I have a sweet tooth, i would choose dessert any time over a starter if i go to a restaurant, it's actually the first thing i check on the menu card. If nothing sounds appealing, i would only then choose a starter instead. Life is about priority after all ;)
So if we talk about portuguese cuisine, the first thing that comes to everybodies mind is codfish, which is a cliché -a true one- but still a cliché, because there's so much more to it. But i didn't associate the country to a dessert in particular, and that's only because i got to discover there were too much of them.
Here are some of the lovely sweet pleasures or place you can check out if you're in Lisbon.
There is an uncredible variety of individual cake, tarts or biscuits. I guess it will still take me a few years to try them all out, which is a challenge i'm gladly facing.
Beside the vey popular Pastéis de Belém, who are worth every bit of their reputation, also called Pastéis de Nata when they are sold elsewhere than from the famous bakery, there's a lot to choose from.
What surprised me in the first place, was the base ingredients of some of the pastries: rice flour, chickpeas or white beans. I actually wrinkled my nose the first time i was told what "Pastéis de Feijão" means, which is a white beans dessert. How wrong was i! This is still my favorit, it's quite sweet with a very moist consistency. A good life lesson: "don't knock it 'till you tried it".
Tease, Lisbon's rock n' roll Bakery
This is of course nothing traditional, but i'm always up to try out muffin, cookies or in this case cupcakes. I found this adress online with what looked to be delicious cupcake, and they did hold their promisses. Tease bakery is located next to the Largo do Camões (metro Baixa-Chiado), rua do Norte. You can take your cupcakes to go, or enjoy them in a cosy environnement.
I would have liked to try their carrot and cinnamon cupcake, but they didn't have them the day i went, so instead i took a lemon and a red velvet one. My preference goes to the red velvet one, but both were very good, a guilty pleasure we should all indulge ourselves with.
O melhor bolo de chocolate do mundo
Litteraly "the best chocolate cake in the world". Now that's presumptuous, isn't it? But it's the name of a shop who sells the previously named chocolate cake. A friend who knows my chocolate addiction took me there a few years ago, and i can only be gratefull for that.
I don't know if it's "the best", but it's pretty darn good! I would say it's a layer cake in a way, because you have different texture in the cake, it's very moist and rich. Which reminds me, i should go back next time!
It's in the Campo de Ourique area, rua Coelho da Rocha, it's in the same street as the "Casa Fernando Pessoa". To make it even more enjoyable, go there using the famous 28 Tram, the "Eléctrico", get off at Igreja Santo Condestável and it's just a couple of minutes walking to there, so you will burn some calories before plunging your fork into the cake.
Now this is not food related per say, but it's the lovely place i stayed at this time. It's an appartment hotel, brand new, with a lovely and helpfull crew. And very important to me: a great and functionnal kitchen, so you can try the local specialties yourself :)
Located in the rua da Glória, next to the Restauradores square, very central and easy to find, check them out: http://www.lisbonaire.com/