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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 cocoa powder|
The brigadeiro is a traditional Brazilian dessert created in 1940. It is made of condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and chocolate sprinkles covering the outside layer. The information regarding when and where the brigadeiro was invented is uncertain.
In 1945, shortly after the end of World War II, Brazil was in campaign time for the election of a new president. The candidate Eduardo Gomes, whose military rank was Brigadier (brigadeiro), had enormous success among women, which was evidenced by his slogan of the campaign that was "Vote for the Brigadier who is handsome and single!"
Therefore, his most devoted voters decided to try to promote his campaign by organizing parties to raise funds and to give even more visibility to their candidate. Contrary to selling the usual electoral merchandising, they decided to make a candy to be sold in these meetings. There was, however, a problem. As it was in post-war times there was an immense lack of fresh milk and sugar, which complicated the task of making any candy. So they decided to resort to condensed milk, mixing it with butter and chocolate.
It was created what was then known as "the candy of the Brigadeiro" and was sold during the campaign, trying to achieve votes through the palate of the electorate. The candy was a success, but the candidate turned out not to be elected.
During the 50's the name was abbreviated and the dessert was spread throughout the country, always with an excellent reception.
The brigadeiro makes up a big part of the Brazilian culture and is considered a national icon. Generally made in Brazilian homes, it can be eaten with spoon straight from the pot, which is why it can sometimes be called "brigadeiro de colher" (spoon brigadeiro). It is generally shaped into small balls covered in chocolate sprinkles and placed in a small cupcake mold. This dessert is normally served to children at birthday parties and is eaten after the birthday cake. The brigadeiro may also be served in different reunions, especially when friends get together. It has a sentimental value to most Brazilians.
The gourmet brigadeiro has a touch of sophistication. Over 50 flavors are available in stores called brigadeiro boutiques. The mixture can vary, but the good-quality ingredients, fresh products, and elegant presentation are key to making gourmet desserts. They can be served in cups, jars, small pots, tubes, spoons , or 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 Irish Cream, and cachaça (famous Brazilian liquor)
- Others: Belgium chocolate, white chocolate, powdered milk, Nesquik strawberry powder, Nutella, Ovaltine, peanut butter, Marie biscuit, and Parmesan cheese.
- Spoon's brigadeiro: for this version its not necessary to shape it, eat with a spoon, add sprinkles if wanted.
- "A Origem do Brigadeiro : A Origem das Coisas". origemdascoisas.com (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2018-04-21.
- "Brazilian Culture".
- "Jovem deixa duas faculdades para 'encontrar seu caminho' e vender doces gourmet em Campo Grande". G1 (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2018-03-24.
- "Types of Brigadeiros".