What do foodies bring home as souvenirs from Portugal? Pasteis de nata tins, of course! You know, so you can make Portuguese egg tarts at home, because they’re easily one of the most delicious pastries in the country and great for breakfast, elevenses, lunch, teatime, dessert or supper.
There’s just one problem. As a tourist, pasteis de nata tins really, really difficult to find. I looked in stores. I asked pastelarias. Even Google didn’t have any answers. You know it’s bad when the internet rejects you. I begged every Portuguese tart shop I found to sell me some. It was like some sort of trade secret that they only shared with fellow Portuguese. Ten days in, I was getting pretty desperate.
Lucky for me, a lovely staff member named Daniel of Manteigaria, took pity on me. He made phone calls, he chased it up with the store owner, he even helped ask them to sell me some. As it turns out, bakeries buy pasteis de nata tins by the hundreds, and no they
could would not sell me a dozen.
I begged the owner. I offered to pay double, triple, or really whatever price they thought fit. Still no deal. Eventually, the owner did manage to reach the other co-owner. The place they’d got them from was a wholesaler 30 kilometres away – they didn’t speak English and probably wouldn’t sell them to me in less than a hundred. I rationalised that given the lack of Google leads, that I could likely buy them, take them home and sell them for double what I paid paid back in Australia. Nick shot that idea down with just one look (I had just purchased 26 full sized dinner plates.) The pasteis dream was starting to fade.
Forty minutes later, at 10.30pm the night before our flight was due to leave Portugal, there was a lead. It would be a mad dash to try and find the shop, then make it to the airport the next morning but I really wanted those damn tart tins.
Long story short, as you can tell by the photo, I got them. Think Amazing Race style around the streets of Lisbon, with the wrong address on a map and the imminent danger of missing your flight for a dozen tart tins. Somehow, in amongst all that, I managed to take a couple of photos of the shopfronts – just so I could contribute to every foodie’s dream of having their own Portuguese pasteis de nata tins.
They’re about €0.85 each and here’s where you can find these magical tins.
If you’re not sure what size pasteis de nata tins to buy, err on the smaller size as home ovens do not get as hot as the industrial ones that give the pasteis their trademark dark brown caramelised spots on top.
Braz & Braz
You’ll find their website, in Portuguese here. It’s slightly cheaper and it’s a dangerous place to wander into if you like homewares. They have stores in Lisbon, São João da Talha and Almancil.
They can be pretty hard to find, so I’ve pinned them on a map for you –
You’re welcome. 😉 If you’ve found this helpful, please leave a comment so that I know my quest was not in vain.