Brazilian sweets for Lebanese parties
26 de junho de 2016
São Paulo – In the city of Taalabaya, in the Bekaa Valley, 40 km from Beirut, there is a sweet taste from Brazil. It’s prepared by the hands of Brazilian Yamani Assaad, from Paraná, who’s been living since 2009 in the land of her parents and husband. She works preparing brigadeiros (chocolate fudge candy), beijinho (coconut fudge candy) bichos de pé (strawberry fudge candy), camafeus (oval-shaped walnut candy), cakes, cupcakes and other delicacies that sweeten the Lebanese parties in the region.
“I prepare brigadeiros, pão de mel [gingerbread], cupcakes, cakes, conchas de chocolate [shell-shaped chocolate), copos de chocolate [chocolate fudge in a cup], brigadeiro de churros [milk jam candy], olhos de sogra [coconut and egg-based candy], little pies, camafeus, stuffed apricots. There are 30 types of candy”, says Assaad, who is known in her city as Mimo, a nickname now shared with her business, Mimos Doces Finos.
In Brazil, Assaad was a stay-at-home parent. When she decided to move to Lebanon she learned how to prepare sweets. She took on courses in São Paulo and brought this knowledge with her to Taalabaya. “The clients are Lebanese people with some sort of connection to Brazil. Here, in the cities, almost everybody has a relative that lived in Brazil”, she says. “Those that visited Brazil and came back are now clients for sure. I prepare them [the candies] exactly as in Brazil and they love it”, she says.
According to the pastry chef, the only ingredient that doesn’t please the Lebanese that are not familiar with Brazilian food is condensed milk, which they think is too sweet. The sweet that sells the most is the brigadeiro filled with strawberry.
Assaad only cooks to order. She does different types of events, such as engagement parties, weddings, fairs and Muslim typical parties, such as those that take place at the end of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month, which this year should end on June 6 of the Western calendar.
The largest order taken by the Brazilian was for 3,500 sweets for an engagement party, two months ago. In the next few months there are others large orders, such as a wedding in mid-July that ordered 1,500 sweets, and another wedding at the end of July that should place a order for 2,500 to 3,000 sweets. For these large orders, Assaad begins preparations 15 days before the party. “I use a system in which I freeze them [the sweets]”, she explains.
About the prices, Assaad said that the cheapest sweet is the traditional brigadeiro, which costs around USD 30 (one hundred sweets), while one hundred camafeus costs USD 55. The most expensive, however, is also the most popular. The brigadeiro filled with strawberry costs USD 1 apiece.
Mimos Doce Finos takes orders by phone at 08508974 and 076961336. Pictures of the sweets are available at http://migre.me/ubTiK.
*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani