article about a typical Brazilian bar snack called bolinho de bacalhau (salt-cod fritters). Made from a mixture of salt-cod and seasoned mashed potatoes formed into small balls and deep-fried until hot and crispy, bolinhos are what many Brazilians prefer to eat when they're at their favorite local bar enjoying cold beer and the company of good friends.
The world of the bolinho, though, is not limited to the salt-cod variety. Inventive Brazilian cooks have come up with numerous variations on the basic bolinho recipe. Some were invented years ago and have been traditional bar food for decades. Others are being created as we type and are cutting edge and innovative.
There is a basic theme that all bolinho recipes work with. It starts with some sort of protein which is combined with a seasoned and moistened carbohyrate. This mixture is formed into bite-sized shapes which are deep-fried until crispy. As soon as the bolinhos come out of the fryer, they're rushed to the table before they get cold. That's the bolinho in a nutshell, and it's the starting point from which the limitless number of bolinho recipes takes off.
In the next few posts on Flavors of Brazil, we'll publish some of the most well-known traditional bolinho recipes and a few unexpected ones.