Of course, one of the best parts of traveling is trying new foods. One of my favorites from Brazil was Brigadeiros. The name translates “brigadier” in English, which is believed to reference Eduardo Gomes, a popular Brigadier in the Brazillian Air Force in the 1940s. They were traditionally prepared by a “doceira” (a woman that made candies and sweets for parties), but are relatively easy to make at home. The dessert is made by combining sweetened condensed milk, chocolate powder, eggs and butter, which is then hand-rolled and covered in chocolate sprinkles. I found that the texture is similar to the inside of a Twix. It can also be served with a thinner consistency, and then eaten with a spoon. This is called Brigadeiro de Colher, ‘colher’ meaning spoon.
One of the most famous places to buy these sweets is Confeitaria Colombo. This reknowned bakery and restaurant was founded in 1894 by Portuguese immigrants, Joaquim Borges de Meireles and Manuel José Lebrão.
Located in downtown Rio, Colombo is the oldest restaurant in the city still in its original location. This establishment represents the glamor of old downtown Rio, often neglected by tourists in favor of the more modern Ipanema. Some of Colombo’s most famous guests include Belgian King Albert I, Queen Elizabeth, and Brazilian presidents Getúlio Vargas and Juscelino Kubitschek.
The bakery today is very affordable, with sweets available for as little as $3.I can’t wait to try preparing these desserts on my own, but will probably fall short to those at Colombo!