Friday, January 22, 2010

Why I created this blog

Since I first came to the U.S., in 1997 - to study English, after finishing a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics at the University of Sao Paulo - I felt the urge for more information in English about Brazilian food and its gastronomic culture. I remember trying to cook my favorite recipes in Boston, MA (which has one of the largest populations of Brazilian immigrants in the U.S.), and trying to translate the recipes into English for friends at school. It was hard to find the ingredients, and even more difficult to locate proper equivalents for them and for the recipe’s processes in bilingual dictionaries. 

From then on, I decided to dedicate myself to these two passions: languages and cooking. I became a translator of cookbooks and studied culinary translations and the terminology of recipes during my Master’s and PhD degrees in English. I’ve also published an English-Portuguese dictionary of culinary expressions with my academic advisor in 2008 (I’ll post more details about my professional and academic CV here soon). My love for food became so unavoidable that I am now a student of the Culinary Arts program at El Centro College, Dallas, TX. 

I’ve decided to create this blog because, after all these years, despite the massive North American and worldwide interest in gastronomy in the last decades, and all of the information available on the web, to date, there are only a few books and websites on authentic Brazilian cuisine. Besides, not all of them are reliable and specifically aimed at non-Brazilian readers and cooks. Apparently, the world has “discovered” Latin American cuisine, but because (I guess) Brazil is a non-Spanish speaking country right in the middle of South America, it’s usually left out - although every now and then we see a TV show about “exotic” Brazilian food to the sound of good Cuban (!) music, or some other non-Brazilian music. So, I hope I can shed some light on those subjects with my posts.

Being a Brazilian myself, I may not be aware of some of the cultural and culinary differences between Brazil and the U.S. I beg you to ask me questions and to correct me if I don’t explain things adequately, or if my English sounds odd. And for the Brazilians that decide to follow this blog, please send me your comments and suggestions for themes to be addressed in future posts. Help me share the joy of our delicious food and culture with the English-speaking world.
I hope you all enjoy. 

Sejam bem-vindos!


  1. Yay! Can't wait to learn from you, Doutora...

  2. Fantástico, Elisa! Adorei! Parabéns! :)

  3. Hola, sólo un consejo, por sus conocimientos en cocina brasilera deseo saber como es la mejor forma de presentar el Plato FEIJOADA, cuáles son las guarniciones usadas en Brasil para este plato. Agradezco cualquier comentario al respecto y gracias anticipadas.
    Julio Adran Martínez

    1. Dear Julio,
      I missed you message, sorry!
      The best way to present feijodada is accompanied by white, fluffy rice, very finely shredded collard greens, sautéed with garlic, farofa, vinagrete and cut up oranges. Check on the internet for recipes.

  4. Elisa, Americans (not sure about the Brits) use the French "crepe" for the Brazilian "panquecas." You could call this "Brazilian Crapes" perhaps. OK, crepes are not as ethereal as their Brazilian cousins, but it the only word that can explain the dish to Americans. (A pronúncia, para não soar como aquel outra palavra desagradável, é "creip"!)