Pastel is the name given to different typical dishes of many countries of Hispanic or Portuguese origin.
In Brazil, pastel 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, 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 (salty snack). It is traditionally sold on the streets 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. Italian-Brazilians have said the Brazilian dishes pastel and fogazza originated from fried calzones. It is possible, however, that pastel originated from Indian samosas when the dish became part of the Portuguese cuisine.
A pastel in Portugal may refer to several types of desserts or hors d'œuvres. These include the very famous pastel de bacalhau and the pastel de nata.
Pastel is typically a Spanish word that means cake, but can refer to very different dishes, popular in other Hispanic countries.
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 palm 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 the province of Camiguin, however, it refers specifically to pastel de Camiguín, a soft, sweet filled bun.
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.