An X-Ray of Brazilian Cooking in 10 Dishes
Two great chefs were given the challenge of preparing 10 dishes that best represent the heart of Brazilian cooking – read on for the delicious results!
Mara Salles made five savory recipes that cover different regions and pleases palates from north to south. While Carole Crema prepared five unbeatable sweets that define Brazilian tastes for desserts that convey feeling, comfort and affection, in addition to their super-sweet flavor, of course.
Check out the X-Ray the chefs took of their dishes below.
in the cooking of Mara Salles
Fish and Shrimp Moqueca
“Moqueca is a technique for cooking fish in a clay pot, at a very high temperature, that is served in the pot bubbling hot. It is a dish that is a good representative of the tripod of our background: Portuguese, indigenous and African."
“Immigrants from the Azores to the south brought this technique to Brazil. In the Azores Islands, they had a custom of cooking dishes under the ground, since some of the archipelago was volcanic and the temperature of the ground cooked the food. Here, the technique was adapted. Beef is seasoned with a lot of cumin and cooked for a long time, around 10 hours, in a clay pot that has a seal around the lid made of a mixture of water and cassava flour" (the pot used to be sealed with mud or "barro" in Portuguese, hence the name of the dish).
“This has a lot to do with our mixed character. It is a mixed dish, a mix that is very Brazilian, with rice, beans, farofa, meat and eggs."
“This is a dish from Brazil's sertão region, which has jerked beef, farofa, cowpeas and vinaigrette. Delicious!"
Chicken with Okra
“This is a very typical dish of Minas Gerais, made with free range chicken with okra.”
A sweet Brazil
made by Carole Crema
“This is Brazil's most beloved dessert! Everyone likes it and makes it; it is in the Brazilian DNA. Traditional brigadeiro is made with powdered chocolate and that's it! I am against 'gourmet-ization' of brigadeiro because it ends up mischaracterizing one of our most traditional sweets."
“Quindim is the result of the adaptations made in Brazil of many desserts from Portugal, which is where our sweets come from. The toucinho do céu is the closest you will come to quindim in Portugal, but it has almonds, for example, which we have replaced with our own coconut here."
“Cachaça is our drink. And the caipirinha is typically Brazilian. Moreover, there is the matter of trends, since sweets with alcohol have really gained visibility recently."
Banana upside down cake with pastry dough and spiced meringue
"The banana is so prevalent in Brazilian desserts. And cake is something we eat day-to-day. So here we have two strong elements of our world of sweets. Here, the banana is dressed up for a party and is more elaborate."
Fubá cake with guava syrup
"I chose this recipe because my mom is from Minas Gerais. I have fond memories of desserts from there, including cake made with fubá, a type of cornmeal. Corn is also very prevalent in the country from north to south and then there is guava, which is a very Brazilian fruit."