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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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Brazil is the largest and most populous Portuguese-speaking country in the world; indeed in all Latin America more people speak Portuguese than Spanish. Unlike the conquistadores further north, colonists did not have to cope with an advanced Amerindian culture, but the impact of the climate and existing foodways and food resources was still profound. Hence cassava was of fundamental importance, as were native varieties of beans, pineapple and other tropical fruits, and the use of spices like the melegueta pepper (malagueta in Brazil), not to mention cooking methods like foods wrapped in leaves once exemplified in the dish Moqueca, though this is now more often a stew.