I had a special encounter with Brazil and its culture from 2007-2011. It was an amazing experience that ended dramatically.
I believe that life puts people in your path for various reasons. They may become your best friends or the worst enemies, they may share what they have or suck everything that you have, they might change you or not touch your life at all. At the end it all comes down to you. Grab the best out of them and the rest is will stay in the memory once they leave your life or you decide to let them go.
In those 4 years I learnt the language, I haven’t spoken ever since, but I can still understand more or less. Brazilians are very friendly, welcoming, warm, sharing people. Brazilian cuisine is so vast and rich, with some fusion involved, but tasty and hearty.
I spent 1 month in Brazil (20 days in Curitiba and 10 on island of Santa Catarina), I learned how to make a real homemade feijoada (stew with black bean and pork cutlets) with arroz and farofa (fried cassava flour), baked and ate pao de quejo (cheese bread), had mouthwatering Churrasco (special BBQ) with Caipirinha (the real deal made with cachaça), visited a couple of dodgy places and had pamonha (corn dish cooked and served in corn husk) and drunk corn tea (juice), had fried Pastel with pimenta sauce. The dodgy places are the ones I love, because they somehow make the most amazing food.
On the beach I had prawns, grilled cheese and brigadeiros (they were sold in a pizza like box on the beach). I love Brigadeiros so much that once I got back to Italy, I searched for someone who was an expert in organizing Brazilian style kids birthday. I lived in Pesaro near Riccione (Italy) a town with a strong Brazilian presence, and found a woman that made the best brigadeiro cake for my 27th birthday 😉
One thing I search in food and anything involved in it, is the emotions and experiences you feel after having a taste of it. And everytime I had those dishes I felt comfort. I even remember the day I had sugar cane juice from a street vendor, I had a sip, and started crying, the whole situation reminded me of my dad and made me miss him so much.
My friends were from the region that is in border with Paraguay (I don’t remember the name of the town) and considered themselves gauchos (cowboys) so some afternoons we would sip on Yerba Mate (tea that tastes like green tea) from a cup shaped out of kind of squash and sipped through a metal straw. Yerba mate is so bitter, so I remember they use to put dry coconut flakes and cinnamon sugar in the brew for me.
I consider myself very lucky to have had an amazing experience. I learned so much and will share the recipes soon.
I met another couple with Brazilian background through my hubby, they are real good friends, and they are currently living in Sao Paolo, hope to see them again.
Two of my classmates are from Brazil as well. Hence, my attempt to make paçoquinha. I was craving them one day and after a good research I found a shop that sold them. I bought one box thinking to share that with hubby and my classmate B. During the weekend temptation was high and we ended up finishing the whole thing. I had none to share with B. so I went back to the shop every week and they were sold out. By the third attempt, I gave up, and decided to make them myself.
They are really easy and taste so good. They don’t take that long to make, they involve very few ingredients, no need to bake and they are gluten free. I am not sure how many pieces you can get out of this recipe, as it depends on the shape you are cutting the mixture.
I really think that everyone should travel to Brazil in their lives and live with the locals, discover all the hidden things a tourist would never get the chance to discover. Cherish those discoveries and keep them or share them!
Paçoquinha de Amendoim (Brazilian sweet)
By July 31, 2014Published:
- Prep: 15 mins
I had a special encounter with Brazil and its culture from 2007-2011. It was an amazing experience that ended …
- 250 g Peanuts skinless, salty and roasted
- 100 g Tapioka (Arrowroot) flour
- 2 tbsp Caster sugar
- 1 can Condensed milk
- In a food processor, process the peanuts, tapioca flour and caster sugar. The peanuts should be a bit crunchy and grainy.
- Transfer the mixture in a bowl. Add the condensed milk. MIx very well.
- place the mixture between two baking papers. Roll it out to1/2 or 1cm thick.
- Cut the shape you would like your end product to have. Dip the knife in hot water, and dry it after each cut (it will ease the cutting).
Cover with baking paper and let it dry at room temperature (24hrs)
- Once dried, keep in an airtight container for a week (if you can keep it that long) ;)
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