Friday, 28 September 2012

What's Cookin'?

Brigadeiro (Brigadier)

Brigadeiro is a staple sweet in Brazil. It is the most recognized birthday party sweet. 

A brigadeiro in the little paper "cup" most party sweets in Brazil are placed in.

Brigadeiro being made - a metal spoon works fine, but wooden spoons don't warm up as much or as fast,
so they're preferable so you don't end up burning yourself
The chocolate powder most used to make it in Brazil is Nescau (for a picture of what the can looks like check out my Breakfast post). The most commonly used condensed milk is Leite Moça (it's called Milk Maid in the US, I think). 

Really, any brand works for any of the ingredients, these are just the most popularly used. In Canada the chocolate powder I use as a substitute is Nesquik.

  • 1 cup of chocolate powder
  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 1 can of cream
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Sprinkles (for rolling the sweets in)
  1. Put a pan on the stove and put in the cream, condensed milk, and butter. Once they start to warm up pour in the chocolate powder as you mix so you get it evenly distributed. You can pour the chocolate in before it's started to warm up, but it's easier to mix it in evenly this way.

  2. Keep on mixing it until it thickens. The average time is about ten minutes. A neat way to check if the “dough” is ready is to pour a bit of cold water in a cup/bowl and place a tiny dollop of it in. Wait til it cools a bit so you don't burn yourself then try to roll it into a little ball. If you manage to do that and it doesn't crumble into the water then it's ready.

  3. Wait for it to cool (you can cheat and put it in the fridge to cool it faster – I do!) then scoop up about a tablespoon and roll them into balls. The size doesn't actually matter – it depends on your preference, really.

  4. Roll the balls on your preference of sprinkles. You can use any type you want. The most common are the ones shown, but you can use sprinkles with shapes, regular sugar, shredded coconut, almond/nut slices, M&M's...

Money, Moolah, Cash

Notas (Notes)


Brazil used to have a R$ 1 bank note with a Hummingbird in the back but it was discontinued in 2005. You can still find it in circulation, but it's becoming rarer. The hummingbird is common through all of South America, and Brazil has over 100 native species.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Money, Moolah, Cash

Moedas (Coins)

 R$ 0,10 

On the coroa side: Dom Pedro I stride his horse representing the historical moment known as “Grito do Ipiranga” (The Shout from the Ipiranga). It was the moment where D. Pedro I stood on the banks of the river Ipiranga and declared Brazil's independence.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Educate Yourself!

Preschool is optional, and is referred to as "Educação Infantil" ([Early] Childhood Education).

Elementary or Primary is known as "Educação Fundamental" (Basic Education).

Middle School or Secondary School lasts 3 years, and is known as "Educação Secundária". 

A grade or year used to be called a "série" (which is also our word for "series", by the way). The education system was recently changed and they are now officially referred to as "anos" (years). This change was rather new, so you'll likely hear a number of people refer to grades as séries. 

I'm a 90's kid, and grew up going to segunda série (Grade 2), etc. As far as I know it was still called a série when I moved to Canada in 2001. That's how recent the change is.

Homeschooling is not an option in Brazil, to ensure no kids are being kept home to work.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Food, Glorious Food...

It's Tradition!

Traditional foods in Brazil vary greatly from area to area. So much so that you can often tell where one is from by what traditional foods the start naming off.


A paste made with corn and milk that is wrapped in corn husks and boiled into a a dumpling. May have filling, or may not. Once it's boiled it has a solid (yet somewhat crumbly) consistency.

What Pamonha looks like inside the husk

Newly made pamonhas

Mandioca frita

Fried cassava. Cassava is a type of tuber root not unlike a potato. It's a popular vegetable in Brazilian cuisine in many ways, one of the most popular being fried cassava. (Cassava is sometimes also known as manioc).
Raw cassava cut up  and piled for the supermarket

Fried cassava