Manjericos de Viana

In Viana do Castelo there’s a special sweet that supposedly looks like a vase of basil.

Manjericos de Viana at Zé Natário (photo: Brent Petersen)

Manjericos de Viana origin story

Many Portuguese pastries and sweets date back hundreds of years to the days when convents and monasteries created new delicacies. That’s not the case with the Manjericos de Viana, which was invented fairly recently, in 1970 at Zé Natário in the northern Portuguese city of Viana do Castelo.

Manjericos de Viana is made by filling a wafer cup with an egg custard. The custard is swirled to made a ribbed design on the top and baked until the top caramelizes.

Manjericos de Viana at Dantas Pastelaria (photo: Brent Petersen)

The word Manjericos means Basil in Portuguese. The sweet was given the name because it supposedly looks like a vase of basil. I get the vase part, but, to me, the custard doesn’t resemble basil in any way. Maybe it’s just me, but I think it looks like an ice cream cone!

Where to get Manjericos de Viana

Of course, it’s always fun to get something at the place where it was invented so my top recommendation in Viana do Castelo is the OG Zé Natário. But, almost every bakery in Viana do Castelo sells Manjericos de Viana. Pastelaria Dantas also has good Manjericos as does Confeitaria Manuel Natario.

About the Author

Brent Petersen is the Editor-in-Chief of Destination Eat Drink. He currently resides in Setubal, Portugal. Brent has written the novel “Truffle Hunt” (Eckhartz Press) and the short story collection “That Bird.” He’s also written dozens of foodie travel guides to cities around the world on Destination Eat Drink, including in-depth eating and drinking guides in Portugal to Lisbon, PortoSintraÉvoraBragaLouléAlmadaMonsaraz, and Batalha. Brent’s podcast, also called Destination Eat Drink, is available on all major podcasting platforms.

Author: Brent