April, 5, 2017.
Every time I make Jewish food for the Holidays, I think of my Tia (aunt) Sarita who immigrated from Tangier, Morocco to Rio de Janeiro in the 60’s. I also think about Brazilian ingredients, the tropical flavors associated with my country, and how Brazilian Jews slowly incorporated that into a new, forming cuisine. Unanimously we(…)
March, 3, 2015.
The last time I went to Rio, my friends told me about a new place specializing in hamburgers. Well, because I live in the United States, I didn’t pay much attention to it. Then I went out for dinner on an early Sunday evening, and guess where my friends suggested we go? Yep. And so(…)
October, 2, 2014.
Passion fruit, coconut, pineapple, papaya, and mango are some of the first fruits associated with Brazil. But one of my favorite fruits from home is a small, pastel orange-colored little fruit that has a velvet skin and a juicy flesh. I am referring to nespera, aka Brazilian Loquat or Japanese plum. Nespera is commonly displayed(…)
September, 1, 2014.
Today ‘s sophisticated food culture includes TV shows, glossy magazines, and comprehensive newspaper articles that have elevated our understanding of food—and of meat. People used to buy meat at traditional supermarkets, sold in small packs of styrofoam and plastic wrap, without really knowing where the meat came from. Now, it’s a whole different ball game.(…)
June, 25, 2014.
Last week I had the honor to work for the Brazilian government representing my country and cooking at the Washington Fancy Food Show, the largest specialty food and beverage marketplace in the US. Up until recently Brazilians looked on with envy as Europe pavilions display some of the world’s most famous food brands. But with(…)
December, 8, 2012.
In a quirk of holiday cookie extravaganzas featured in so many publications this time of the year, my sister in law asked me what is a classic cookie in Brazil. Pão de Mel? Bem Casado? I started to think about our Brazilian repertoire. As an unapologetic nibbler of nuts, my thoughts turned to cashew fruit,(…)
June, 1, 2012.
Festa de São João, also known as Festa Junina, is on June 21st and its origin comes from the commemoration in the Northern Hemisphere of the longest sunny day of the year, the summer solstice. The celebration was brought to Brazil centuries ago by priests to celebrate harvest season. Festa Junina is not exactly a(…)
May, 1, 2012.
One night last month I spent several hours baking all kinds of goodies: cookies, brownies, cakes, and so on. The one ingredient they all had in common was vanilla extract. Vanilla is for baking what salt and pepper is for cooking— it enhances the flavor of everything! Vanilla pods are enclosed in beans produced by(…)
April, 1, 2012.
When it comes to thumbprint cookies, the possibilities are endless. There are so many types of dough, nuts, and jellies. Over the years, I have tried dozen of combinations; some are great, some are good, and some are just boring. But one kind of thumbprint cookie I hadn’t tried yet was a Brazilian version. It’s(…)
August, 5, 2011.
Winter in Rio – is there such a thing? On the first day in my hometown during my Brazilian vacation, I went to the local farmer’s market. You should see my face – I felt like a kid in a toy store! A glimpse of the stands reveals the bounty of the season in ingredients(…)