THE BELÉM EGG TART PASTRY, THE BEST KEPT SECRET OF LISBON BAKING
A secret recipe kept under lock and key that was created at the Hieronymites Monastery, endless queues and a flavour that is famous throughout the world. That is one way to describe the Pastel de Belém, an establishment that has been an institution in Lisbon since 1837 and a must for all those who appreciate the taste of the famous Portuguese tarts of the same name.
Every day, in the “Oficina do Segredo” (The Secret Office), the pastry chefs prepare the cream and puff pastry with which the Belém egg tart pastries are made, at a rate which in high season can reach 40,000 daily units. Although the base of this dessert is the cream made with sugar, milk and egg yolk, only 6 people know the secret behind these “Pastéis de Belém”. It is not just the recipe that is a secret: there is also the method. And although it is a seemingly simple dessert, nobody in the city has managed to achieve a flavour like that of the bakers in Belém.
Luckily, although the recipe is known to very few, all visitors to Lisbon can try them. They can be taken on their own, or with sugar and cinnamon to taste.
TRAMWAY NUMBER 1
The trams that continue to run through the streets of Porto give visitors the opportunity to travel into the past without a Delorean. The tramway network was built in 1872 and, although they’ve lost some of their presence due to the introduction of the metro system and other modern modes of transportation, their beauty continues to shine through their charming interior and the routes they follow.
Among the lines that continue to operate in the city of the Douro, one in particular stands out for its 30-minute route parallel to the river, stretching from the historic Ribeira neighbourhood to the estuary in Foz do Douro. The first stop of tramway number 1 is at Praça do Infante, only a few metres from Bluesock Hostels, and it ends at Passeio Alegre, a prominently residential area where you can enjoy a relaxing day at the beach.
If you have already fallen in love with this historic mode of transportation, you cannot miss out on the Museo do Carro Eléctrico (The Electric Trolley Museum). Located inside the old Massarelos thermal power plant, it offers visitors the opportunity to get a closer look at the history and evolution of this mode of transportation through an impressive collection of vehicles dated between 1872-1950.