Schwartz sees Olympic shine on Brazilian food

Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:04pm EST
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Leticia Moreinos Schwartz hopes that when Rio de Janeiro hosts the summer Olympics Games in 2016 it will shine the spotlight on Brazilian food.

The classically-trained chef will share her knowledge of Brazilian dishes like croquette de carne, or meat croquettes, and moqueca de peixe, a Brazilian fish stew, in her upcoming book, "The Brazilian Kitchen."

The 34-year-old Rio native, who lives in the United States with her family, spoke to Reuters about Brazil and her passion for its food:

Q: With Rio hosting the Olympics, what will the world discover about Brazilian cuisine?

A: "It's a cuisine that comes from a very rich culture. It is a mixture of Portuguese, African and native Indian influences. We see that in the faces our people, in our music and in the food we eat."

Q: Describe your interpretation of Brazilian food.

A: "We inherited a very sweet tooth from our Brazilian colonizer. I'm trying to maintain the authencity and balance out the sweetness with other flavors. By introducing some of my culinary training, I can maintain the authenticity of the dishes, elevate them with different techniques, ingredients and even portion sizes."

Q: Who inspired your interest in cooking?   Continued...

<p>Chef Leticia Moreinos Schwartz holds coconuts in an open market in Rio de Janeiro in this undated photo.Undated handout/Reuters/Dean Adam Schwartz</p>