Thursday, January 3, 2013

Portugal Pastelaria

If the defining utility food shop of New York is the bodega, in Portugal it's definitely the pasteleria. A pasteleria is a pastry shop crossed with a coffee shop and, like New York's bodegas, they are ubiquitous. There's always one on the next block just where you need it. The picture I took (below) was on a street corner in a small town—there were three other pastelarias on the same corner. Someone is always getting pastries there, day or night. For some reason the coffee is uniformly poor, another trait they have in common with bodegas. Pastelerias may look a bit shabby, or they may be fancy with mirrors and glitz. They usually have some seating, though at any given time 75% of it is empty. The most popular pastries, bottom picture, are pasteis de nata, custard cream filled puff pastries about the size and shape of small cupcakes. 

No comments: