Pastel is the name given to different typical dishes of many countries of Hispanic or Portuguese origin.
In Brazil, pastel (plural: pastéis) is a typical fast-food Brazilian dish, consisting of half-circle or rectangle-shaped thin crust pies with assorted fillings, fried in vegetable oil. The result is a crispy, brownish fried pie. The most common fillings are ground meat, mozzarella, heart of palm, bacalhau, catupiry cream cheese, chicken and small shrimp. Pastéis with sweet fillings such as guava jam with Minas cheese, banana and chocolate also exist, but are not so common. The pastel is classified in Brazilian cuisine as a salgado (savoury snack). It is traditionally sold on the streets, in open-air marketplaces, or in fast-food shops known as pastelarias. It is popularly said to have originated when Japanese immigrants adapted Chinese fried wontons to sell as snacks at weekly street markets. A common beverage to drink with pastéis is sugarcane juice.
In Puerto Rico, pastel is a dish which includes diced pork with olives, capers, raisins, chickpeas, and sweet peppers. This mixture is centered in dough made mainly of green bananas with a small portion of plantain, yautía, and potato. The dough is tinted with annatto oil. It is wrapped in plantain leaf, tied with string, boiled and later served with arroz con gandules (yellow-rice with pigeon peas). The overall effect is very similar to Mexican and Peruvian tamales.
In the Philippines, pastel may refer to any (usually chicken or meat) casserole dish baked in a pie crust.
In Indonesia pastel refer to pie of crust made of thin pastry filled with meat (usually chicken) mixed with vegetables (chopped carrot and beans), rice vermicelli and sometimes egg, then deep fried in vegetable oil. It is consumed as snack and commonly sold in Indonesian traditional markets. The similar North Sulawesi version replace thin flour pie crust with bread and filled with spicy cakalang (skipjack tuna) is called panada.
On the west coast of Canada, in Richmond, the Brazilian Pastel had a great acceptance by the Asian community, first introduced in Richmond in one of the biggest fairs in North America the Richmond Night Market by Whatafood a local company based in Vancouver - BC the pastel became one of the most popular food options of the traditional fair. At the fair is possible to find the pastel in four flavors Beef, Cheese, Chicken and Pork Calabrese Stile ( Smoked Pork Sausage).
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