Late afternoon in the pretty town of Viana do Castelo on the north Portugal coast and a long queue of people wait patiently outside Pastelaria-Confeitaria Manuel Natário, an unassuming tea shop in the city centre.
The object of their desire? The bolas de berlim (a Portuguese take on the custard-filled Berliner doughnut) are famous here – some say the best in the country. Baker Fernanda Natario produces 1,000 of them a day and they sell – literally – like hot cakes, twice daily at 11.30am and 4.30pm.
They’re made from dough rolled in sugar and filled with sweet creamy custard, and people buy them by the boxload or eat them on the spot while they’re still warm (€1.10 each).
There are tables inside the cool, dark back room and a huge range of other pies and pastries to be tried, with a strong coffee or glass of the local vinho verde, perhaps. The pineapple tartlet with its thin crispy pastry and gooey, fresh fruit filling is particularly delicious.
• Rua Manuel Espregueira 37, Viana do Castelo, pastelariaconfeitariamanuelnatario.pt
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