On Thursday, November 26th, a social exchange event for first-year students of the Faculty of Foreign Studies’ Department of Brazilian and Portuguese Studies was held at a sweets shop known as Castella do Paulo.
The Portuguese sweets shop is located next to the large daitorii gate of the Kitano Tenmangū shrine. Protective measures in order to prevent possible coronavirus transmissions were taken, such as dividing into small groups. After listening to the shop’s owner, Mr. Paulo Duarte, speak about traditional Portuguese confectionery, students tasted both Japanese castella cakes and the original Portuguese cake, Pão de ló.
The Japanese castella cake is an adapted version of a cake introduced to Japan in the 16th century by Portuguese missionaries. While students listened closely to the owner, they enjoyed sips of black tea from the Azores in Portugal, paired with two castella cakes in different shapes that were each baked with a recipe of its own.
Built inside a renovated sake brewery, the interior is decorated with folk art and furnishings and feels like a little museum. Taking a glimpse of Portuguese culture inside the welcoming atmosphere like that of a country home, the first-year students seemed all the more eager to pursue their studies.