I have a rule. I never cook Brazilian food for Brazilians. That includes my husband, his parents, our friends, new friends, nobody. It is a set-up for disappointment – on all accounts.
Without fail I will have forgotten to remove a bitter vein, used too little salt, chopped things too large, boiled things too briefly, sliced things too thin, added too many extraneous spices, served the meal without a crucial accompaniment, failed to make something sweet enough – the list goes on.
I have learned my lesson.
Me – I am the guy who cooks exotic things from around the world! Authentic Chinese stir-fry, curiously delicious Mexican mainstays, delicious American hometown favorites, odd but tasty finger foods from the Middle East, robust Italian tomato sauces over vegetable pastas, vegetable side dishes never before conceived, and desserts that expand on tart or purée themes.
That’s how I prefer it. I don’t fail to cook correctly, I try to cook things that are forever a curiosity and a delight to my Brazilian guests.
It must be said that many of my family and friends are not interested in having their culinary world expanded. Dare I say that I’ve found many Brazilians a bit hesitant to try something out of the ordinary? Still, for me, this is the route I have taken. It works for me.
Sometimes I am the only one eating what I have cooked. My father-in-law will often not even try what I have prepared. But hey – it’s all good. Tastes differ. Generations think differently.
I choose to embrace the new cooking ingredients in front of me and try new things.