There are so many ways to find connection when it comes to food. I once heard someone say that one reason we can overeat is because we aren’t actually tasting our food, but memories of food.

And there are so many good memories to conjure.

My first trip to Portugal was an introduction to their national treat, utterly ubiquitous, and hard NOT to find in an eating establishment. Pasteles de Nata are the national treat of Portugal, and a fairly convincing facsimile of Indiana’s state pie, the sugar cream pie.

On a recent trip to Brussels, I spotted “Forcado Pastelaria” across from where my husband and I parked, headed to the stunning Horta Museum. A smaller sign said “Pasteles de Nata.” Insert big-eyed emoji.


We stood in one long line to get two of these three-bite delectable dulces. Pasteles de Nata are very sweet, usually small, a variation on a creme brûlée (sans sugary glass covering), or vanilla custard baked in phyllo dough. Whatever the case, if you ever see it and like sugar, it’s worth a try!

Just like that: I felt my connection to both “back home in Indiana,” and the lovely memories of walking by the windows filled with Pasteles de Nata in Porto, Lisbon and other lovely Portuguese towns of our 2017 tour. Sigh.