BRAZILIAN CULINARY & CULTURAL
Brazil: A Culinary & Cultural Journey
Brazilian Culinary traditions are some of the richest in the world due to the country’s geography, diverse climate and rich history of significant cultural influences. Each region presents its own products, cultural characteristics and influences as well as distinct flavors and tastes. Over centuries, the fusion of native cultures, Portuguese colonizers, and enslaved Africans has evolved into a unique and multi-faceted national cuisine that was later enriched by European, Japanese, and Lebanese immigrants who arrived in Brazil at the end of the nineteenth century.
Beginning with an exploration of some of the most important native products and recipes and their deep-rooted influence, i.e. pepper (molho de pimenta), cassava (beijú, farofa, escondidinho), and corn (canjica, mugunça), we will also examine the presence of several products brought by the Portuguese; i.e. sugar (caipirinha, brigadeiro), pork, and olive oil (feijoada and cozido), and others with strong African influence, okra (quiabada), dried shrimp, and palm oil (acarajé and moqueca) and finally Brazil’s own style of couscous called cuzcuz.
Throughout the course we will read, explore, and reflect on the most significant historical, economic, cultural, and social implications of food production and consumption in Brazil from pre-colonial to current times. We will also learn about the different kinds of restaurants, menus, cultural customs, cuisine literature, gender, and racial related image constructions and some specific practices related to cuisine and food production, and at the same time, acquiring technical skill to recreate important recipes.
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