The Portuguese desserts are one of my favorite. They are moderately sweet and very tasty. They will be the delicious start of your day and the perfect ending of your lunch and dinner. Check the list and discover the yummiest desserts you should try in Portugal.
1. Croissant doce com queijo
This sweet croissant with cheese is my favorite dessert in Portugal. At first sight, you can be confused about what is so special in it? But in Portugal the croissant is different and you will not find the same one in neighborly Spain or even in France, which is so famous for its pastry. Here it is lush, not layer and with a molten sugar on the top. Inside of it, Portuguese put a slice of cheese and later press the croissant. So, as a result, when you taste it the mix of sweetness of sugar and salinity of melting cheese delight your tastebuds so badly.
The best place to try it? If you are staying in Porto I’d advise you to go to Padaria Ribeiro. I tried croissant doce com queijo in many pastelarias/padarias (bakeries) of Porto and came to a conclusion that Padaria Ribeiro makes the best ones.
How to order it right? As there are different types of croissant and with different topics inside you should ask it in a right way. In Portuguese, it will be sound like this: “Un croissant doce com queijo prensado, por favor!”
2. Pastel da nata
Pastel da Nata is famous not only within Portugal but also around the world. Having tried it once, I can promise it will stay in your heart forever. This egg tart pastry with soft filling tastes even better if you sprinkle cinnamon on the top. Some pastelarias already serve pasteis like that, but if not you can always ask for cinnamon (in Portuguese it calls canela).
The best place to try it? Even though every single bakery in Portugal sells Pastel de nata, there is only one pastelaria that cook it by the authentic recipe – Fábrica dos Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon. This famous pastelaria keeps its recipe secret for many centuries, that’s why Pastel de nata here is always the same delicious as it was in old times, so nowadays. Comparing with other bakeries that serve Pastel da Nata, in Fábrica dos Pastéis de Belém it calls Pastel de Belém in honor of the name of the bakery.
3. Leite Creme
This is another popular custard dessert that is quite similar to its milk base to Pastel da Nata. Leite Creme consists of 5 simple ingredients: milk or cream, eggs, lemon peel, cinnamon and roasted sugar. It’s quite fast and easy to make this dessert. Maybe that’s why it’s a compulsory part of every Portuguese Christmas dinner table. And also because Leite Creme is pretty light and even if you ate a lot, you can always find a place for it.
4. Arroz doce
It is traditional and beloved by Portuguese rice pudding. Like a Leite Creme, Arroz doce is pretty easy to make. Maybe that’s why locals like to cook it on the festivities or when you have a lot of guests and don’t have too much time to cook. The ingredients are simple: milk, rice, sugar, and cinnamon. Depending on the region some Portuguese also add lemon or vanilla. In all cases, no matter which city you are staying, you’ll like Arroz doce by its simplicity and delicious taste alike. But leave some stomach space before trying it because it will make you full.
5. Ovos moles de Aveiro
This dessert came from Aveiro, the city also known as a “Venice of Portugal”, which is located on the Atlantic coast. Maybe that’s why Ovos moles de Aveiro appears in the shapes of shells and fishes. It is made with egg yolks and sugar and wrapped in wafer thin paper. This pastry entered in 2011 the list of 70 Wonders of Portuguese Gastronomy. Very sweet and tasty Ovos moles is for sure your must-try while visiting Portugal.