Main Piece: Brazilian Cheese Bread
My friend has a nanny named Lucia who would cook cheese bread for us when we were hanging out at his house. She cooked it for me the last time I went home, and it is a dish consisting of Cassava Flour, known as tapioca in the US, which I am told was a staple ingredient used in Brazil. They are small, pale rounds of dough, dating back to the first settlers and natives of Brazil.
Along with the tapioca, there were other ingredients used such as different cheeses and milks, not necessarily measured out but added in according to taste and what the consumer preferred.
(I forgot to get a picture of the finished product but it was along the lines of this.)
When Lucia (my friend’s nanny) first started working for my friend’s family, she was very new to the US. She had been born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, and began working for them when my friend’s sister was 2 (she is 22 now) and would learn English along with her because she was so new to the culture.
Lucia learned this recipe from her mother, as she would prepare it for the family, and her mother learned it from Lucia’s grandmother, and so on. This is the perfect example of a recipe passed down through generations, and at this point it wasn’t something she had to look up everytime she wanted to cook it, let alone be the exact same everytime it was prepared. The ingredients would vary from time to time, adding some variety to the dish while still maintaing the same base. Different cheeses would be added to change the taste, with some being added to make it more of a dessert, while you could add different cheeses such as parmasen and serving it with a more italian meal.
This cooking of cheese bread isnt necessarily my favorite, but I have found it in pastry shops as a more savory treat, and it is a nice treat from time to time. I like how it is a very adaptable dish, being able to make it with the same general ingredients but changing the variety to give it a different taste depending on the consumer. I’m personally a fan of recipes that don’t need a cookbook, with instructions that require exact measurements, and generally just give the cook a free pass to do whatever it is they want with the ingredients. This adds a level of artistic talent to cooking and I personally see it as a form of art.