By Lindenberg Junior
In one of the most recent visits to Brazil, I stop in my hometown Recife, in the northeast, with my son Giovanni (at the time with 17). We received a phone call from some of my cousins to go to Alto da Sé in the historic city of Olinda to have some delicious tapioca with curdled cheese. Apart from the beautiful view that can be seen in the Alto da Sé – the hustle and bustle of Recife and the magnificent views that can be breathtaking was an appreciative, nostalgic moment of pure gastronomic pleasure!
A direct reflection of the cultural revolution, food is one of the most important aspects of anyone’s culture. It is tapioca in this aspect, pure Pernambuco patronage and a symbol of the local culture. Tapioca is to Pernambuco what Acarajé’s is to Bahia. This beloved tradition was born out of the large supply of dry manioc and was traditionally served with dried grated coconut. It is one of the principal influences incorporated info Pernambuco’s cuisine from the Tupi-Guarani Indians.
According to information from the Secretary of Patrimony, Science, Culture and Tourism of Olinda, tapioca began being sold in the 1970s by a woman known as “Senhora” Conceição, who prepared commercialized tapiocas to earn a living. More recently, beyond the traditional tapioca at the Alto da Sé in Olinda (one of the most important touristy spots between Recife and Olinda), this delicious treat can be enjoyed in all parts of the state of Pernambuco.
Another great place to experience tapioca is in the village of Porto de Galinhas Beach, in the city of Ipojuca, about 60km (37mi) south of Recife. For your visit to Pernambuco to be complete, you must experience this delicious culinary pleasure. It’s simply irresistible! In recent years, tapioca has become famous in the rest of Brazil and not only in the state of Pernambuco, and several versions have appeared that range from savory to sweet. The fame also arrived in the United States, in Japan, and in Europe. To know more about tapioca and a great recipe, go here.