger rice culture and northern a wheat culture. so i'm unsure if with a wheat culture the northern chinese didn't bake. then again, i haven't seen baked goods at a northern chinese resto either.

                  1. re: dump123456789

                    Baking is not a big thing in China, most households don't have an oven, and It depends on where you're from, we are influence by British, Portuguese, German, Japanese, French.... so on. Most Countries in Europe have there version of Coconut tart, they are all similar yet different.

                  1. re: Cheese Boy

                    YES ... i THINK that MAY be it ... except the one i had was more 'structured' (maybe just stiffer) and also less yellow. but that definitel looks similar...

                    THANKS!!

                    1. re: lilaki

                      Yep, there's a good chance that it is.

                      All T&T recipes for these have egg noodles in it just as you described. The orange coloration is because the yolks available outside the US are are a very deep orange color almost red. Here in the US (and likely for you in Canada), the eggs are pale in comparison to those abroad [in Portugal or otherwise].

                      At 0:34, you'll see how red the egg yolks can actually be. Watch as she makes Aletria Doce. Look --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OG72j8...

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