After Chile, I was so excited to move forward to Brazil. Brazil’s climate is more tropical, increasing the variety of ingredients. This provided us more room in recipe planning, but while we were dreaming, we were quickly hit by reality: The insane rising cost of food and lack of import of some ingredients.
We mention quite often on the podcast, that eating historically can be difficult due to various modern-age issues. Some foods that we want to eat, may be extinct. Or, because of human actions, are endangered or not seen as ethical to eat. This means that sometimes food items which are accurate for a region (i.e. Guinea Pigs for Peru) will not be accessible because of laws, personal beliefs and what our culture has deemed as inappropriate.
This meant when we stripped out items that were hard to get, due to either cost or accessibility, it left us with a simple meal of Pumpkin Soup.
Pumpkins grow natively in multiple locations around North and South America. However, the original ones are much different from the varieties we have today. The main domesticated species we reference is the Cucurbita, which we have evidence of being domesticated by humans as early as 10,000 BP. The type of Pumpkins present in Brazil would have been wild and smaller.
With this, we used the illusive Coconut (Origin = Everywhere, because Coconuts Migrate), to make coconut milk, sea salt and a dash of tabasco sauce.
But wait, Tabasco sauce – What does that have to do with Brazil! Well, time to break down the ingredients: Tabasco sauce is made from Tabasco Peppers, Salt and Vinegar. Vinegar is one of the oldest produced ingredients because it’s made like alcohol – Let things go off and ferment, then expose it to oxygen – Bam! Vinegar.
But, Tabasco Peppers? This is going to require a bit more history (sorry). Tabasco peppers were domesticated in Tabasco, Mexico, in the early 1840, then turned into a sauce soon afterwards. The Tabasco Pepper is a variation of the Brazilian Malagueta Pepper. They are very close in spice and taste, however, the Malagueta can be harder to find occasionally and can be a bit more fruity. With this, I’ll allow this to stay, but if you can replace with a Malagueta sauce, DO IT!
4 out of 5 stars
I found this recipe very enjoyable, but I felt as if it was mostly flavorless without the tabasco sauce. I would have been happier to include shrimp, maybe some vegetables and bread, but to continue with accuracy, things couldn’t be. This dish is great for a cold night and it’s hearty at least.
4 out of 5 stars
Plain pumpkin-flavored baby food. If we had some meat or even some other vegetables in it, I think it would have tasted much better. The flavor wasn’t a problem; it was just very plain. The one good thing I can say about it is, because of my essential tremor; I often avoid soups or other things that I have difficulty keeping on a spoon. However, because of how thick it was, I was able to eat it.
I give it 4/5 stars. It may have been plain in flavors, but at least it was an accessibility meal.