UNIVERSAL YUMS | TRYING SNACKS FROM BRAZIL

With a brand new month in front of us, we also have a brand new Universal Yums box to go through together. For the month of June, we headed off on a journey to Brazil, a South American country filled with sprawling citrus orchards, palm tree lined coasts, and huge bustling cities. As unique as this country is, the cuisine is even more unique pulling inspiration from Portuguese, African, Italian, and native influences to create food that is unlike anything else in the world. From spicy Brazilian peppers to sweet honey-infused bread, there are no limits to the different types of treats you can find in Brazil.

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Chocolate Covered Honey Bread

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Every country has a dish that they are most famous for like Italy with pasta and France with their croissants, Brazil is most well known for their bread but not just any plain old bread, pao de mel, or honey bread. This bread, derived from an old European recipe, is one of the country’s most iconic treats and is most often eaten alongside a steaming hot cup of coffee which is another thing the country is known for. This unique bread is made up of a sponge cake infused with spices such as cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg which is then smothered in a layer of milk chocolate and is infused with sweet, pure, Brazilian honey.

Rating – 2/5

 

Chocolate Covered Wafer with Coconut Filling

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Visiting Brazil without trying their creamy coconuts is almost unheard of so it was a given that we would have a coconut flavored treat to taste this month. This decadent chocolate wafer is filled with a sweet tasting coconut filling which will make you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation somewhere warm.

Rating – 4/5

 

Yogurt Gummies

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For most of us, the thought of breakfast usually consists of dishes such as omelettes and bacon but in Brazil breakfast is referred to as ‘cafe da manha’ which translates to ‘morning coffee’. A traditional Brazilian breakfast consists of a hot cup of coffee and not much of anything else. If you’re not a huge coffee fan, one of the only other breakfast options would be yogurt, which in Brazil is usually served with a few spoonfuls of granola. These yogurt gummies that were included in this months box, are the perfect way to try one of Brazil’s breakfast foods and come in flavors such as strawberry, banana, peach, and coconut blended with the distinct milky tang of Brazilian yogurt.

Rating – 5/5

 

Barbecue Corn Puffs

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Known as ‘churrascarias’, these popular barbecue joints in Brazil are a hit with the locals and are quite unique to say the least. They are known for serving a wide variety of meats straight from the skewer where the servers walk around the restaurant carrying the tall skewers of meat ready to carve thick slices right into a guests’ plate. With their bold, smoky flavor, these savory chips will allow you to get a taste of the famous Brazilian barbecue from thousands of miles away.

Rating – 4/5

 

 

Guava Bar

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This fruity snack known as ‘goiabada’ only uses two ingredients to create it, water and guava, which is then made into a sort of paste. Though this local specialty is perfectly fine to be eaten as is, Brazilians tend to enjoy this treat with a slice of cheese. For a flavor duo that surprisingly works really well together, a thick slice of the guava paste and a slice of soft white cheese is put together to create a tasty masterpiece that blends salty and sweet together.

Rating – 3/5

 

 

Wafers with Lime Mousse

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Whether they are squeezed onto fish, blended into creamy desserts, or added to cocktails, limes can be found virtually everywhere in Brazil and add a tang to a variety of local dishes. The citrus fruit was first introduced to the South American country back in the 1500’s when Christopher Columbus made his first journey to Brazil. The ship he was riding on was packed with limes as drinking lime juice prevented the sailors from getting scurvy. Once ashore, the explorers decided to plant their limes which ended up taking extremely well to the country’s climate and soil and thus commencing the craze of limes in Brazil. Limes can now be found almost everywhere throughout the country including in these wafer cookies where the bold zing of the lime is mellowed out with a sweet and creamy mousse.

Rating – 3/5

 

 

Gummies with Rainbow Sprinkles

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One of the most well known and grandiose parties in the world is none other than Brazil’s Carnival. Carnival is a non stop party filled with vibrant costumes, mouthwatering dishes, parades, lively music, and dancers. The large gathering starts around the end of Lent and can sometimes last for up to nine days, with locals dropping everything to partake in the yearly festivities. Though carnival has already come and gone for this year, these gummies are sure to keep the party going for a while longer with their tutti frutti flavoring and crazy colorful sprinkles.

Rating – 1/5

Sweet Puffed Corn

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Probably the closest edible thing to packing peanuts would be this snack known as ‘pipoca ispor’ which translates to ‘styrofoam popcorn’ in Portuguese. Unlike regular popcorn that most of us are familiar with, these kernels retain their shape and only expand slightly making them soft and airy. It has a mildly sweet tang to them and is a beloved snack among Brazilians.

Rating – 4/5

 

 

Delicitos Pimenta | Pepper Crackers

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If there is something that almost all Brazilians have in common it’s that they love their food hot. The country’s cuisine is characterized by some pretty intense heat but there is nothing hotter or more commonly used in dishes than the malagueta pepper. The malagueta pepper is over 100 times hotter than Frank’s Red Hot sauce and while the locals have grown accustomed to eating such a spicy pepper, for others it is almost too much to bear. So for those taste testing these crackers, consider yourselves lucky as these crackers are flavored with jalapeno rather than malagueta peppers but they still pack a decent kick for those who love a little bit of heat.

Rating – 4/5

 

 

Pimenta Calabresa | Calabrian Chili Crackers

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These tiny bread stick looking crackers are another favorite among Brazilians and are flavored with the Calabrian chili. Unlike other varieties of peppers, the calabrian pepper is very rarely eaten raw and instead it is left to age on a vine until it gets to be dried and wrinkly where it is then ground into a flaky seasoning similar to red pepper flakes. This process gives the chili a smoky and fruity spice which makes it a popular choice to add to meats and stews.

Rating – 3/5

 

 

Frutabella Amendoiks | Chewy Peanut Bar

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A world without peanuts would be a boring world indeed but without Brazil that scenario could’ve been reality. The plant in which peanuts grow on was originated in South America and Brazil was the place where explorers first discovered the plant. The tribes in central Brazil were using ground up peanuts to create a special drink and so when the explorers realized how delicious the peanuts from the plant were, they brought them with them overseas. This traditional sweet treat known as ‘amendoiks’ uses whole roasted peanuts that have then been mashed up and mixed with sugar to create this famous treat.

Rating – 3/5

 

 

Chocolate Covered Banana Bar

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With hundreds of millions of bananas being grown each year in Brazil, it comes as no surprise to know that the country is one of the top banana producers in the world. Their bananas are known for being extremely fresh and are often eaten within the day of being picked which is probably why a vast majority of Brazilian bananas never leave the country as they are so loved by the locals. This tropical treat called ‘bananada com chocolate’ combines the famous bananas with sugar that are mashed together to create a chewy bar and then coated in a layer of melted, milk chocolate for a treat that anyone would go bananas for.

Rating – 2/5

 

 

Frutabella Cokitos | Shredded Coconut Bar

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Similar to a Mounds bar without the chocolate coating, this shredded coconut bar is a staple in Brazil and is loved by the locals. The sweet treat is created using a blend of shredded coconut, water, and sugar and was first introduced to Brazil during the colonial times when it was brought over by African slaves. The coconut bar is still served and created in the same traditional style as it used to back in the day and is a reminder of the country’s unfair past but also a reminder of those who contributed to making Brazil the diverse culture that it is today. With a slight hint of vanilla, these ‘cocoda’ bar makes for a great summer treat with just a touch of richness.

Rating – 2/5

 

Another month of Universal Yums is in the bag and now we wait for July’s box where we will be whisked away on a culinary adventure to the country of Taiwan. In the mean time be sure to check out all of the other countries that we’ve tried goodies from and be sure to stay tuned to find out what treats await us next month in Taiwan.

ColombiaChristmas SpecialBelgiumTurkeyPakistanPolandGreeceSpainFranceThe Philippines 

END PICTURE BLOG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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