Let’s come to China, and you can get a taste of China’s long history through the cuisine of each region, whose leaping Buddhas, lion heads and lychee pork brims brim with stories from the Silk Road, Portuguese traders and wayward monks. One of these famous foods is Macau Egg Tarts.
Most dim sum dessert carts are brightened up with dan gao (or dàntà) – golden shortcrust pastry tarts with a brilliant yellow egg custard. Perfect dan gao have a subtly bronzed top, crumbly pastry and an eggy custard that is still oozy and warm in your mouth. The custard tends to have a slightly savoury leaning and is less one-note sweet than those you will find in bakeries and dim sum joints outside of China. Try a variety at Lord Stow’s Bakery.
The origin of dan gao is in the Portuguese pastel de nata, which is scorched and dappled brown in a flakier pastry. Macau is in the south of China, just across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong, and was a former Portuguese colony. Traders set up shop from the 1550s until 1999 and this fusion food only caught on in the last century, showing off that Chinese knack for adaptability.