Eileen Stow who manages the business, posing for a photo in front of freshly baked egg tarts. Isaac Lawrence/AFP
With their flaky pastry casing, creamy custard filling and brulee topping, Macau's Portuguese egg tarts are as much of a part of the Chinese enclave's fabric as its casinos — but their origin is surprisingly British.
Across the city it is not uncommon to see long lines of tourists patiently queuing for the sweet treats, a sight that might not seem all that surprising given the former Portuguese colony's most famous desert is based on Lisbon's equally renowned pastel de nata.
But the current craze for Portuguese-style egg tarts — which has spread across China and parts of Asia in recent years — owes much of its success to a Brit who blundered into the business.
The tale began three decades ago when Essex-born industrial pharmacist Andrew Stow opened Lord Stow's bakery at the southern harbourside village of Coloane.
"In 1989, recognising there were no western street-side bakeries... he decided to do something for the local Portuguese community which was to create a pastel de nata for them," said Eileen Stow, Andrew's sister, who now manages the business.
With no original recipe for pastel de nata to use, Andrew experimented with a heavier British custard filling, based on a family recipe, and Portuguese pastry techniques.
The creation initially raised a few eyebrows among Andrew's Portuguese friends in Macau, but the local Chinese community became hooked.
Courtesy of the British, Cantonese cuisine already had a version of an egg tart, made with shortcrust pastry and a more jelly-like filling.
"To differentiate it from what they recognised in dim sum, a 'dan tart' (egg tart in Cantonese), they call it a 'po tart'... 'Portuguese egg tart'," Eileen told AFP.
The creamier, flakier, richer versions were a roaring success.
"That's how it grew before the days of likes online. It's just word of mouth," added Eileen, who took over the business after her brother's death in 2006.
The business now churns out 21,000 handmade egg tarts per day from three bakeries in Macau, and it also boasts two franchises in Japan and Manila.
A string of rivals have cropped up in the last three decades in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.
One of the best-regarded Macau competitors was set up by Andrew's ex-wife Margaret Wong.
She sold her recipe to KFC, which now offers Portuguese egg tarts at outlets across China, a move that has introduced Macau's Portuguese-British hybrid to hundreds of millions more hungry mouths.
A 97-metric-tonne shipment of humanitarian aid sent by members of Dubai’s International Humanitarian City arrived at Maputo International Airport
Union Coop, UAE’s largest Consumer Cooperative revealed that the value of its UAE agricultural products in 2018 amounted to Dhs79 Million, an increase of Dhs35 Million compared to 2017, pointing out that supporting and encouraging agriculture stems from its core objective to establish a sustainable agricultural environment with enhanced stock and food security.
The 16-year-old student was paid $100 for the shorn hair, money she’ll use to help her family...
Sometimes it’s absolutely imperative to go and have yourself checked out. It doesn’t matter if you do not exhibit symptoms of anything. Even if you feel 100 per cent well you should still have yourself checked out. Recently a British television journalist was diagnosed with colon cancer even though he felt absolutely fine and showed no sign or symptoms. The only reason it was discovered was because he went and had his annual physical.
Swimsuit season and ice cream don't always mix well if you're watching your weight, but you can treat your sweet tooth to one of my milkshakes with mix-ins for less than 200 calories.
Venetia Chrysostomide fastened her helmet and rolled her Solar-powered car into the sunny streets of Cypriot capital Nicosia for a race to showcase such vehicles' eco-friendly potential, even on a budget.
The study, published in The Journal of Physiology, investigated a home-based high-intensity interval training (Home-HIT) programme and studied its benefits for clinically obese individuals with an elevated risk of heart disease.