As anyone who’s ever been to Brazil or visited restaurants catering to Brazilian expats knows, pastel (pl. pastéis) is one of the country’s most popular snack foods. Gourmet pastelarias (pastel specialty shops) have been popping up in major Brazilian urban centers over the past few years, and now São Paulo event promoter Art Shine is kicking things up a notch with the city’s first Festival do Pastel (that’s “Pastel Festival,” obviously) on June 11 and 12.
The headline attraction at this fried pastry bonanza is something dubbed Pastel Família — a “family-sized” pastel measuring 30 centimeters (about 11 inches) and weighing in at 1 kilogram (3 pounds)! This beast priced at R$ 35 ($10) is filled with ham, mozzarella cheese, chicken, pepperoni, Catupiry cream cheese, ground beef, boiled egg slices, tomatoes and olives.
Other craveable delicacies at the festival will include three varieties of vegetable pastéis (beets and cheese, endives and cheese, arugula and dried tomatoes); codfish pastéis; and more exotic varieties such as pastéis filled with barbecued rib meat or Japanese mushrooms and cheese.
Want healthier options? There will be baked pastéis with fillings such as cheese, chicken, hearts of palm and soy protein; colorful pastéis using spinach- or beets-based batter; and light pastéis with whole grain batter and fillings such as ricotta cheese and dried tomatoes.
And if the only sweet pastel you ever had was the traditional Romeo and Juliet (cheese and guava paste) variety, how about trying out pastéis filled with quintessentially Brazilian treats like brigadeiro, Prestígio candy bars, doce de leite or paçoca? Not to mention pastéis using powdered milk, chocolate, hazelnut cream and strawberries either as filling or as batter ingredients?
For those who are not into pastel, there will be plenty of other food fare to pick from, including Asian, Mexican and traditional Brazilian cuisine, or just plain burgers and hot dogs … although why anyone would want to go to a festival offering what will probably be the widest pastel selection ever seen under one roof and not gorge themselves on pastéis in beyond us.
Festival do Pastel
June 11 -12, 2016
12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Praça Charles Miller – Pacaembu, São Paulo – SP, 01234-010