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Monday, July 29, 2013

Worldy Snack Tracking: Brazilian Brigadeiros

Move over Parisian macarons and Pennsylvania Amish whoppie pies: Brazil’s beloved brigadeiro (pronounced bree-gah-day-ro) may be next in line as America’s latest sweet snack trend. A traditional treat at Brazilian social events, this humble confection is made with chocolate, condensed milk and butter that are slowly cooked down to a smooth, creamy consistency. Once cool, the chocolate is scooped into rounds and rolled in toppings such as chocolate or multi-colored sprinkles, nuts or coconut.

Brigadeiros boast the kind of simple recipe that makes it a family classic, sort of a cross between an easy fudge and chocolate truffles.  This confection, also well known in Spain, Chile and Portugal, is often enjoyed with a cup of coffee or paired with a glass of dessert wine.

These Brazilian sweets began hitting the CCD Innovation radar several years ago, spotted on media lists of top sweets and chocolates around the country, including Oprah’s blog in 2012. This year, they have been featured on the Cooking Channel’s Taste in Translation and as a Valentine’s treat on Epicurious’ blog.  With Brazil and its cuisine moving into the spotlight as the 2016 Olympics and World Cup host, this signature snack is ready for a global close-up.   

Brigadeiros became wildly popular after Eduardo Gomes, a Brazilian Air Force brigadier general, ran for president in 1945. His female campaign volunteers whipped up batches for fundraisers. The candy ended up being a bigger hit than the politician, in that Gomes lost the election; however, the treat took its name from his impressive rank, leaving him a confectionery if not presidential legacy.

In the continued economic doldrums, it's worth noting that brigadeiros sprang up as sweet snacks for hard times:  this trend took off during wartime shortages, when imports such as confections and nuts were scarce. During this same era, NestlĂ© introduced its cocoa powder and condensed milk into the country, setting the stage for the success of this simple bonbon that’s easy to make, easy on the budget, and easy to customize for adults or for kids will different roll-ons.
For more information on the recent Worldly Snacks: Culinary Trend Mapping Report from CCD Innovation and Packaged Facts, see

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