Why have we always loved food cooked over fire?

Matthew Baron History

Why do we love food cooked over fire?

It may seem strange to ask this question here, in a blog dedicated to the virtues of churrasco. But follow me on this one, and I think you’ll like it even more from now on.

Early into the development of men as a species fire changed everything. With it, we could stay warm when it was cold. It made food taste differently. It made food last longer. And it kept away our predators.

Ever since that time, however, we have come a long way! We have a great amount of heating and cooking technology at our disposal, and we still eat food cooked over fire, and relish it. In my humble opinion, this happens because fire is fascinating. It makes us recall that primitive part of our evolution, and somehow makes us more gregarious. You’ll always see people forming circles around fires, and roasting food on sticks over them. It also gives whatever food we cook in it a flavor of its own. It’s a flavor that we can’t reproduce accurately by any other means.

With that in mind, I would like to suggest two delicious and, at least for some, very strange items to barbecue. Cheese and pineapple.

food cooked over fire

Queijo Coalho

In Brazil we have a type of cheese called queijo coalho. They sell it on beaches throughout our coast and roast it on a strange portable churrasqueira for a few minutes before consumption. The closest to it you may have is “squeaky cheese” or cheese curds. It is white, crumbly, rubbery and fresh cow cheese. Sprinkle some oregano or garlic sauce on it before roasting above coals. Do this until you get some bubbles on its surface. Your food cooked over fire grill need care to be turned around constantly. Or at least, skewer it on barbecue wooden sticks.

Pineapples are said to have digestive properties. And meat and the other foods at churrasco are very heavy of the stomach, generally. So, around dessert time, we roast a couple of pineapples to help out. Simply peel off the bark, sprinkle some cinnamon all around it, and skewer it lengthwise! Roast until it looks a little more transparent than normal. And then take it out before any parts start burning. If you google images of “churrasco abacaxi”, you’ll find how it should look when ready.

I wish you many happy moments around the fire of your churrasqueira!

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