A Maize Civilization : A Corn Civilization

1579 WordsJul 10, 20157 Pages
A maize civilization Until the 19th century, the culinary tradition of the Brazilian Southeast was mostly influenced by the Portuguese cuisine and the food habits of the various Brazilian indigenous peoples and of the numerous African nations that were forcibly brought here by the slavery. After the arrive, in large numbers, of immigrants of many nationalities - such as Japanese, Lebanese, Italians, Spaniards and Germans there is a sudden and considerable increase in Brazilian gastronomic heterogeneity, especially in the city of São Paulo, at a reduced period of time. This modernization process, induced by the populational and geographical growth of the city of São Paulo, led to persecuting of some food habits, such as the commercialization of food in the streets and even to the traditional menu of this type of commerce, which was heavily based on the corn, called ‘iguarias do bugre’[i]. This cuisine was strongly influenced by the indigenous culinary culture, offering delicacies such as içás (a type of ant that would be fried and eaten with farofa, that is the cassava flour or the corn flour boiled or roasted), roasted pinhão (the seed of the Pinheiro-brasileiro), corn cakes, cuscuz (a type of couscous) and others.[ii] Studying the São Paulo society of the Colonial period, Sérgio Buarque de Holanda devoted a chapter, ‘Civilização do Milho’, to the role of the corn at the Brazilian food culture during this period; and another chapter to the ‘iguarias de bugre’, ie the use

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