In Milan, there is a temple for pastéis de nata, the beloved Portuguese pastries

Dec 4 2023, 17:05
Anyone returning from Portugal with a newfound addiction to pastéis de nata can rest assured: excellent ones can be found in Milan

There's nothing else, except for a few bottles of wine or packaged products. More than a pastry shop, this is a laboratory. Or maybe not, because the pastries come directly from Portugal, raw and frozen, finally baked here, in this small sweet corner in the Farini area. But what's the importance of labeling a place that works so perfectly?

Pastéis & Caffè, Italian management with a Portuguese spirit

The pastries in question are the pastéis de nata, baskets of crispy and light pastry filled with abundant cooked custard cream, perfect when paired with an espresso. Pastéis & Caffè, nothing else: et voilà, an original, innovative formula, unique of its kind. A true piece of Portugal in Milan, to the extent that the country's television has come here to interview Giovanni, who along with his wife Maria Rosa, has created this establishment entirely dedicated to pastéis. “I am an old coffee roaster; in another life, I traveled around Italy with a truck to make coffee known. I used to travel extensively in Portugal, where I discovered these delights, which I always ate while sipping a good cup. It seemed like a beautiful combination to bring to Italy.”

At first, Giovanni sought the help of local companies, but then decided to create his own brand, importing the pastries directly from a Portuguese laboratory, 'These are the true, authentic pastéis. It's impossible to imitate them.'

Towards franchising

It took him a while to manage to open the shop, and fate wasn't initially on his side, 'We inaugurated in December 2019, and after barely three months, we closed due to the pandemic, but we didn't lose heart; we stayed afloat.' In the meantime, the couple brought to life two other formats, closed shortly after, 'They didn't work out; we thought it would be better to focus only on one location, just to start."

"Today things are going well for Pastéis & Caffè, and the one on Farini Street aims to be just the first in a series of openings. 'Our plan is to create a franchise: people really like the pastéis, and we are the only ones with the original ones,' they say. Accompanying them is coffee roasted by a laboratory according to Giovanni's directions, and for those interested, there are also Portuguese wines and some other traditional gems to buy for home, such as the bolo rei, the typical Christmas sweet."

Nothing, of course, can beat the pastéis: fragrant, balanced, incredibly delicious thanks to the abundant cream filling, smooth and fragrant, cooked to perfection. 'We aim to expand, but we don't intend to do anything else: there's no better pairing than the pastel with coffee.”

Pastéis & Caffè Italia - Via Farini, 53 - Milan - @pasteiscaffeitalia

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