Exotic Foods: Yucky or Yummy? Desserts Straight from Seventh Heaven. The Fruit that Cries: Acai. Weird Foods with Funny Names.
These are some of the titles from a book I was recently given called ‘Brazilian Dishes: Brazilian cuisine for children and their parents.’ I have to say it is one of the best ‘cook books’ I have ever seen.
I put the inverted commas around ‘cook books’ because this isn’t really a cook book at all. Yes, recipes for cooking wonderful traditional Brazilian food like Pé de Moleque (Little Brat’s Food), Cartola (Top Hat) and the ubiquitous Brigadeiro (a Brazilian chocolate truffle). The recipes are clear and easy to follow and even include a handy grading system to tell you how difficult the recipes are to follow.
But these recipes are only part of the book. The main aim is to weave together food, culture, language and history to give an insight into a modern Brazil and where it came from. It is made of a series of short stories that draw on African slave history, the Brazilian royal family, European immigration and of course the indigenous Brazilian Americans that individually are a delight, but taken as a whole provide the reader with a wonderful view of the variety and depth of contemporary Brazil. Each page is adorned with beautiful illustrations and photos that will appeal to both kids or adults.
The book is available in Portuguese, French and English. But there is a catch. The book is frustratingly difficult to get hold of as it is not for sale at the moment and only available as complimentary copies. Perhaps if enough people are interested and leave a comment below I can pass it on to the publisher to encourage them to make it more widely available.
I thoroughly recommend this book. It would make a great addition to any cook book collection and would also make a great gift if you are Brazilian and visiting people in another country or are receiving guests who would like a souvenir.
Brazilian Dishes: Brazilian Cuisine for Children and Their Parents by Liana Leão and Luciana Patrícia de Morais. Illustrations by Heliana Grudzien