Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Two Cowboys: Getting Introduced to Chicken Delights (Coxinha) at Durello Traditional Brazilian Foods in Auckland, NZ

Coxinha

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When a thigh is not enough.

Thanks to Wikipedia, and Durello Traditional Brazilian Foods in Auckland, we know that Coxinha is a popular food in Brazil consisting of chopped or shredded chicken meat, covered in dough and moulded into a shape resembling a chicken leg, battered and fried.




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Coxinha was originally made with the meat of chicken thighs. Its traditional shape is also meant to resemble a chicken thigh (a small chicken, obviously). In its modern form, it may have originated among the Brazilian Royal Family in São Paulo in the 19th century. This is where we encountered a story that explains the existence of the Coxinha. Thanks to a talented cook faced with a dilemma, who invented an artificial chicken thigh to appease a hungry young prince. Today we have Coxinha.

History tells us that Prince Gaston, Count D'Eu, husband of Princess Isabel of Brazil (1846-1921), had a favourite dish, chicken. But, he only ate the thighs. One day, not having enough thighs, the Royal Chef decided to turn a whole chicken into thighs by shredding it and making the filling for flour dough shaped into a drumstick. Messing with a Prince's chicken thighs is risky business. Luckily, the Monarch endorsed the results and today we have Coxinha.

Empress Teresa Cristina, when visiting him, could not resist this tasty delicacy. She liked it so much that she requested that the master of the imperial kitchen learn how to prepare the snack. So Coxinha won over the nobility and became history. However, somehow this delight and its amazing story didn't escape Brazil and Spain for Canada or New Zealand, until now, thanks to Durello.

You can't ignore the Coxinha if you want to pretend to provide any sort of complete coverage of Brazil's world of food and eating. Barbara and Marcelo certainly couldn't either if they were to pay homage to the authentic food of their motherland, Brazil.

Observations


We checked in with Marcelo and Barbara before we left New Zealand's summer behind for Canada's winter. Previously we learned about Brazilian Cheese Bread from Barbara. She insisted that we were missing the best part. We had to return one more time and try their Chicken Delights (Coxinha).

We couldn't refuse, knowing how delicious their products are. We wanted to learn what is so special about these Chicken Delights that gave it its local notoriety. It is so unique that it allowed Durello to walk away with the winning prize at the New Zealand Food Awards of 2014.

What we found again was an attention to detail and a laser focus to make the most authentic product surpassing the best in Brazil. They are so good that Durello has been asked to export it right back to Brazil!

Talking about export. Durello succeeded during 2016 in getting their export compliance licensing to start shipping this delight to Australia in 2017. Initially, it will be positioned for the restaurant and bar trade, and soon after, you will be able to buy it in the grocery stores. You already can buy it in New Zealand's stores as a frozen product you can prepare yourself, or at their tiny little downtown store in Auckland.

We are encouraged by Marcelo and Barbara's dedication to their business and will excitedly follow their international expansion. It is an amazing story when you realise that a person from the Netherlands (Barbara), married a fella from Brazil (Marcelo), then moved from Brazil to New Zealand for a new life, started a manufacturing business making authentic Brazilian food products, that will now be exported to Australia. One day, they will send it to the rest of the world. Possibly, even back to Brazil.

What an amazing story!

Hendrik van Wyk
Coxinha Cowboy

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Tiny Chicken Thighs

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