Walking into the kitchen after a long day at school, I immediately smelled a whiff of something heavenly. The smell of sweet batter and eggs wafted by my nose. Ignoring the soup that was boiling or the freshly steamed whole chicken my mom offered as a prayer, I zeroed in on a small bowl of creamy yellow and light brown egg tarts.
Smiling to myself, I snatched a pie-shaped egg dessert from the counter and made my way to my room. My mood instantly lifted, I got my homework out of my backpack and began working on it. If you still can’t tell yet, my comfort food and possibly my favorite food ever has to be egg tarts.
According to Culture Trip, egg tarts have two origins: Portuguese and English. The Cantonese egg tart, my favorite, is said to be a variation of the English egg custard tart. One story goes that egg tarts were invented in Guangzhou in the early 20th century and soon became very popular. They eventually found their way to Hong Kong. However, others credit the Portuguese treat, “pastel de nata” for influencing the Hong Kong egg tart.
Now, they have become one of the most well-known treats eaten with dim sum, a Guangzhou brunch meal composed of small dishes with tea, and to me, there is nothing more tempting than the sight of fresh yellow egg tarts.
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I began to love this treat. Maybe it is from exposure to eating in dim sum restaurants or the way it reminds me of home. They give me security and remind me of family, eating lunch out at dim sum restaurants, chatting away and scarfing down egg tarts along with other dishes.
Every time I am having a bad day or am just out of it, a bite of egg tarts can lift my spirits. Just one bite into the creamy egg center and crispy pastry crust is a reward for dealing with all of life’s troubles. The egg custard itself is incredibly soft and sweet but not overpowering, and every time I sink my teeth into it, a smile would melt my face. The crust is crispy with just a tinge of salt that perfectly complements the sweet egg.
Eating them gives me the motivation to sit through hours of homework and studying and also makes quite the treat when I’m watching anime shows. Egg tarts to me are always surrounded by warm memories. You can also easily bribe me with them, and I would still thank you.
They are just so fresh and simple, especially my grandma’s homemade ones, and thinking about the work she puts into them makes me appreciate them all the more. Like any other sweet desserts, they’re not the healthiest food out there, but they help get my mind off what is bothering me. If you have a sweet tooth, egg tarts are a must-have treat. It is my favorite food of all time, and I could eat it anytime, anywhere.
As for now, you can catch me on my way to get one (or two) egg tarts, and I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of them.