POINT 12 | La ligne bleue | #HamiltonVilleAccueillante
OLA BAKERY AND PASTRY| 230 James St N, Hamilton
James Street North's best values.
"The little golden custards at this classic Portuguese pastry are a James Street North staple, which we wash down with an illy coffee."
One comes here to buy, among other things, the popular pork sandwiches and the authentic Portuguese pastries, including the delectable custard tarts: pastéis de nata.
When one reads comments about Ola Bakery on social media, one theme emerges. One finds comfort in the atmosphere of this restaurant frozen in time while everything is changing around it on James Street.
Foodies will want to compare these tarts with those at Little Grasshopper Cafe, 300 yards away (at 37 Barton St E). This is a restaurant with a menu featuring Canadian and Portuguese cuisine.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Some good tips from the chefs
Apparently, it should not be complicated to make successful pastéis de nata by yourself, especially with the access to commercial puff pastry. The ingredients are simple: butter, cornstarch, eggs, milk, vanilla... (Quebec chef Ricardo's Portuguese tart recipe is well explained!
A few tips come up often when comparing chefs' recipes:
- When you have rolled out the puff pastry into a large rectangle, coat it with butter and make a roll that you will cut into slices.
- It's best to have the small Portuguese tartlet pans (more flared than the muffin pans), to get a crispier pastry. You can easily find them online.
If you don’t achieve the results from the recipe, no problem! There are plenty of them at Ola!
FOR THE CURIOUS
The origin of pastéis de nata
In 1502, King Manuel I had a magnificent monastery built for the monks of the Hieronymite order in the Belem District, now part of Lisbon.
In the 18th century, not far from the monastery, there was a sugar cane refinery, next to a small business. In 1834, the liberal revolution initiated the immediate prohibition of the male religious orders (the expropriated goods migrated to the national and regional art museums).
Some idle monks from the nearby monastery may have sold their recipe for pastéis de nata to the refinery business. The production of the tarts began in 1837. Since then, Pastéis de Belém continues to make them in the same address, in a traditional way!
TO POINT 13...
(Distance = 50 metres)
Continue to the large church and face the west side of the street to see Mesa Restaurant and the colourful Lola's grocery store to its left.