I was writing a forum entry in response to Street Smart Brazil members Species and Jim when I realized this would be a delicious blog post. The question I am trying to answer is: “What desserts are native to Pernambuco?” Beware: By entering this post you are making yourself vulnerable to mouth-watering and stomach-growling experiences.
Brazil has an amazing variety of cuisine and each state has their unique influences and recipes. Pernambuco is a state with strong cultural characteristics and is rich in folklore, music, and dance. A short while ago I posted a video and the lyrics of a song on our Forums and I said that the lyrics could very well justify one entire semester of Northeastern Brazil Culture 101. The same is true for our gastronomy. Here I will give you a starting point for your researches and explorations of Pernambuco desserts.
One of my favorite desserts is Cartola: sliced fried banana with queijo manteiga or coalho (two types of very delicious Brazilian cheese), topped with cinnamon and chocolate. Oh it is so good! It is one of those things that you have to try; the list of ingredients may not sound that exciting, but the dish is fantastic. In fact, the state of Pernambuco has been discussing the idea of officially recognizing Cartola as cultural heritage.
< Cartola – from the blog Cozinha Cani.
Another exquisite sobremesa (dessert) pernambucana is Bolo Pé de Moleque, which Street Smart Brazil member Species mentioned in his forum post. Pé de Moleque is a very unique cake. The recipe includes a certain special dough, rapadura honey, cashews, erva-doce (fennel), and clove (cravo). Pé de Moleque is very popular in Recife, especially during the São João festivities.
Here is an article about foods from pernambuco cooked in other states as a way to deal with saudade de Pernambuco. The article mentions the intent to promote Cartola to cultural heritage and has a picture of bolo Pé de Moleque.
There are also many corn based recipes. Pamonha and Canjica are the most popular and are especially consumed during the São João festivities. Just keep in mind that in some parts of the country this delicacies can have a different name. In the picture, canjica is the one in the round place and pamonha is the one wrapped sort of like a tamale.
Another one of my personal favorites: tapioca com coco (coconut) e queijo coalho (Brazilian cheese). Tapioca in Brazil does not have any resemblance with the tapioca we know here in the US. It is made with manioc or yucca flour and cooked in a skillet in a half moon shape. The original tapioca is filled with coalho cheese and grated coconut. The recipe received many variations and today you can find tapiocas with lots of different flavors and fillings. Here is the recipe (in Portuguese) for tapioca with Brazil nuts (castanha do Pará) and coconut.
< Tapioca com coco
Have you ever tried brigadeiro? Please, please do so! Condensed milk and cocoa mixed and cooked together for your (and mine) delight. You are certain to find brigadeiros in every Brazilan birthday party. We recently offered home made brigadeiros to our students during our end of the year get-together :) Now we have a treat for you: The Street Smart Brazil team got together to teach you how to cook brigadeiro. Check out our recipe + video here.
(brb: I have to grab a piece of chocolate or something; this is torture!)
A special cake is Bolo de Rolo, made with doce de goiaba (guava marmalade). Trust me: You have to try bolo de rolo in Brazil. It is a great gift to bring back home and has become a popular export Brazilian product. Here is a recipe in English.
< Bolo de rolo
A simple yet popular dessert is Romeu e Julieta: queijo coalho and goiabada (guava marmalade). The link will take you to the recipe in English!
You might also like these articles:
- The Brazilian Food List that Killed my Salad
- When Cooking, Remember to Convert
- Learn How to Cook Brigadeiros
Cartola: Carol Cani, Cozinha Cani
Pamonha e Cajica: Giselli Carvalho on Flickr Creative Commons
Tapioca: Noranei Trindade
Brigadeiro: Ricardo Martins on Flickr Creative Commons
Bolo de Rolo: Ramgarlic
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