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Brigadeiro, national truffle of Brazil
|Place of origin||Brazil|
|Region or state||Brazil, Portugal|
|Creator(s)||Brigadier Eduardo Gomes|
|Main ingredient(s)||Sweetened condensed milk, butter and chocolate powder|
Brigadeiro (Portuguese for Brigadier; also known in some southern Brazilian states as negrinho, literally "blackie") is a simple Brazilian chocolate bonbon, created in the 1940s and named after Brigadier Eduardo Gomes, whose shape is reminiscent of that of some varieties of chocolate truffles. It is a very popular candy in Brazil and in Portugal and it is usually served at birthday parties,and also as dessert.
The candy is made by mixing sweetened condensed milk, butter and chocolate powder together. The mixture is then heated in a pan on the stove or in a microwave oven to obtain a smooth, sticky texture. It is usually rolled into balls which are covered in granulated chocolate; that is the way brigadeiros are served at children's birthday parties. It can also be consumed unrolled, with a spoon or used as a topping or filling for cakes, brownies and other pastries.
Beijinho is a variation that is often served together with brigadeiros at parties, and is prepared with grated coconut instead of chocolate powder.
Eduardo Gomes was a Brazilian Air Force brigadier who later ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 1946 and 1950. This was a time of shortage of traditional imports such as nuts and fruits because of the war. But, at the same time, Nestlé was introducing its brand of chocolate powder and condensed milk (known in Switzerland as Milch Mädchen) into the country.
Although Brazil is a major producer of cocoa beans, it is believed that the creation and success of the truffle was a combination of opportunities: the multinational corporation Nestlé, which introduced chocolate powder and condensed milk; the creators who named it after the famous politician, the need to find a replacement to imported sweets; and its ease of manufacture.