9781845336615: Brazilian Food

Brazil is a vast country with a cornucopia of fabulous ingredients and a wealth of ethnic culinary influences; the result is one of the most exciting cuisines in the world. In this ground-breaking book, acclaimed young chef Thiago Castanho and internationally respected food writer Luciana Bianchi explore the best of Brazilian food and its traditions with more than 100 recipes that you'll want to try at home - wherever you live. The book includes recipes from a team of celebrated 'guest chefs' from all over Brazil, including Roberta Sudbrack, Rodrigo Oliveira and Felipe Rameh. Chapters celebrate the best food that Brazil's diverse cuisine has to offer including Small Bites, Street Food, Fish & Seafood and Meat & Poultry for Fire & Grill. Shot on location in Brazil by Rogerio Voltan, the book is a visual as well as culinary feast. As host nation for the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, Brazil will be the focus of international attention, so now is the perfect time to discover its vibrant food culture and cook some of its gutsy, flavourful dishes at home.

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About the Author:

Thiago Castanho's love of food and local ingredients began at home, when his father decided to turn their living room into a small restaurant to support the family. Now 26, Thiago is one of the most acclaimed chefs of the new Brazilian cuisine with two restaurants: his first, Remanso do Peixe; and his new one, Remanso do Bosque, on the edge of a national park. Thiago's cuisine moves easily from tradition to modernity. He manages to combine comfort food and the diverse flavours of Brazil in a unique way. His food is in tune with nature, showing great love and respect for the environment and for local producers. Thiago featured on Michael Palin's BBC series Brazil. Luciana Bianchi, coauthor, is an Italian-Brazilian chef and food writer with a background in molecular science. She has worked at Michelin-starred restaurants, cooked for celebrities, interviewed many of the best international chefs, and has published work in Brazil, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Korea, Australia, Germany and in the UK. Luciana contributes to the blog of S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants and writes for Apicius Journal. She also contributes to many international magazines and newspapers.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

My Brazilian Cuisine

An Amazonian perspective

Brazilian cuisine is a mystery to many people. Brazil is a vast country with many ethnic influences and climates, and, just as any other place in the world, it has its iconic dishes and a variety of regional cuisines. To the north, we are blessed with 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest, the world's lung, within our territory. For most people it is a far-away land -- for me, it is home!

The term "Amazonian cuisine" can be applied to any dish that uses Amazonian produce. However, in my country, it also refers to the cuisine of the Amazon region, which is a state of Brazil. Pará, the area in which I live, is set in the Amazon rainforest; and its cuisine is probably one of the most authentic in Brazil, with a strong base in the diet of native Brazilians. It is a terroir cuisine, using fruits, vegetables, herbs and roots from the forest, as well as fish and meat from the region.

There is no real winter here, so we have an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables all year round. They have indigenous names, exotic flavors, powerful odors, and unusual textures and include açai, cupuaçu, bacuri. pupunha, tucumã, muruci, piquiá, taperebá, and many others. Cassavas and yams, part of our staple diet, come in many forms; served as vegetables and also used to make various kinds of flour. Fish plays a central role in the cuisine of the Amazon, too; wild fish such a pirarucu, tucunaré, and tambaqui feature on our menus daily. All are prepared not only in a traditional way, but also using a more contemporary approach.

Brazilian food is full of protein, low in fat, and very healthy. Many of our dishes can be successfully prepared without our indigenous or local produce. In this book the recipes use authentic Brazilian ingredients. However. I have also suggested a number of alternative ingredients that will be more easily available to enable you to "cook Brazilian" using your local fish and vegetables. Many Brazilian foods can already be found in supermarket around the world, including hearts of palm, the "super fruit" açai, mangoes, coconuts, cassava, and plantains. You will find others in specialty Brazilian, Asian, and African grocery stores, and some may be purchased online, too. See page 251 for a list of suppliers to help you find the ingredients referred to in the recipes.

I will also introduce you to some of my friends from different region of the country. These people are doing unique work, combining their love of traditional cuisine with a contemporary vision, and they have provided recipes for this book. You will also find some recipes created by people who are not chefs, but who often make dishes better than any professional- my mother being one of them.

I hope you enjoy the recipes at home for your family and friends. My wish is that these pages will motivate you to visit Brazil soon to get to know our many culinary treasures and welcoming people. Bom apetite!

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