The first time I tasted a pastel de nata, a Portuguese custard tart, I was in Vauxhall, London, sometime in the early 1990s. It was a revelation. I had never tasted such exquisite flaky pastry, filled with the smoothest custard, topped with a dusting of cinnamon. Love at first bite. A visit to Lisbon in 2005, a story in itself – it took me 3 days to get to Lisbon to spend one and a half days with Jaz, Anita, and Maja – confirmed my adoration for this simple yet notoriously difficult-to-make-it-well creation.
I was quite lucky to visit Lisbon again last year and my dedication to pastel de nata was reignited, although not my ability to make the tart. I resigned to the fact that I might never taste the tart again.
An impromptu invitation to lunch at Mezzeria was what I’d call serendipity. Mezzeria has a curated menu which is as short as it is diverse. The food is always well prepared, served in a calm environment, despite the fact that the place is part of the Kafet e Vogla. I could have just asked for the bill after lunch, as I do. This time I had a craving for a dessert. On hearing the words “pastel de…” my heart fluttered a little. What shall I say about pastel de nata, served at Mezzeria? A taste of Portugal in Prishtinë. A reminder of glorious Lisbon, of Belem, and that – perhaps – Prishtina is not as far away from Portugal as I thought.