Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Provincetown Portuguese Bakery Ushers in the Spring Season

Pasteis 'de 'nata, a small lemon custard tart,
is the most popular pastry in Portugal, and a PTown favorite.
Yippee! The world-famous Portuguese Bakery has just re-opened for the 2013 season, bringing back all the yummy treats they are so well known for, although not everything on their usual menu is available quite yet. But as we get a bit farther into the season we'll find close to a hundred different pastries, both sweet and savory, available at any given time.
The hazelnut torte, for example, won't be in the pastry case for a few more weeks, when we've got more visitors in town. But for now, lots of your favorites are back, and if you've never tried the Portuguese Bakery you'll have a hard time choosing a favorite treat.
The best-loved pastry of the native Portuguese people is a tiny lemon custard tart called pasteis 'de 'nata, which translates roughly into "pies from cream," made from a smooth custard baked into a small pastry shell. It sells for $2.39
Of course, no trip to Ptown is complete without sampling the malassadas, the Portuguese version of a light, tender dough that's deep fried until it's puffed and golden, then rolled in sugar and left to cool a bit on a rack seen through the front window of the shop. You can watch them being made, and ideally, you'll arrive just as they are being set out to cool, which is when they are at their most delicious.
The Provincetown Portuguese Bakery, at 299 Commercial Street, started baking bread for local restaurants well over 100 years ago, and in 1976 the front section of the building was opened to the public, selling their legendary breads, along with pastries and sweet treats. Nowadays you can also get a number of savories as well as sweets, like the linguica roll ( say leen•gwee•suh) which is made with a slightly spicy Portuguese sausage. You can also get breakfast or lunch from their grill. A bacon and egg  breakfast, for example, is an inexpensive way to start your day right in the center of town.This is a counter service restaurant, and you are asked to bus your own table, which helps to keep the prices low. Right now they're open daily from 8 AM till roughly 3 or 4 PM, depending on business. In the summertime their hours will be greatly extended.
Whether you need breakfast, lunch, a tasty treat or a full-blown wedding cake, check out the Portuguese Bakery.

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