Did you know that the Silver Coast has a unique pastry tradition that is centuries old? This Christmas season, it is my privilege to share some of the best places to experience the region's finest treats, including one of Portugal's most awarded "Bolo Rei"...
An insider's guide to the Silver Coast's signature pastries
Many of my clients who have bought homes here on the Silver Coast often ask me about my favourite places to drink coffee and enjoy a pastry. I can honestly say this is one of the hardest questions I get because there is no shortage of fabulous pastries in the region!
Close to my hometown, in Caldas da Rainha, you will find a huge variety of pastry shops that are mandatory stops for those who want to have an authentic experience of the Silver Coast's best confectionary shops.
It is also here that you will find one of the most typical sweets, the "Cavacas" of Caldas da Rainha, which are generously glazed with sugar-based syrup on top. The perfect biscuit to go with a "d'Avó" coffee from Mercearia Pena or a "Ginjinha de Óbidos"!
But it is further north, in the municipality of Alcobaça, that you will find the sweetest cakes!
Portugal Realty recently promoted a condominium of new build villas in the small village of Alfeizerão and they sold much faster than we expected. I believe the huge variety of pastry shops within walking distance of the houses may have contributed to the sales success! After all, it is in the centre of this typical Silver Coast village that the famous "Pão de Ló de Alfeizerão", known for its traditional creamy centre, is made.
Among my favourite pastry shops in Alfeizerão are Casa do Pão de Ló, Café Ferreira, Pastelaria Cinderela and Pastelaria Castelo. They all make different versions of Pão de Ló and all are irresistible, but please don't ask me to tell you which is the best. I'll tell you the same thing I told my homebuyers: you'll have to try them all and decide for yourself!
Atelier do Doce - A mandatory stop in the Silver Coast
Another famous pastry shop in Alfeizerão is one of the most renowned in the region (and in Portugal!) and one of my international customers' absolute favourites: Atelier do Doce, managed by local pastry chef Catarina Saraiva.
Although it is located in the tiny hamlet of Casal do Amaro, you'll be surprised at its size and especially by what you'll find inside! Here, good taste and the best of traditional Portuguese pastry come hand in hand.
I was there recently to record the latest episode of Portugal The Simple Life Podcast and enjoyed a guided tour inside the factory where I witnessed the magic behind some of their most delicious recipes, many of which are still made by hand!
Among the most famous cakes at Atelier do Doce are the "tachinhos" — which Catarina's family has been making with the same family recipe for decades — several traditional conventual sweets, and also their most awarded cakes: the "Folar de Bronze", the "Bolo Rei" and the "Bolo Rainha".
These last two cakes are Portuguese Christmas traditions and an absolute must during this holiday season. At Atelier do Doce you have several options you can try: the traditional "Bolo Rei" with candied fruit and its gourmet version with “gila" (malabar gourd) jam and "fios de ovos" (egg candy strands); the "Bolo Rainha" with only nuts and more modern versions such as the apple or chocolate "Bolo Rei"!
Watch the complete podcast episode here:
If you dream of living in Portugal in a place where you can enjoy these delicacies whenever you please, give me a call. I'll be sure to help you make this upcoming New Year even sweeter!
Article by Dylan Herholdt, Sales Director at Portugal Realty
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