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ISLAMABAD, Sept 21: The Embassy of Brazil in collaboration with Marriott Hotel brought two Brazilians chefs – Marcelo Shambeck and Sous-Chef Rodrigo Orlandi – to the federal capital to present a Brazilian feast at the hotel from September 21 to 24th. Accompanying the gastronomic delights is singer Gabriel Titan to share the rhythms and beats of Brazilian music.

Marcelo Shambeck prepared a menu which included everyday dishes from the typical Brazilian’s diet. There were also some more complex dishes on offer.

Desserts were also typical of the country, such as quindim (coconut pudding), Brazilian guava tarts and docinhos (small sweets made of chocolate, coconut and peanuts).

Chef Marcelo nominated by Brazilian critics for the prize of best young chef four times in the last five years and owner of Del Barbiere bistro in Porto Alegre, Brazil, together with Sous-Chef Rodrigo Orlandi, tabled all the exciting flavours of Brazilian cuisine for the food lovers of Pakistan.

Brazilian cuisine has European and African influences. It varies greatly by region, reflecting the country’s mix of native and immigrant populations, and its continental size as well. This has created a national cuisine marked by the preservation of regional differences so the food varies from region to region within Brazil.

Chef Marcelo said that they were able to learn much from the Pakistani chefs at the Marriott and hoped that they had enjoyed the opportunity to learn from the Brazilians.

He added: “There are very few similarities between Pakistani cuisine and that of Brazil as the seasonings are completely different.”

After a thought he said: “The barbeque is of course, similar.”

One of the most common ingredients in Brazil, he said, is Manioc flour which is the equivalent of Pakistani wheat. Manioc flour is made from the tuberous root of the Manihot esculenta plant, which is native to Central and South America.

This woody shrub, in addition to being the source of this flour, is also used to produce tapioca and whole in recipes in which it may be fried, steamed, or stewed.

It has been used by Native Americans for centuries, and many Latin American cultures call for it in traditional recipes.

For people who are not making Latin American food, the primary reason to use manioc flour is that it is gluten free and far healthier than the typical refined wheat flour used in the subcontinent.

It can be used in recipes for cakes, cookies and other dishes, either on its own or in combination with other flours. The nutty flavour too is distinctive and the flour has a coarse, mealy texture.

Gustavo Meira Carneiro, second secretary with the Embassy of Brazil, said the events were an attempt to connect the people of Brazil with the people of Pakistan – and culture and love of food is equally important in both countries.

The voice of Gabriel Titan, a hit singer and musical performer coming from Rio de Janeiro, added to the lovely ambiance of the evening as Brazilian popular classics, blues and soul came to Islamabad.

The artist had also had some time to sightsee in the capital and said: “Pakistan is an amazing country and I’ve enjoyed seeing the Faisal Mosque, Saidpur Village and the gorgeous view from Monal.”

Mrs. Karim who had come for an evening out with her husband said: “The wonderful thing about living in Islamabad is the opportunity to experience such events. I have never visited Brazil but the food and music brings it a lot closer.”