Breakfast in Brazil
Want to start the day like they do in Latin America? Then try a few new dishes from Breakfast: The Cookbook
Still starting the day with the same old bowl of flakes? Maybe it’s time to shake-up your morning routine. Breakfast: The Cookbook features hundreds of home-cooking recipes, as they're prepared in kitchens across the globe. Each is accessible and straightforward, but the book goes further, with guest contributors offering cultural context and culinary insight into the way different nations make breakfast.
“Here in Brazil, the country is as big as the richness of flavors,” writes the chef and authority on Latin-American cuisine, Manoella Buffara. “As a result, the diversity of breakfasts is enormous. I was amazed when I first ate the typical breakfast of the northeastern Pernambuco region, which includes goat buchada (stuffed goat stomach), yucca, and more.
“In Minas Canastra cheese or cheese bread is almost mandatory. Breakfast in the coastal Paraná, where I’m from, consists of bread with an egg and chineque (a type of sweet bread); there, it is common to eat yams instead of bread. In southern Brazil, where international influences combine, breakfast seems to be quite varied. It is possible to find several types of sausages, cheeses, and honey.
“In the northern part of the country, consumption of pupunha (palm heart) is widespread. Peach palm fruits are usually consumed after being boiled in water and salt, or in the form of flour. They can also be used to manufacture jams and jellies. The consumption of cupuaçu cakes (made with the fruit of a tropical rainforest tree, related to cocoa) is also common, along with macaxeira (cassava), fried banana, bacuri jelly, cassava porridge, and the famous açaí juice. Wet tapioca with chestnut milk is also common.
“Despite the continental dimensions of Brazil, one food is considered the most important throughout the country: cassava. The tuber, which guarantees satiety and is gluten-free, has several names in the country. Baked or fried, it is part of breakfast - and many other meals - in several regions.
“The traditional recipes of the Midwest are typical of the cerrado, the Brazilian savanna. There, you can find the bread, rice cake, pequi nut cake, meatloaf with guariroba, and the famous juice of cajazinho (all typical fruits of the cerrado). In the southeast, in Minas Gerais, we enjoy biju, a flatbread made with cassava flour, roasted, and topped with butter or fresh cheese; in the countryside of São Paulo, it's fried eggs with bacon and cuscuz paulista (a variation on couscous). The list goes on and on and every breakfast is accompanied by great Brazilian coffee.”
Stuffed goat stomach probably isn’t going to fit into anyone’s 7-9am schedule, but Brazilian dishes such as the avocado smoothie are pretty easy.
All you need is half a large avocado (pitted, peeled and chopped), a tablespoon of honey, half a cup (120ml) of full-fat milk, and four ice cubes. Stick them in a blender, and whizz them up until smooth, then serve immediately. It's a taste of the Tropics - no matter where you woke up.
And remember that Brazil has been the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years. So if you want to know about the best blend to go with your breakfast get Ferran Adriás new book Coffee Sapiens.