By Chef Paulo Machado
Brazilian cuisine is vast and has ingredients and preparations as diverse as the size of the country’s territorial extension. In the melting pot of cultures that make up this itinerary, it comes from the Northeast, more precisely from the region of Bahia’s recôncavo: vatapá, caruru, efó, acarajé, dishes of African influence, the celebrated saint foods. Also from the northeastern region, in the sertão, we find pungent ingredients, of unforgettable character, such as bottle butter, sun dried meat, coalho cheese, sweet peppers, umbuzadas, the Seridó confectionery with its sequilhos and chorizo.
Cassava, corn, arrowroots and other roots are Brazilian breads. From our coast: moquecas, moqueado fish, seafood pies, shrimp patties, dumplings and delicacies with cod and caiçara navy blue prepared with green bananas, mix the influence of the Portuguese colonizer with ingredients primarily used by indigenous peoples.
In the central region of the country, the fruits, considered by many to be exotic, although they are native ingredients of the Cerrado, such as pequi, cagaita, guavira, jatobá and seriguela, translate the arid to the palate. From the Pantanal comes fresh beef sausage, caribéu of single meat and piranha broth. In the extensive border lands, close to Ponta Porã – MS, chipa and Paraguayan soup, which only have the name, are served as a salt corn cake and a delicious touch of fresh cheese. In the region of the mining triangle, in addition to the special dairy products, greengrocers set the tone of the afternoon tea tables, and demonstrate the hospitality of our people.
Southeast dishes of tropeira origin, which involve lard. Rice, beans for the stew, products from farnel, rapadura, cachaça, articles that are born from the culture of subsistence, but that when touching the bottom of the pot, on a wood stove, the click of the lard tinkles. The feijoada, with farofa and orange, are already mouth watering. The fried onion and garlic form a saute and prepare the bed for the grandmother’s finely cut cabbage. It is the master touch, as skillful as that of the Liberty sushi when you fillet fresh fish to make sashimi.
In the southern region of the country, there are: cuca, rice and sago with red wine, in addition to a multitude of sausages such as cudiguim (pork sausage and fat) and tastes made by European immigrants. Barbecue, rice and beans are everywhere, it has even become an export item!
And finally the North of the country still preserves little-known wonders in other regions such as cupuaçu, açaí, pupunha, taperebá, fruits of the Amazon and juicy and delicious river fish such as tambaqui, pirarucu or cub, prepared with tucupi, jambu, chicory and coumaris.
Love to value, or vice versa. Brazilian cuisine offers a diversity of foods, in the daily dishes we have memories, sensations, pleasures … these ingredients trace our culture, our identity. Long live the green and yellow spice!