Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Brazil has a tradition of eating sweets that arrived with the Portuguese. Indigenous Brazilians had used honey from native bees to flavor raw hearts of palm or smoked fish, and they consumed abundant amounts of fruit. But “dessert” as it is known today developed only after the Portuguese colonized Brazil, bringing a taste for sweet—in fact, very sweet. The Portuguese had developed the practice of using sugarcane when North African Muslims occupied the Iberian Peninsula in the eighth century. Before contact with Arabic culture, the Portuguese, too, had sweetened their food with honey.