We started trying all the different recipes we had, and I remember saying that pão de queijo is not just a recipe, it’s a feeling. I was saying that while thinking of a phrase from the movie Woman on Top, with Penelope Cruz. In the movie Harold Perrineau’s character says:
“Brazil is more than a country. See, Brazil, it's a sensation. It's a mood you can't describe. You can't define it. You can only feel it.”
And it is SO true! The movie is about cooking too and I think a lot of Brazilian cuisine is a feeling. Most of our family recipes aren’t recipes, they are ingredients and you put them together by feeling, by knowledge.
And pão de queijo is the same. A lot of it has to do with how the dough feels in your hand, and the more you do it, the more you learn and eventually, you understand that you can tell how the pão de queijo will come out of the oven just by how the dough feels to the touch.
And we had 3 “recipes” we liked the most, not cheeses, but how those doughs felt to the touch and came out of the oven were good. None of them were amazing, none of them were bad, but we still weren’t convinced with the cheese. So, we took a break.
A break sometimes brings a lot of inspiration. A break meant we weren’t going to make pão de queijo all the time anymore. So, we stopped. But we were thinking and talking about it constantly.
Until Andrew shows up with Oka…