Served at birthday parties, weddings, and any festive occasion, these are marvelous concoctions of eggs, sugar, and/or sweetened condensed milk, and a variety of fruits and nuts, including coconut, dates, prunes, walnuts, Brazil nuts, peanuts, etc. We have a collection of recipes listed on Maria's Cookbook. You can also find them at dessert counters and specialty shops everywhere in Brazil, especially in the southern region. The packages on the left are green figs and chunks of pumpkin cooked in sugar syrup, sold fresh at a road stand. Photographer Jennifer Silva from São Paulo sent us the wonderful closeup of sugar figs below on the right.
My all-time favorite is figada or fig jam/marmalade that you eat (and eat and eat...) with a spoon. I bought one of these jars at a road stand in Rio Grande do Sul, brought it back to Rio with me, and dropped it in front of my door. It broke into a million pieces and now I need to go back to get another one!
The city of Pelotas in Rio Grande do Sul is a big center for these and other sweets made from all different types of fruit (peach, guava, figs) and sweet potatoes. In northern Brazil, sweets are made of Amazonian fruits, such as açai, bacuri, Brazil nuts, buriti, and cupuaçu. Pictured above from left: guava paste, buriti palm fruit, and sweets made from pumpkin, sweet potatoes (green and purple), and three types of cocadas or coconut sweets (made with condensed milk, chocolate, and passion fruit). The photographs below were taken in Porto Alegre, with the exception of the quindins, bottom right, which are from Rio.