November 4th is National Candy Day, and we’d like to introduce you to a type that’s relatively new in the U.S.: brigadeiros.
They’re a Brazilian cousin to the original chocolate truffles: smooth, creamy and intensely chocolate, with no hard shell, but rolled in sprinkles or nuts (photo #1).
The chocolates have an interesting history.
In 1945, shortly after the end of World War II, Brazil was in the process of electing a new president.
One candidate was Brigadier Eduardo Gomes, good-looking and single. He attracted many female fans (hopefully for other reasons as well).
Women organized parties to raise funds for him, and created a confection called brigadeiros (brigadier’s) to promote their candidate.
In post-war times there was still a shortage of fresh milk and sugar, which led the ladies to use condensed milk, mixing it with butter and chocolate and covering it with chocolate sprinkles.
Gomes didn’t win the election, but the brigadeiros named for him became a permanent part of the national confectionary, said to be the country’s favorite sweet.
In addition to retail purchases, families make them at home (here’s a recipe), often eating the warm chocolate mixture right from the pot (called brigadeiro de colher, spoon brigadeiro, it’s an inadvertent mash-up of eating chocolate fondue from the pot and cookie dough from the bowl). It’s a standard treat at birthday parties.
San Francisco chocolatier, Renata Stoica, a São Paolo native, uses an old family recipe to bring the brigadeiros tradition to the U.S.
At her shop, tinyB, she sells gift boxes of classic brigadeiros rolled in sprinkles or chopped nuts.
 A 15-piece box of brigadieros (all photos courtesy tinyB).
There are also assortments infused with tropical flavors—coffee, passionfruit, pineapple—and spicy cayenne brigadeiros.
There are 4-piece boxes up to 30 pieces, along with two-piece customizable favor boxes for weddings and other occasions.
Get ready for the holidays. Give chocolate lovers what they haven’t had before.
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