The famous chocolate dessert “Brigadeiro” is named after the Brazilian politician, a confectioner from Rio De Janeiro, Heloisa Nabuco De Oliveira and Air Force Brigadier “Eduardo Gomes”also known as the Brigadier who ran as one of the candidates in the presidential elections of Brazil in 1946, after the World War 2 (1939-1945).
Brigadeiro is a famous decadent Brazilian dessert made by heating three key ingredients together rolled in a small ball so similar to truffles. It was first made in the 1940s when fruits and sweets were in short supply. The candy was popular in the south by name “Negrinho” (meaning: little black). Looking back into history, it all starts with sweetened condensed milk.
This sweet cuisine ‘Brigadeiro Brazilian Chocolate’ arrived in Brazil near the end of the century. The Nestle Milkmaid found an amenable market in Brazil, and it has been sugar-crazed since it became the largest sugar producers.
Role of Nestle Milkmaid
The Nestle Milkmaid was a major factory to produce sweet condensed milk. At that time, Gomes was popular amongst women for his handsome looks. He held fundraisers ahead of the election and women were crucial in his campaigning efforts. They made untiring efforts for him to be recognized.
They started raising slogans like”Vote for brigadier who’s good-looking and single” which interestingly ended up gaining him many women supporters. His legions of admiring women were fundamental to his fundraising efforts.
Hence, in his support, a group of women raised money for Gomes campaicgn by selling small homemade bite-sized Brazilian chocolates prepared with limited food ingredients they had in the rallies. It was a difficult task for them to create a new kind of confectionary item in 1945. Post-war shortages caused scarcity that meant sugar and were scarce.
They had to try something creative. They used their rationed condensed milk, butter, cocoa powder to make the chocolate in place of milk and sugar that were so immense at that time. The idea being, that candy was much more fun than traditional political merchandise. During Brigadeiro candidacy for president, his wife would serve these chocolates during fundraising programs.
These extra efforts were put in as this election was the first time ever when the women were allowed to vote. Despite all the steps, Gomes did not win the polls, but despite the defeat, he was a success in winning the hearts, and taste buds of Brazilians.
Although Eduardo Gomes’s campaign ended in defeat, the delicious sweet ‘Brigadeiro Brazilian Chocolate’ managed to capture the charming, loving country and became a mandatory treat at parties. With growing years, it gained so much popularity that it was recognized as its official dessert. ‘Brigadeiro Brazilian Chocolate’ was served in small cups, decorated with sprinkles, toppings.
It turned out to be the children’s most favorite snack and national icon all over Brazil. They are also well-known mood refreshers. Brazil is now the largest consumer of condensed milk at 200 thousand tons a year. They come in various flavors: strawberry, noir, dulce de leche, pistachio, coconut, etc. These treats became an ionic part of Brazilian culture.