Thursday, December 14

Around The World From Your Desktop: Brazil

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The Brigadeiro dessert is one of the most popular candy desserts in Brazil. This is one of the few Brazilian recipes that is known all over Brazil and is made the same exact way. It is basically made of condensed milk and cocoa powder. Brigadeiros were created in the 1940’s and named after Eduardo Gomes, who was a Brazilian Air Force brigadier. He later ran for presidency and would have parties for his campaigns. His wife would make these delicious treats for the guests and eventually everyone would come just for the chocolate dessert. The name Brigadeiro came from his name Brigadier, which means senior military rank, and was eventually called what it is today. They are very popular at birthday parties, and many Brazilians just eat it right out the pot after it is done cooking.

Country Information

  • Geographic Facts

Here are three geographic facts about Brazil:

1.            Brazil is not only the largest country in South America, but it is also the fifth largest country in the world that spans over three time zones.

2.            Brazil is bordered by Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana to the north, Bolivia, Columbia, and Peru to the west and Paraguay and Uruguay to the south.

3.            Brazil is also divided into 26 states with a population of about 192,098,152 people. The geographical area is about 8,514,877 square kilometers.

  • 3 “Serious” Facts

Here are three serious facts about Brazil:

1.            Brazil was a colony of Portugal from the landing of Pedro Alvares Cabral in 1500 until 1815, when it was elevated to United Kingdom with Portugal and Algarves. The independence from Portugal was achieved in 1822.

2.            The Brazilian economy is the world’s eighth largest economy by nominal GDP and the ninth largest by purchasing power. The country is the world’s fastest growing major economies.

3.            Brazil has a very large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sector. The countries economy outweighs all other in South America and Brazil is expanding its presence in the world markets.

  • 3 “Fun” Facts

Here are three serious facts about Brazil:

1.            Brazil is the home to the only soccer team in the world to have won the prestigious World Cup 5 times. Brazil is also the birthplace to one of the best soccer players of the century, Pele.

2.            The Amazon Rainforest, which is located in Brazil, is the world’s largest rainforest and covers an area of 2.3 million square feet. This rainforest is also the home of the most species of monkeys in the world.

3.            Brazil is the largest producer of coffee in the world and produces around 25% of the world’s coffee supply. Eighty percent of the coffee from Brazil is Arabica.

  • A “Potpourri” Item

Here is an unusual fact (or two or three) about Brazil:

  1. The 180,000 seat stadium in Brazil, called the Maracarña Stadium, has a wide moat around the playing field because sports fans become wildly excited. The moat keeps the crowd from running on the field, assaulting the players and attacking the referees.

  • 3 Pieces of Travel Information

Here are three pieces of info that travelers to Brazil will want to know about where to go, what to see, and/or how to stay safe while there:

1.            Brazil’s busy season runs from December to March. Prices are high during this time; however, this is also the most festive time of the year. The least busy season runs from May to September and this is when it is least –crowded and prices are cheap.

2.            One recommended place that you should visit in Brazil first is Rio de Janeiro. This is a great city and it has impressive monuments and museums for those who enjoy art and history. Rio also has beautiful beaches, which happens to be one of the best in the world because of its mountains and tropical forests.

3.            When traveling to Brazil, it is important to know the currency. The currency is the real and the plural is reais. One real equals about 50 cents of the U.S. dollar. You could always come with cash or an easier way would be to travel with traveler’s checks.

Food Information

  • Recipe


-1 can sweetened condensed milk

-3 tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)

-1 tablespoon better (unsalted)

-1 package chocolate sprinkles (or coconut, nuts, etc.)


In a heavy saucepan, mix the condensed milk, cocoa and butter. Stir to dissolve the chocolate. Put over low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring and cooking until you are able to see the bottom of the pot when you tilt the pan (the mixture will just slide quickly). This should take about 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a greased plate. Let cool. Butter your hands and roll the mixture into small balls and roll over the chocolate sprinkles.

Source:  This recipe was taken from,

  • My Kitchen Story  

I decided to make a trial batch two nights before and good thing I did. Not only did I use way too much cocoa, but I had to fire turned up too high so it cooked in about 6 minutes versus the 10-20 minutes that it needs to be stirred. Luckily they still came out pretty good so I was able to keep them. The next day, I went and bought more ingredients to make two more batches since the first one only made about 16 (minus about 3 that me, my mom, and boyfriend tried). I decided to buy coconut shavings from Whole Foods which made them even better because the sprinkles almost made them too sweet. Also, for my first batch I used Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa and for the second batch I used Nestle cocoa, which turned out to have a better taste then the Hershey’s brand.  For my first batch, I made a huge mess with the cocoa powder because in the directions it just says mix everything together which resulted in cocoa flying everywhere; all over the floor, my clothes, and the stove. Well, after searching for a few YouTube videos, I came across one that suggested to dissolve the cocoa powder in a little bit of water before putting into the condensed milk and it did work so much better. I would have to say one batch only makes about 16-18 brigadeiros and most recipes that I found says it makes anywhere from 30-40. So if you are planning on making some for a party, I would suggest buying enough ingredients to make at least 3-4 batches.


Contact Info: To contact the author of “A Taste of Brazil: A Recipe for Brigadeiros,” please email


David C. Wyld ( is the Robert Maurin Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, and executive educator. His blog, Wyld About Business, can be viewed at He also serves as the Director of the Reverse Auction Research Center (, a hub of research and news in the expanding world of competitive bidding. Dr. Wyld also maintains compilations of works he has helped his students to turn into editorially-reviewed publications at the following sites:



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