What is egg tart, the tart that unites China and Portugal

What is egg tart? This is a very simple and tasty dessert. It looks like a small tart of crunchy shortcrust pastrystuffed with a delicate egg cream e scorched on the surfacesometimes covered with icing sugar, sometimes with cinnamon.

In appearance and taste, the egg tart is very reminiscent of the Italian pastry where he buttermilk pie Portuguese, typical of the Belém area, in the city of Lisbon. And indeed, the matrix of these recipes is quite similar, if not the same. So what’s the inspiration behind this yummy cake?

What is egg tart, the Portuguese tart that brings everyone together

In China, there are mainly two versions of the egg tart. A, that of Hong Kong and first disembarked in Guangzhou, a port city in Cantonese with an English tradition. AND that of Macau more similar to the version of the Portuguese sweet known as buttermilk pie.

Basically Guanzhou Custard Tart was served as one unique cake made from shortcrust pastry and with egg custard according to the English tradition. The confectioners of HK thought about adapting the recipe to the needs of the place, reducing its shape and often flavoring the filled with chocolate or green tea.

The spread of Macau tarthowever, is due to a British pharmacist and his wife who, having opened a pastry shop on the island, were the first to attempt to faithfully reproduce a buttermilk pie.

Macao, in fact, was a Portuguese colony until 1999 and the architectural imprint as well as the culinary contamination will always remain a unique feature of this island. And it was no coincidence that the sweet was called, and then spread to China, as “portuguese cake”. The success of Macau egg tartthen, came thanks to the chain of fast food KFC who, after having bought the recipe from the spouses, exported it to many other places in Asia.

Unlike the Macau-style egg tart, the HK-style egg tart does not have a caramelized top.

Typical Chinese sweets

Previously the exclusive prerogative of restaurants, dessert of the working class then, today egg tarts are widespread throughout China and in both versions.

Served everywhere in restaurants, bakeries, as well as in cha chaan tengs, the typical cafés of Hong Kong, the city has made this tradition its own, so much so that in 2014 it included the egg tart production technique in the inventory of the intangible cultural heritage of Hong Kong.

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