The formula to success here is very simple and does not need to be locked up away from prying eyes. The artisanal production is the secret of these tarts’ success: the quality of the ingredients used – whole eggs, proper butter rather than margarine, plenty of sugar, and no preservatives – and the process by which the flaky pastry is kneaded and folded by hand, which requires several months’ training to learn properly.
This “pastel de nata” (custard tart) factory was once a butter shop (“Manteigaria”) – hence the name "Manteigaria Union" still on its facade, which has been carefully preserved. Today it’s an obligatory stop for the fans of this conventual Portuguese pastry. At Manteigaria there are no secrets. The pastries are made right in front of the customers and are served still warm throughout the day: enjoy one at the counter or take them home with you in a box especially created for this purpose. You can’t leave Lisbon without tasting the crispy crust and sweet custard of Manteigaria’s pastel de nata!