Brazil is a vast country with cuisine as varied as the regions that make up the nation. Several Brazilian dishes have become popular around the world, and with the country in the spotlight during 2014, this is sure to remain a hot trend. Since experienced private aviation caterers always work to remain ahead of what is currently popular, many of these signature dishes are already available and customized for the in-flight environment.
Just as would be expected from any large country, cuisine styles in Brazil vary depending upon the region of the country. Grilled meat is popular in the Pampas, the southern region of Brazil that is close to Argentina. This variety of grilled meat is called “churrasco” (barbecue), and any restaurant that serves this cuisine is referred to as a “churrascaria.” Churrascarias have been gaining popularity in the United States over the past several years due to a few highly successful nationwide chains. “Moqueca,” originally from Bahia (a state in the northeast of the country), is a popular fish stew in cities along the Atlantic Ocean. In the Amazon, “pato no tucupi,” duck in a yellow sauce made from fermented cassava juice, is a popular dish. This regional specialty must be prepared with utmost care since cassava is poisonous if not cooked in a very specific manner.
Protein choices are not the only element of Brazilian cuisine that changes throughout the nation. Northern areas of Brazil use more intense spices in their food while the south has milder flavor profiles. In southern cuisine, meat may be rubbed with rock salt and marinated in a mixture of milk and parsley. However, northern cuisine is often marked by a pronounced spice profile.
When adapting Brazilian recipes for in-flight dining at altitude, it is important to realize that some items may be best to serve only during shorter flights due to cabin pressure and reduced humidity. In order to preserve the freshness of many Brazilian dishes, keep spices separate from ingredients until it is time to reheat and serve the meal. While churrasco meats are traditionally served as family-style bulk portions, they can be served as individual portions in order to make this cuisine more suitable for an in-flight environment.
If you are in need of Brazilian cuisine but are not operating from Brazil, most ingredients can be sourced outside the region. Product names and ingredients may vary, so it’s important to work with your caterer to make sure the food you want is available in the location you are ordering from. Certain items, such as authentic “pao de queijo” (a bread made from cassava flour and queijo minas cheese), may be difficult to source unless you are in Brazil. However, a skilled in-flight caterer may be able to tweak some of these dishes using similar ingredients that are more readily available (for example, using Parmesan cheese in place of queijo minas cheese), but the taste will be different.
Always try to give your caterer 48 hours’ advance notification for all catering requests in order to ensure enough time has been made available for sourcing all ingredients. If you are operating to Brazil, be aware that it is one of the most expensive countries for private aviation catering, and prices increase during large events. For the best in-flight catering experience, be sure to ask about seasonal and specialty items. If it is your first time operating to a specific airport, contact them to verify that refrigeration is available in the event that catering is delivered early.
Many Brazilian dishes work well at altitude for in-flight catering on private aircraft. Working with an experienced in-flight caterer will allow you and your passengers to try some exotic Brazilian flavors, no matter where you are traveling.
If you have any questions about inflight catering in Brazil, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.