I have not been shopping at Trader Joe’s frequently during the pandemic. Sadly, because of this, I missed the Portuguese tarts that were available for a limited time! I live in South Bay but am willing to travel to get them. Does anyone know where they are still available?
Are you willing to come up to Hayward? We have a wonderful Portuguese bakery that makes great egg tarts, both sweet and savory (the savory ones have cod).
Silva Bakery ?
You could make your own pastel de nata:
I saw them recently at the TJ’s in Larkspur.
Yes! I like their other baked goods too.
This might be tart heresy, but the Chinese egg tarts sold at most Asian bakeries in the South Bay (85 degrees, Kee Wah, Paris Baguette) might be close enough to a Portuguese egg tart to get your fix (or at least close enough to the TJ’s version).
Which version of the Portuguese tarts are they selling? The natas, or the Macau version of the natas? They are quite different. I’d say Macau’s version is closer to the Chinese egg tarts than the Portuguese version.
Best pasteis de nata we’ve had locally is the ones made by Patisserie Rotha in Albany. It’s a long way from South Bay but their butter croissants and cannelle are also perfection. They make it closest to what we had in Portugal - layers of thin crunchy sheets with a sweet and not too eggy filling, with some slight charring spots in the filling. The shell could be thinner but might be nitpicking. Taste comparison to the shops in Lisbon, Rotha’s are more similar to Pasteis de Belem (slightly eggy) vs the sweeter pasteis de nata of Mantegaria and Castro.
Chinese egg tart is like a pie crust - completely different.
Google photo from Rotha:
This spot in San Jose looks pretty good in the photos
Popular Portuguese Bakery of San Jose
Oh! In that case, I am definitely committing Tart Heresy in comparing the two. I had had Rotha’s version and it was very good, but it instantly reminded me that the previous day I had one from Oakland Chinatown (likely Napoleon Bakery), and I liked that more, stylistic and textural differences notwithstanding.
Though to be fair, the one from Napoleon was still warm from the oven. I doubt Napoleon’s would have held up as well cold.
I’d still rate Rotha’s over the desultory tarts from an 85 degrees, but if the competition is frozen TJ’s…
The Macau Portuguese tarts at Mr. Bread on Taraval in SF are fantastic. Don’t miss out on the spicy beef curry buns while there. Both offerings are the best I’ve ever had.