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  • - [Narrator] These little custard tarts,

  • these eggy, sugary treats are everywhere in Portugal.

  • Here, here, and here.

  • Some say the Pastéis de Belém is the original

  • pasteis de nata, or custard tart.

  • In this little factory, through this kitchen,

  • there's a recipe that has been kept top secret

  • for almost 200 years.

  • - Not this one, guys.

  • You can't get in here.

  • I'm sorry.

  • Okay, I'm Miguel Clarinha, and I'm part of

  • the management of Pastéis de Belém.

  • This special recipe you will only find here, at this shop.

  • We sell an average of about 20,000 tarts a day.

  • In the summer, maybe around 40,000 cakes.

  • A lot of cakes.

  • - [Narrator] Pastéis de Belém, as they call them here,

  • are simple tarts, really: egg yolk, milk, some flour, sugar,

  • but it's how they make them in complete secrecy

  • that makes these tarts a national treasure.

  • - We have six people knowing the recipe.

  • In the family, my father, my cousin, and myself.

  • We all trained the three chefs,

  • which is Vito Artur Domingos, Yodizel Janeiro,

  • and Carlos Martins.

  • - [Narrator] The recipe is so secret,

  • all the bakers sign nondisclosure agreements

  • to keep the timeless tarts a true mystery.

  • - Pastéis de Belém is one of the earliest recipes

  • at least here in Lisbon.

  • We know that the recipe was invented

  • in the Monastery of Jeronimos in the early 19th century.

  • This one.

  • - [Narrator] Once they have the recipe, the chefs,

  • now sworn to secrecy, are given keys to this door.

  • - They work inside the factory in a separate room

  • that we call the oficina do segredo in Portuguese.

  • It's like the secret shop or secret room.

  • They have to work in a separate room,

  • because the process can only be seen by them.

  • Til today we haven't found anyone that explained the recipe

  • as it is.

  • If it happens, well, we probably would have to lock him up

  • in the basement and throw away the key.

  • (laughs) No, just kidding.

  • - [Narrator] Okay, secret-keeper.

  • What's the best way to eat one of these custard tarts?

  • - Usually I like it simple, but that's just me.

  • Most people like with a little bit of cinnamon on top.

  • This is the hard part of the job.

  • - [Narrator] Yeah, this is super hard.

  • I don't know how you do it.

- [Narrator] These little custard tarts,

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Top Secret Tarts: Guarding Portugal's Culinary National Treasure

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    黃沛瑜 posted on 2017/06/18
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