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help me identify a tart from a portuguese bakery!

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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... :(

    2. pasteis?

      2 Replies
      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.

              2. Maybe it was PALHA DE ABRANTES.

                Pic --> http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Gd18c0YjYrI...

                3 Replies
                1. re: Cheese Boy

                  Wow. I had to Google that. It looks delicious:
                  http://www.portoexpress.com/idxd.htm#r9

                  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...

                  2. i'm not sure if cheese boy solved it for you, but when i go to portuguese bakeries i always get what has been referred to as a "bean tart" (for the sake of simplicity) along with my natas.

                    they look more like a muffin than a tart because it is a singular whole item with a smooth lightly browned top and smooth bottom/sides vs a separate crust with a filling. i couldn't find a photo a la google using the words i'm accustomed to so the best i can describe the interior as is having a sort of bubbly interior framework that's sticky and chewy. i compare the texture and look to an asian fermented rice cake that looks like this: http://www.jeffloo.com/photos/2006/me... but the portuguese one is quite sweet still with no fermented flavour. mine usually come with two thin sliced almonds as the top garnish.

                    the next time i go i will insist they tell me the proper names rather than me using my lame english descriptors.

                    edit:
                    i did more google searching and the thing i like i think is called a Pastéis de feijão ... the pictures on the interwebs though don't match what i've had exactly.

                    imagine this without the crust http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x2...

                    or perhaps this but with the interior more like the rice cake
                    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_wE8sT2XKYow...

                    i'm fairly convinced that this is what it is that you ate because the traditional ingredients are white beans, almonds and egg whites. where almonds seem to offer the most flavour and beans and egg whites the texture.

                    second edit!
                    here's another image that looks significantly more like what i've had:
                    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7PGISCh6IJM...

                    none of the times have they been this yellow though... more like a pale soft baby yellow with a tiny tiny hint of green and white. very translucent.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: pinstripeprincess

                      hi pinstripe,

                      well, i THOUGHT cheese boy may have solved the mystery ... but now i'm confused because i THINK what i ate was closer to one of your pics.

                      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7PGISCh6IJM...

                      although, i DEFINITELY didn't detect any beans in my tart. if only we could combine the SHAPE of the tarts you speak of with the texture/consistency with the tarts cheese boy has come up with...then i think we'd nail it!

                      where do you get your portuguese pastries? (i think you're in/around toronto?)

                      i'll have to go hunting soon ...

                      i've been waiting for my one portuguese friend to come back from vacation so i can describe to her what i ate!

                      thanks!!!

                      1. re: lilaki

                        ha, i should have clicked through to your profile! i recalled your name but it didn't occur to me that it was because you would be from the same "home" board.

                        you don't detect the beans at all in the way you would normally expect bean flavour and texture. the fact that it's also fairly translucent on the interior wouldn't normally indicate to me that there are beans... but indeed they are in there mashed up very finely and well integrated. the egg white mixed in i think helps with the hole-y airy spongy interior.

                        i'm pretty convinced that what you've had is what i'm talking about mostly because i don't recall seeing what cheese boy has suggested in the bakeries i frequent where as these bean tarts are at all of them. but my memory is total crap so it could be me turning a blind eye to them.

                        my preferred place is brazil bakery on dundas west by brock, i feel that overall their offerings are the best though not necessarily individually excellent. they probably do the best bean tart i've found. but pretty much all the portuguese bakeries have the bean tart and on the exterior they look exactly the same (the interior can be pasty, spongy, or other though...). the only places i cannot recommend based on recent experiences are courdense on bloor by i think dovercourt and venezia on ossington. these things only take about 3 bites to finish, one bite was more than enough for me. perhaps posting on the local board might help for a good place near to you.

                    2. Hi there! I come from a Portuguese bakery family business in the Toronto area. I think you might be talking about something called a 'mimo'. They are super sweet and jelly-like, and have coconut in them. See if this is what you ate: http://www.fabricoproprio.net/bolos-c...

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: ALo

                        hi alo,

                        thanks for responding ... i'm not 100% sure if that's the same item. the one i had was in the SHAPE of the tart. but perhaps it's the same?

                        do you know where in TO i could find this??

                        tks!!!

                        1. re: lilaki

                          have you dropped into a bakery yet to survey their offerings and find a match yet?

                          1. re: pinstripeprincess

                            sadly, i haven't yet. my friend keeps showing up with the traditional portuguese tarts so i haven't had a need yet. hopefully soon...

                            1. re: lilaki

                              If your friend keeps bringing tarts, why not ask him to have the bakery write the name of this down? Just point at it.

                              1. re: rworange

                                When you find it next time, can you please show us a pic, I would love to see what it's looks like.

                      2. hey everyone,

                        i stopped in at caldense bakery last week and found the tart! i asked the girl behind the counter to spell out what i was buying ... she said it's spelled "QUEJADA". and there are three flavours - bean, beer, and orange. i bought the bean and the beer. other than different toppings, they seemed almost identical (didn't taste beer).

                        i googled quejada and couldn't find anything but google suggested that i should be looking for QUEIJADA. still haven't found anything either.

                        not sure if anyone else might have luck? or might have a recipe for this?

                        thanks!!!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: lilaki

                          queijadas

                          I've neever heard of beer. Usually it is orange, coconut, almond, bean, nata (custard), sintra (cheese with cinnamon) and Marie Amelie , named for the last Queen of Portugal. Also called Dona Amelias they taste sort of like dates with a hing of molasses.

                          Queijada just translates as tart, or tartlet in Portugese, so I guess they could have anything, even beer. However, that would not be common.

                          1. re: lilaki

                            Hi there,

                            I just landed here looking for something completely different and just had to sign up so that I could reply to this thread! LOL!

                            "Queijo" is the Portuguese word for cheese - and so, "queijadas" are any kind of tart made with cheese. Actually, the best translation for "queijada" should be cheesecake. They come in all sizes and flavours depending on the amount of eggs, the type of cheese and what else you add to the recipe: it can be fruits (fresh or dry), fruit juices, nuts, spices, coffee, chocolate, etc.. We have as many ways of baking queijadas as we do of cooking bacalhau!

                            Personally, my favourite are queijadas de Sintra - these, as rworange said, are basically cheese and cinnamon. I tried looking for a translated recipe and almost all of them tell you to use ricotta or mozzarella cheese - these won't make a proper queijada de Sintra. I don't know if it's easy enough to find fresh cheese in the US (it should look like as in the photo), but if you can't find it, you can use unsalted and well drained cottage cheese or, as a last resource, unsalted Philadelphia. Here you have a good recipe for them: http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archi...

                             
                            1. re: cataires

                              Great inof, thanks. Welcome to Chowhound. Looking forward to more of your posts. I hope you found the other info you were looking for.

                          2. My friend and boss Linda (who is Portuguese), says that you ate, and I quote, "bolos da arroz", it is like a sweet muffin (pronounced "boosh da roosh" ;-)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: riversuzyq

                              hrm, that's actually a really good possibility. i just saw them recently at a bakery and asked about they, they're rice pudding based and so it would be custardy. will have to try one soon.

                            2. When I read your description ", I immediately thought of cabello de angel, which turns up in pastries throughout Spain. It is candied squash.

                              http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabello_...

                              Translated from the Spanish on the Wikipedia page:
                              "The resultant sweet, which consists of thin filaments that are transparent white or lightly golden in color, is used as a filling for pastries and tarts."

                              However, I wouldn't consider it "mind-blowing". I found it insipid and tried to avoid it.