Portuguese zen

Bola de Berlim

A “bola de Berlim” (Berlin ball) is deliciously simple: fried dough filled with pastry cream and coated with sugar. How can we enjoy this treat in an era of constant calorie counting?

Here’s the strategy. Do you know those times when we’re annoyed by the small predicaments of life? We’re waiting in an endless line, lock our keys inside the car, step on a puddle of oil, or lose our umbrella as it starts to rain. Instead of getting frustrated, we smile and think: we earned a bola de Berlin!

We rush to a pastry store and ask without a trace of guilt: “uma bola de Berlim, por favor.” We then enjoy the bola for what it really is: a necessary moment of zen.

This Bola de Berlim is from Tartine, a wonderful new bakery in Chiado where you can enjoy breakfast, brunch and other light meals. Tartine is located on Rua Serpa Pinto, 15, Lisbon, tel. 213429108. Click here for their website.