capricho (Portuguese)

(n) fancy, whim 

I woke up this morning with a craving. I knew it was going to be a long day, I had prepared, the day before, unwillingly and painstakingly. But work is not something one is just prepared for, even after a decade of experience.

First discovered in Hong Kong, brought home by my equally sweet-aholic mother, I soon learned that they were of Portuguese origin. It became a staple of some sorts in my home in Manila, after a bakery opened up specializing in these special treats. When I moved to Singapore years later, I discovered one such bakery, right between my metro stop and my dormitory. Many a pastry were consumed as I have a special weakness for flaky, delicate and yet crunchy edibles.

Although where I live borders Portugal, it is quite rare to find these pastries, Pastel de Belem as they are called, after their birthplace, Belem, just outside of Lisbon. On a recent trip to  Madrid, I luckily coincided with an old acquaintance of mine, and upon knowing that we would be in the same city, even for a day, she offered to bring me some. Thus, I spent a lovely afternoon in the Prado museum, devouring these rich delicacies.



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