Brazilian Sweets and Nugali Chocolate

Lot's of cane sugar comes from Brazil ~ more than 30 million metric tons of sugar last year alone. Brazil is now the world’s leading sugar producer and exporter, accounting for approximately 20 percent of global production and more than 40 percent of world exports.

The Portuguese first planted sugarcane in Brazil during the 1530s. Since then, sugar has been an integral part of Brazil’s social, political and economic history. I open with this to introduce the fact that Brazilian confections are typically very sweet, drinks are syrupy and much of the chocolate, primarily milk, is also sweetened...often cloyingly so.

However, recently Brazilian chocolate makers have held off on the sugar to honor another long time Brazilian crop, cacao. NUGALI is one of the first and only brands in Brazil to produce bean-to-bar chocolate and they are soon available in the U.S. The Serra Do Condura 80% with it's layered flavors from smokey to brown fruit have won it top honors with the International Chocolate Awards and Salon Du Chocolat. The flavorful cacao beans used in this bar come from a rainforest area on the lush Southern Atlantic coast which grows everything from orchids to fig trees. 

If you do get a chance to try Brigadeiro, one of Brazil's national confectionery specialities take the opportunity. Made from condensed milk, butter, and cocoa powder they are slightly chewy and typically covered in chocolate sprinkles or nuts. Not quite a caramel and not a traditional truffle ~ they are a unique delight. You can find them at Brigadeiro Bakery in NYC!


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