September 9, 2011

Lisbon. October, 2009

When I first arrived in Lisbon, I had no idea. Yes, I knew to look for pastéis de nata, the fabled custard tarts baked in a kind of puff-pastry shell. And I knew where to look for them, too. I was aware of Portugal’s tradition of egg-yolk sweets, many originally made in convents from the yolks left over after the whites had been used to (depending on which story you believe) clarify local wines or starch the nuns’ habits. But I was unprepared for the variety of baked and fried sweet pastries that would delight me as I strolled by countless pastry shops each day. Here, a window of the Casa Brasileira on Lisbon’s busy pedestrian Rua Augusta. Every day, new selections would appear, allowing me to try something different at each passing. Like these beauties, Lisbon’s interpretation of sugar-coated, deep-fried beignets. Mmmm-mmm. They certainly did live up to their name: dreams.

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