The Perfect Gentleman Issue 6 - Page 34

The Brazilian approach to food reflects the many cultural influences on the region, with a fusion of European, African and native foods. There are regional variations, with Italian and German influences more common in the south and native cooking more common in the North. Among my favourites are the pastel pastries and rice balls common in the centre-west of the country. The Brazilian Kitchen : The Review by James Marwood Huge chunks of roasted meat carved at your table by passing waiters. Mountains of salad and rice. Caipirinha by the bucketful. Brazilian churrascaria barbecue restaurants are famous for the quality and quantity of their food. However this is only a small proportion of the amazing food this vibrant country has to offer. Ms Schwartz’ book covers many of these, and also gives helpful suggestions for substituting ingredients. Hearts of palm, dendê oil, açaí and other exotic ingredients can be hard to find outside of major cities. Many cities in Europe and the US do now have Brazilian stores however and these are well worth visiting. Not only for more unusual ingredients but also for the excellent and keenly priced meat most carry. The uniquely Brazilian picanha cut of steak is a treat, especially when cooked with lots of garlic and lemon juice. It’s also worth searching out the smaller Brazilian restaurants and cafes, such as London’s Cafe do Gaucho. Especially during the week these often offer traditional food, and the prices are invariably excellent. I still love the mountains of meat at the churrascar ia but Ms Shwartz’ book has opened my eyes to the variety of delicious recipes from Brazil. It’s become a regular feature in my kitchen and I’m still only scratching the surface of what it has to offer. Leticia Moreinos Schwartz’ The Brazilian Kitchen gives the home cook a view on this fabulous cuisine, covering everything from simple starters and side dishes to deserts and of course the delicious main courses. I’ve been cooking from this book for a couple of years, and even my foodie Brazilian partner has been impressed. My favourite is the Moqueca de peixe baiana fish curry. Flavoured with garlic, ginger and coconut, this is a hearty meal, perfect for friends or for a weekend treat. Paired with Pão de queijo cheese bread balls, it is guaranteed to bring a cheer when served. 34 The Reviews