Election 2016: Winning Fudge Brigadeiros
The candidate’s wife and women supporters made these Brazilian chocolate fudge truffles to win him the campaign. He loved them. She made them. Post World War II food shortages in Brazil meant a lack of sweets. Fortunately, cocoa powder and condensed milk were available and combined to create the nationally beloved bonbons named brigadeiros (Portuguese). Named for the military rank of brigadier, a high ranking officer, they came to be associated particularly with presidential candidate, Eduard Gomes, in the 1946 election in Brazil. His women fans sold them to fund raise for his campaign. As the slogan went, “Vote for the handsome and singular brigadier.” People have invited each other to their homes for decades to eat the “treat of the brigadier.”
Mariana Vieira, owner of Brigadeiros Bakery in Soho, New York, says that her fanciful, artisan brigadeiros recall her childhood in a small town outside of Sao Paolo. Parties throughout Brazil featured these simple, one-tool confections. Often devoured right out of the pot and sometimes called, the “spoon brigade,” Mariana advises letting them sit overnight. Very much a home dessert, brigadeiros have more recently become a specialty store item. They are ubiquitous at birthday parties, served following the cake.
In Brazil chocolate is the basic and most authentic brigadeiro flavor, the primary ingredient being the local Nescau cocoa powder. In New York, culinary-school trained Mariana has added quality chocolate to enhance the deepness of the flavor. There might also be some coconut or some caramel in the old country. Her Brigadeiros Bakery has developed new flavors, including strawberries and cream, rosewater and sesame caramelized coconut.
When Mariana first immigrated to the States about eight years ago, she catered dinner parties and always included brigadeiros. Whether cooking from her home kitchen or working in a restaurant or launching her Soho shoppe in 2014, brigadeiros have been her signature dessert. She says, “I feel lucky to educate customers about the Brazilian palate.” Although candidate Gomes lost the election, the brigadeiros have been a winning treat for decades.
Maybe brigadeiros will even sweeten this 2016 election.
Book Optioned: Museum Exhibit
Excerpted from my remarks at Opening Night at Temple Emanu-El, NYC, October 20, 2017: Some people have books optioned for movies. I am so delighted that my book, On the Chocolate Trail (2nd Edition, 2017) has become a museum exhibit… Thank you, Warren Klein, for your professionalism, creativity and collegiality in creating Semite Sweet, which displays someRead more ›
Announcing Second Edition: On the Chocolate Trail
Media attention, popular culture, audience questions, growing consumer awareness, and changes in the chocolate world sparked the new material in this second edition of On the Chocolate Trail. I am happy to offer up a totally new chapter, “Gods in My Chocolate,” which explores twenty-first-century controversies about deities formed from chocolate. While chocolate generallyRead more ›
No End to Chocolate Exhibits Part III: Visits #3, 4 & 5
A stunning number of exhibits about chocolate, mostly on the East Coast, captured our attention in the last six months. Mark and I had the opportunity to visit three very different exhibits, what I call #3, 4 & 5. I reviewed the exhibit (#1) at Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), where I was honored toRead more ›
Of Chocolate Exhibits There is No End: Part 2
Just as the Detroit Institute of Arts closes its wonderful Bitter|Sweet display of chocolate, coffee and tea, no need to despair. New York offers three additional exhibits. Setting aside the wondrous and elegant chocolate shops, at least three local museums currently exhibit artifacts related to the history and consumption of chocolate. For now, the newRead more ›
Some Previous Posts
(in alphabetical order)
- Adventures On the Chocolate Trail: Atlanta, Portland, Seattle
- Anschluss Launches Bartons Passover Favorites 77 Years Ago
- Bat Mitzvah Wants Fair Trade Israeli Chocolate
- Bringing Buckeye Candy to Experts
- Chocolate Expo
- Chocolate Made My Lunch: Nashville
- Chocolate, Coffee, Tea and Me
- Election 2016: Winning Fudge Brigadeiros
- Fathering Chocolate
- Hunting for Chocolate: Fancy Food Show, NYC, 2016
- Labor Day in our Chocolate
- Local Chocolate in the South
- Minding Our Chocolate
- No End to Chocolate Exhibits Part III: Visits #3, 4 & 5
- Of Chocolate Exhibits There is No End: Part 2
- On the Chocolate Trail in Brooklyn
- Seriously Tasting Chocolate
- Super Food Chocolate for Super Bowl Sunday: Three Recipes
- Ten Teaspoons of Sugar in My Chocolate?
- That Time Jews Smuggled Chocolate to France — and a Recipe for Basque Chocolate Cake