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Thursday, June 21, 2012

FOOD FROM BRAZIL: MOORISH INFLUENCE

The food from Brazil is just as interesting and diverse as the people and landscape of this thriving melting pot.  There has been heavy influence from the various immigrants to the country as well as the indigenous population.

food from brazil


This post will focus on the heavy Moorish influence on Brazilian cuisine coming from an interesting mix of Portugal, African slaves, and Arab immigrants.  Portugal at the time of the colonization of Brazil was a nation recovering from a lengthy period of Moorish occupation. Many of the colonist were Christianized Moors, or moriscos.  Also, a little known fact is that Brazil has the largest Arab population outside of the Middle East.

The Moorish Influence on Food From Brazil


The Moorish influenced remained in Portuguese culture as evident in the cuisine and language.  Many Portuguese words have Arabic roots such as orange (laranja in Portuguese; from the Arabic naranj نارنج) and rice (arroz in Portuguese; from the Arabic al-ruzz).  Both rice and oranges were brought to Spain and Portugal by the Moors.

The Arab influence is so deeply embedded in to Brazilian culture that most do not realize how prevalent it is. It has just been integrated as Brazilian.  In the main Brazilian cities it is easy to find restaurants that cook Arabic food such as sfihas (Portuguese esfirra), tabbouleh (Portuguese tabule), kibbeh (Portuguese quibe), hummus, tahina and halwa are very well known among Brazilians.

Brazilian mainstays such as cuscuz arrived via African slaves.  Cuscuz is a popular dish in Bahia, Brasil.
Couscous is actually the national dish of Morocco.  The term Cuscuz, also spelled cuscus and cuzcuz in Portuguese, refers to several preparations in different regions of the country. The origin of the plate is certainly the Middle Eastern couscous, but once it was introduced to the new tropical culture, several versions using local ingredients began to develop.
cuscuz food from brazil

cuscuzeira bahia brasilIn Bahia, Brasil Cuscuz can be a plain, steamed, cake-like cereal made with flocos de milho pré-cozidos (yellow, precooked corn meal - “Milharina”, by Quaker, is a very well known brand). Usually served for breakfast, it’s made in the cuscuzeira, or cuscuzeiro (see picture), a steaming pan that has a perforated metal disc with a handle that seats on top of simmering water where you place the corn meal, previously moistened with salt water.
cuscuz de tapioca in bahia brasil 
Then, there’s cuscuz de tapioca, a sweet, flan-like version of the dish made with manioc/yucca tapioca pearls, coconut and condensed milk.  Source




kibe with hummus food from brazil 






kibe arabic food from brazil Kibe/Quibe: extremely popular, it corresponds to the Lebanese dish kibbeh and was brought to mainstream Brazilian culture by Syrian and Lebanese immigrants. It can be served baked, fried, or raw.  It is stuffed with meat or hummus.
esfiha arabic food from brazil 



Esfiha (Arabic: sfiha): another Middle Eastern dish, despite being a more recent addition to Brazilian cuisine they are nowadays easily found everywhere, specially in Northeastern, Southern and Southeastern regions. They are pie/cakes with fillings like beef, mutton, cheese curd, or seasoned vegetables.



tabouli food from brazil arabic
Tabouli is another fixture at salad bars.

West African Flavor of Food From Brazil


The African hand in the Brazilian cooking pot completes the triptych, most noticeably in the northeastern states, where the plantation system held greatest sway. There, from virtually the inception of colonization, Africans were in control of the kitchens of the Big Houses. In Bahia, Brasil they were from the Bight of Benin and the Sudanese regions of West Africa. In Rio and Pernambuco, they were mainly Bantu. All brought their own tastes in food.
baiana cooking bahia brasil influence
This baiana in Bahia, Brasil is preparing acaraje and has cuscuz as well as cuscuz de tapioca

food from brazil acaraje from bahia brasil
Acaraje, the Brazilian falafel
The religious traditions of the African continent crossed the Atlantic as well, and in the hands of the Big House cooks, many ritual dishes were secularized and joined the culinary repertoire. The akara, a bean fritter fried in palm oil by the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria, was transformed into the Brazilian black-eyed pea fritter, or acaraje; fon akassa changed only its spelling to become the acaca, and the Angolan cornmeal porridge known as funji kept its name and its spelling as the dishes of the African continent were turned into Brazilian standbys.


African cooks embellished dishes with ginger, chilies, and pulverized cashew nuts and maintained the tastes of coastal Africa in the continued use of dried smoked shrimp and palm oil. They adapted recipes and adopted the ingredients of the new land to create a cooking so unique that the food of the state of Bahia is considered by many the linchpin that connects the cooking of Africa with that of the Western Hemisphere.
Source
food of Bahia Brasil


Check out the article below from Islamictourism.com:

Food From Brazilian with an Arab touch

Islamic Tourism – Issue 34 – March-April / 2008

By  Habeeb Salloum

In the world of culinary art, Brazil is to Portugal what Mexico is to Spain. These two colonies
in the New World were the crown jewels of their respective motherland. However, in their
cuisines, both carrying deep Arab influences, there is a difference.

Even though many of the original colonists in both countries were Moors newly converted to Christianity, in Brazil, a huge number of African slaves were imported to work on the plantations. A good number were Muslims and their food was saturated with North African influences. The 20th century Arab immigrants to the country added another dimension to Brazilian food. Hence, the Moorish heritage of the Portuguese

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Carnival Salvador Dates From 2013 To 2030


carnival salvador bahia brasil incredible street party
When are the official Carnival dates?  This was created to provide a schedule for anyone planning on visiting Bahia, Brasil now or in the future.  Carnival dates change every year. 
Be sure to bookmark this page.

Usually Carnival starts a day before the "official" start.  Also festivities leading up to Carnival Salvador start in late December.  Be sure to click the link below to schedule your Carnival trip.

Check the Dates Out For Info About Carnival Salvador, Rio, and the Rest of Brazil



Carnival Salvador 2013 dates: February 8th until February 12th
Carnival Salvador 2014 dates: February 28th until March 4th
Carnival Salvador 2015 dates: February 13th until February 17th
Carnival Salvador 2016 dates: February 5th until February 9th
Carnival Salvador 2017 dates: February 24th until February 28th
Carnival Salvador 2018 dates: February 9th until February 13th
Carnival Salvador 2019 dates: March 1rd until March 5th
Carnival Salvador 2020 dates: February 21st until February 25th
Carnival Salvador 2021 dates: February 12th until February 16th
Carnival Salvador 2022 dates: February 25th until March 1st
Carnival Salvador 2023 dates: February 17th until February 21st
Carnival Salvador 2024 dates: February 9th until February 13th
Carnival Salvador 2025 dates: February 28th until March 4th
Carnival Salvador 2026 dates: February 13th until February 17th
Carnival Salvador 2027 dates: February 5th until February 9th
Carnival Salvador 2028 dates: February 25th until February 29th
Carnival Salvador 2029 dates: February 9th until February 13th
Carnival Salvador 2030 dates: March 1st until March 5th

Now that you have all the dates, you are able to start arranging your bookings for the next must-see Carnival!

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