Publication Details

Arvela, P. (2013). Pastel de Tentugal: serendipity or cultural syncretism?. In M. Mcwilliams (Eds.), Wrapped and Stuffed Foods: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery (pp. 68-81). United Kingdom: Prospect Books.


Pastel de Tentugal, a wrapped sweet pastry and a popular item of the traditional Doçaria Conventual Portuguesa, is simultaneously a food and an item of cultural history.1 As a food, the cigar-shaped pastry constitutes a distinctive item of confectionary. It exhibits most of the culinary attributes that seem mandatory in sweet-making – balanced symmetric shape with perfect texture, colour and flavour. Pastel de Tentugal strikes a flawless balance between visual structure and the gustatory experience, with its multilayered crispy wrapping enclosing a filling that teases the taste buds and senses. One bite breaks through the crunchy, delicate wrapping to expose the yellow, sweet content. Texture and flavour constitute the hallmark of the Pastel de Tentugal.