Years ago, when I visited Portugal for the first time, I looked around for Castella, the cake which is popular in Japan and believed to be Portuguese.

But the castella look-a-like cakes were lemon cakes.

And then, a few years ago, I learned there was a castella shop in Lisbon from my colleagues.

A Portuguese man who went to Japan tasted castella and learned how to make it at an old maker in Nagasaki, and came back to Lisbon and opened a shop with his Japanese wife.

And that is Paolo’s Castella.

In the shop there were a lot of local people.

The castella tasted good and we bought one bar of castella for home.

By the way, Portuguese people love sweets.

Every town has several cake shops selling very sweet and heavy cakes.

So it is natural that they left one cake in Japan, when they came in 16th century.

[ Feb.2019 ] We visited Lisbon after a long time and looked for this Paolo’s Castella, but it has been gone.According to one Japanese website, it was closed in 2014.Now someone else started a new shop making Castella with Paolo’s recipe apparently, but we did not have a chance to visit there.

What a shame…

[January, 2012]