Traditional Brazilian sweets regain a prominent place in restaurants and pastry shops – 23/05/2022 – Food

Part of the traditional Brazilian sweets, the one that the Portuguese brought and adapted to the ingredients that were in these parts with the recipe of “fruit, sugar, fire and only”, is no longer limited to the domestic sphere or to regional production. With the pomp they deserve, our desserts are finally in first place among chefs and pastry chefs.

At the Chou restaurant, for example, chef Gabriela Barretto has reserved a small part of the dessert menu for the dessert and cheese duo. I ate peach with goat cheese, creamy guava with Canastra cheese and orange marmalade with sheep cheese.

For June 8, the anniversary of the house, Gabriela chose Portuguese chestnuts in syrup, cooked one by one after being wrapped in gauze, an ancient technique that prevents them from falling apart.

The desserts arrive ready-made in Chou’s kitchen. A large part derives from the production of a pastry chef in Poços de Caldas, in Minas Gerais.

“In the countryside people still indulge in sweets. They were relegated to an unrefined cooking area, but it’s such a beautiful tradition. That’s why I wanted to save this duo for the end of the meal,” says Gabriella.

Famous for her exquisite pastry, Marília Zylbersztajn is another one who is betting on the return of traditional sweets. Sold in 300-gram jars, for R $ 18, the creamy-textured banana desserts and coconut squash are made by her.

“I love these desserts. Guava is one of my favorites, but so many people do it so well that I haven’t found much sense in doing it. It’s harder to find a good banana or pumpkin dessert.”

At the end of the year, Marília was selling sweet combos with sheep cheese. The combination with saltier and more seasoned cheeses, guarantees, is unbeatable.

Modernizing sweets involves reducing the amount of sugar. In the past the ratio was one to one, that is a kilo of fruit for a kilo of sugar: it was a way to make the cooking process easier and ensure greater shelf life, in an era when there were no refrigerators. .

“The more sugar, the faster the candy reaches the point,” explains José Adolfo Pompernaier, partner of Sítio Humaytá, based in Serra Fluminense. With around 30 jams and jellies on the establishment’s menu, he is proud to have achieved a noticeable reduction in sugar. “Today we use 200 grams for every kilo of fruit”.

The production of 15,000 pots a month is artisanal: the sweets are mixed in pans and sold in emporiums, restaurants or through e-commerce. The brand’s biggest hits are the sweet orange-from-the-ground, with Ramy fig (which takes up to five days to produce) and ragweed, made from milk and eggs.

From June Pompernaier will resume visits to the site, by appointment, so that tourists can closely spy on the production and taste the sweets.

One of the hallmarks of this portion of traditional Brazilian sweets is the presence of few ingredients in the recipe: a legacy of an era when making sweets was a resource for storing freshly picked fruits in the courtyard or using the milk from its own production.

For chef Heloísa Bacellar, this is the case to this day. Presenter of the television program “Na Cozinha da Helô”, on the cable channel Sabor & Arte, she lives on a farm in São Paulo and lives by filling glass jars with her jams and creamy pastries.

“I have collected an infinite number of pumpkins and I am making different sweets, with and without coconut, in pieces, in pieces … A few months ago I also made many sweets with figs, quinces and plums. It is a constant practice for those who plant something and wants to enjoy something delicious for a long time, “he evaluates.

Preserving the confectionery tradition was also the mission of Adriana Lira, owner of Dona Doceira, in Itaim Bibi. When you started your research about 15 years ago, you chose the city of Goiás Velho, in Goiás, as your starting point. She spent many hours next to the bakers’ stoves recording recipes.

“I studied the notebooks carefully, but the way to prepare the simplest desserts was not recorded. Since the bakers did everything with one eye, I looked with the thermometer in hand to understand the different cooking processes,” he recalls.

In addition to jams such as lemon and green papaya, Adriana brought to Sao Paulo a beautiful tradition from the ancient capital of Goiás: coconut ribbon flowers, a technique that has always been reserved for holidays. But she imposed two major changes to the recipe.

“I reduced the sugar by 60% and changed the coloring that confectioners use for natural fruit. I started coloring the flowers with blackberries and strawberries, for example.”

There is already a pastry chef who makes real pies with traditional pastry. Owners of the Fazenda Nova, in the south of Minas, the couple Carolina Sant’Anna Villela and Keith Rodrigues prepare sweets in the wood stove, using fruit from their garden.

The duo started with guava, but gradually started risking more new recipes. The jabuticaba jam has fresh, allspice thyme, while the guava caramel is seasoned with salt and chilli. The production arrives in Sao Paulo through the Brivido artisan dairy, which delivers the sweets at home, along with the brand’s cheeses.

Who decided to play with sweets was also Paulo Lemos, aka Peéle, owner of Lano Alto, which is located in Catuçaba, district of São Luís do Paraitinga (SP). Instead of putting the sugary fruits on the fire, he adopts the fermentation technique.

Trials began four years ago after Peéle learned a recipe for, well, honey fermented garlic to treat the flu. “It worked as a medicine, but I liked the taste so much that I decided to test it with other ingredients,” she says.

Fermented with honey or sugar, fruits such as peaches, bananas and blackberries, which are darker than common ones, are good products to accompany cheese and yogurt. For now, they can be purchased via the website and get to Sao Paulo through a scheme called “solidarity rides”.

But as soon as the store is ready in June, Lano Alto will start receiving visitors to the property, just book in advance.


not all is the same

While starting from the same principle, the recipes for fruit jams (and vegetables, in the case of pumpkin and sweet potatoes) can lead to very different products, only by modifying some details of the process. Who explains it is Gil Gondim, author of the book “Conservas do Meu Brasil: Jams, Jellies and Antipastos” (Senac-SP).

  • The jams are made with whole or sliced ​​fruit, cooked in water with sugar and spices such as cloves and cinnamon.
  • In the creamy jam there is no water: only fruit, sugar and spices.
  • In the jelly recipe, the fruits cooked in water with sugar and lemon receive the reinforcement of pectin, an element present in some fruits, with the apple – in contact with the acidity of the lemon, it generates a gelatinous consistency.

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