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Pastéis de Belém

In the early 19th century in Belém, next to the Jerónimos Monastery, there was a sugar cane refinery linked to a small general store.

Following the liberal revolution of 1820 all convents and monasteries in Portugal were closed and the clergy and workforce were forced to leave. As a means of making a living, someone from the Monastery began offering sweet pastries for sale in the store; they rapidly became known as "Pasteis de Belém" (Belém Pastries).

At the time Belém was still quite a distance from Lisbon itself and was reached mostly by steamboat. Nevertheless, the grandeur of the Jerónimos Monastery and Tower of Belém attracted visitors who soon developed a taste for the delicious pastries that originated in the Monastery.

In 1837 "Pasteis de Belém" began to be made in the buildings next to the refinery following the age-old ‘secret recipe' from the Monastery. The recipe, which has remained unchanged to this day, has since been handed down in secrecy through generations of master bakers who make the "pasteis" by hand in the bakery's "secret workroom".

Website: http://www.pasteisdebelem.pt/