Traditional Brazilian sweets feature prominently in restaurants and pastry shops – 05/23/2022 – Food

Some of the traditional Brazilian sweets that the Portuguese brought and adapted to the ingredients that were here, according to the recipe “fruit, sugar, fire and more”, are no longer limited to the domestic sphere or regional production. With the pomp they deserve, our sweets are finally taking pride of place among chefs and confectioners.

At Chou, for example, chef Gabriela Barretto reserved a small slice of the dessert menu for the sweet and cheese duo. I had peach with goat cheese, creamy guava with canastra cheese, and orange jam with sheep cheese.

For the house’s anniversary on June 8, Gabriela opted for Portuguese chestnuts in syrup, cooked one after the other after being wrapped in cheesecloth, an old technique that prevents them from falling apart.

Sweets are delivered to Zhou’s kitchen ready-made. Most of it comes from the production of a confectionery in Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais.

“In the countryside, people still indulge in sweets. They have been relegated to the area of ​​haute cuisine, but it is such a beautiful tradition. That’s why I wanted to save this duo for the very end of the meal,” says Gabriella.

Marília Zylbersztajn, known for its gourmet confectionery, is another company betting on the return of traditional sweets. Creamy banana sweets and pumpkin with coconut, which are sold in 300-gram jars at a price of 18 reais, are made by her.

“I love these sweets. Guava is one of my favorites, but so many people do it so well that I don’t see much point in doing it either. It’s harder to find a good sweet banana or pumpkin.”

At the end of the year, Marilia was selling sheep’s cheese sweets. It guarantees that the combination with saltier and more cured cheeses is unsurpassed.

Modernization of sweets involves reducing the amount of sugar. It used to be a one-to-one ratio, that is, a kilogram of fruit for a kilogram of sugar, which was a way to simplify the preparation process and ensure a longer shelf life, in a time when there were no refrigeration.

“The more sugar, the faster the candy reaches its destination,” explains José Adolfo Pompernaier, partner at Sítio Humaytá, based in Serra Fluminense. With about 30 jams and jellies on the factory menu, he is proud that he has managed to achieve a significant reduction in sugar content. “Today we use 200 grams for every kilogram of fruit.”

The production of 15,000 jars per month is done by hand – sweets are mixed in pots and sold in malls, restaurants or through e-commerce. The brand’s biggest success is the sweet orange da terra with rami figs (which takes up to five days to produce) and ambrosia based on milk and eggs.

Starting in June, Pompernaier will resume visits to the factory by appointment so that tourists can observe the production up close and taste the sweets.

One of the hallmarks of this serving of traditional Brazilian sweets is the multi-ingredient recipe, a legacy from when sweet making was a resource for keeping freshly picked fruit in the backyard or using homemade milk.

For Chef Eloisa Bacellar, that’s how it is to this day. Host of the TV show “Na Cozinha da Helô” on cable channel Sabor & Arte, she lives on a farm in the interior of Sao Paulo and fills glass jars with her jams and creamy sweets.

“I collect an endless number of pumpkins and make several different sweets, with and without coconut, into pieces, breaking … A few months ago I made a lot of sweets from figs, quince and plums. This is a constant practice for those who have planted something and want to enjoy something tasty for a long time, ”he estimates.

It was also the mission of Adriana Lira, the owner of Dona Doceira at Itaim Bibi, to keep the tradition alive. When she began her research about 15 years ago, she chose the city of Goias Velho in the state of Goias as her starting point. He spent many hours at bakers’ ovens, writing down recipes.

“I pored over notebooks, but the method of making the simplest sweets was not written down. Since the bakers did everything by eye, I watched with a thermometer in my hands to understand the different cooking processes,” he recalls.

In addition to jams such as lemon and green papaya, Adriana brought to São Paulo a beautiful tradition from the ancient capital of Goiás: coconut ribbon flowers, a technique that has always been used for festive occasions. But she made two important changes to the recipe.

“I reduced the amount of sugar by 60% and changed the dye that confectioners use for natural fruits. For example, I started painting flowers with blackberries and strawberries.”

There is already a confectioner who makes real evil out of traditional confectionery. The owners of Fazenda Nova in the south of Minas, Caroline Sant’Anna Villela and Keith Rodriguez, make sweets in a wood-fired oven using fruits from their yard.

The duo started out with guava, but gradually began to venture into newer recipes. The jabuticaba jam contains fresh thyme and allspice, while the guava caramel is flavored with salt and chili. Products arrive in São Paulo through the Brivido artisan cheese factory, which delivers sweets to your home along with the brand’s cheeses.

Who also decided to play with sweets is Paulo Lemos, also known as Peel, owner of Lano Alto, located in Catusaba, São Luis do Paraitinga (SP) district. Instead of putting the candied fruits on the fire, he uses a fermentation technique.

Trials began four years ago after Peel discovered a recipe for honey-fermented garlic to treat the flu. “It worked like a medicine, but I liked the taste so much that I decided to try it with other ingredients,” he says.

Fruits fermented with honey or sugar, such as peaches, bananas and blackberries, which are darker than usual, are good foods to accompany cheeses and yogurts. For now, they can be purchased through the website and delivered to São Paulo in a scheme dubbed “solidarity rides.”

But as soon as the store is ready, Lano Alto will start hosting visitors at the facility in June – just book in advance.

it doesn’t matter

Although they start from the same principle, recipes for fruit jams (and vegetables, in the case of pumpkin and sweet potatoes) can lead to completely different products just by changing some details of the process. Gilles Gondim, author of Conservas do Meu Brasil: Jams, Jelly and Antipasto (Senac-SP), explains this.

  • Jams are made from whole or chopped fruit boiled in water with sugar and spices such as cloves and cinnamon.
  • There is no water in creamy jam: only fruits, sugar and spices.
  • In the jelly recipe, fruits boiled in water with sugar and lemon get an increase in pectin, an element present in some fruits, and an apple, when in contact with the sourness of a lemon, forms a jelly-like consistency.

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