Saturday, August 13, 2011

Probably Not a Great Idea - Brazil's Goat Fondue

Fondue, being of Swiss origin, is often thought of as a perfect cold-weather food. In its three major varieties - beef, cheese, chocolate - it's warming and filling in the way that a proper wintertime food should be. Dipping crusty French bread into a bubbling bowl of melted cheese with white wine is a sure way to warm anyone up literally and figuratively.

Brazil's currently in the middle of their Southern Hemisphere winter and according to a recent article in the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper an inn owner in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco (where, as the article points out, it gets as cold as 12C or 53F!) has come up with a uniquely Brazilian take on fondue.

Pedro de Oliveira Junior owns the Baixa Verde inn, located in the town of Triunfo, Pernambuco. The town sits in the interior highlands of Pernambuco, at an altitude of 1000 meters, or just under 4000 ft. Apparently Sr. Oliveira recently had a fondue revelation - he is quoted in the newspaper as saying, "Because it's so cold in our region - we have had days that go as low as 12V - we've always featured cheese fondue, chocolate fondue, other types. So one day I said to myself, 'Why not goat? since everyone in our neighborhood raises goats.'"

Goat meat has many virtues and is a meat that deserves to be more well-known in large parts of the world where it's not currently part of the diet. It is very flavorful, and quite healthy. But it seems to us at Flavors of Brazil that goat fondue isn't something that's going to set the gastronomic world on fire. Goat meat requires long cooking, usually braising, to make it tender. Undercooked, it can be extremely tough. A quick dip in boiling oil, a la beef fondue, really isn't enough to tenderize a piece of goat meat, nor to mellow its strong taste.

However, until we've had a chance to sample goat fondue, we'll reserve finally judgment. Best of luck in the meantime to Sr. Oliveira for his initiative and creativy.


  1. Ha ha! I share your pessimism. But I think in the interests of investigative blogging you should give it a try and report back!

    If you try the goat fondue then I'll try to Berinjela (Egg Plant/Augbergine) juice they're offering at my local juice bar ;)

  2. If I ever make it to Triunfo, I'll take you up on the challenge and will post the results here, Tom.
    As for the suco de berinjela, that REALLY doesn't sound appetizing. But in the interests of investigative blogging, I'd love to see you post what you thought of it on Eat Rio!