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|Place of origin||Brazil|
|Serving temperature||Cold, chilled, warm/hot when consumed with a spoon|
|Main ingredients||Sweetened condensed milk, butter and chocolate|
|Cookbook: Brigadeiro Media: Brigadeiro|
The information regarding when and where the brigadeiro was invented is uncertain.
The history of the origin of the name is accompanied by some controversies. One version explains that the dessert was invented in Brazil after World War II (1939–1945). During that time, it was difficult to find fresh milk and sugar to make any kind of desserts. Because of this, it was discovered that if one mixed condensed milk and chocolate, the result would be a delicious sweet treat.
The brigadeiro makes up a big part of the Brazilian culture and is said to be a national icon. It is a democratic dessert that many people can enjoy. It can be made in the north or the south, eaten by rich or by poor, men or women, children or adults.
Generally made in Brazilian homes, the brigadeiro can be eaten straight from the pot while one watches TV, which is why it can sometimes be called "spoon brigadeiro". The most common form of this dessert is in small balls covered in chocolate sprinkles and in a small cupcake mold. This dessert is normally served at kids birthday parties and is eaten after the birthday cake. The brigadeiro can also be served in different reunions, especially when friends get together. This dessert can also be served when someone is going through a heartache. The brigadeiro has a sentimental value to all Brazilians. Eating a brigadeiro is said to give people a familiar sensation because it is a way to remember happy times spent with family and friends. The brigadeiro can also be eaten at work and used in work-related baby showers.
The gourmet brigadeiro has a touch of sophistication. Instead of using grainy substances, one can use pistachio, almonds, hazelnuts, etc. There are over 50 flavors in stores that are called brigadeiro "boutiques". The mixture can vary, but the good quality ingredients, fresh products and elegant presentation are key to making it a gourmet dessert. They can be served in cups, jars, small pots, tubes, spoons and small boxes that resemble small jewelry boxes. The brigadeiro has grown and achieved the status of a gourmet dish.
With the gourmet brigadeiros, more sophisticated flavors were invented from the original that only needed powdered chocolate. Some other types include:
- With dry foods: Almonds, pistachio, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts
- With fruits: Strawberries, oranges, lime, passion fruit and coconut
- With alcoholic beverages: Wine, whisky, Baileys and cachaça (famous Brazilian liquor)
- With tea: dilmadeiro, punning on the Sri Lankan tea brand Dilmah and marking the 2016 impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Roussef (actually invented in Valparaíso by Australian-Chilean Pete Leihy following Chile's 2016 victory in the South American Cricket Championship in Itaguaí)
- Others: Belgium chocolate, white chocolate, powdered milk, Nutella, Ovaltine, peanut butter and peppers.