Brazil is as rich in culture as it is in the diversity of its food. The country’s cuisine is steeped in history and incredibly traditional – most Brazilians would agree that the strongest influence in what they eat is African in origin, but the Portuguese colonists and native Indians contributed their fair share, too. African slaves around Bahia supplied some of the more well known dishes which are famous throughout Brazil, and with the arrival of European immigrants from various countries, Brazil has developed into a multi-cultured society, with French, Dutch, Portuguese, German, Italian and at a much later stage a Japanese contingent. People from Europe, Africa and Asia have settled all over the country, and as the fifth largest country in the world with a population of more than 203 million, Brazil is definitely a country for a diverse eating experience. I was born in Maceióin the state of Alagoas, northeast Brazil, where I was raised with my three brothers.
Maceió has some of the best beaches in the world and is lined with palm trees outlining the walkways which meander along the coastline, with pastel colonial houses and a nineteenth century cathedral in the distance. The city emerged from an old sugar mill and plantation complex in the 1800s, thanks to the arrival of ships taking wood from Jaraqua bay. With the installation of the sugar mills, Maceió started to export sugar, then tobacco, coconuts, leather and some spices. Prosperity made it possible for the settlement to become a village in December 1815, then thanks to its continued growth, it became the capital of Alagoas state in December 1839.
The city has a typical tropical monsoon climate, with warm to hot temperatures and high humidity all through the year. However, the constant breeze from the ocean is welcome relief from the more extreme temperatures. January is the warmest month, with an average temperature of 32°C and a minimum of 22°C.July experiences the coolest temperatures, with a maximum of 27°C, high rainfall and much higher humidity.