Gastronomy of ParanáThe gastronomy of Paraná is a mixture of influences of all the immigrants that came to this State and of the populations that lived here. The indigenous people of Paraná, who were essentially collectors, had the pinhão, or pine nut, their staple food par excellence. They kept the seeds in baskets submersed in running water for 48 hours, after which the seeds were dried in the sun for consumption after the harvesting season.
To this day, the pine nut is incorporated in the eating habits of the people of Paraná. It is associated with June festivities or customs of the country folk in the form of Sapecada (pine nut festivity), paçoca (sweet made of pine nut paste) or tasty dishes served in sophisticated restaurants, such as pine nut croquette, soups, starters, soufflés and pancakes.
Indigenous populations, namely the xetas, would ingest mate as food. This custom led to the heritage of Paraná that still cultivates the custom of sipping chimarrão, mate tea and other forms of beverages and infusions.
The influence of indigenous people is also very present in the gastronomy, knowledge of native fruit and roots, the preparation of corn and cassava in the production of flours, cuscus, pamonhas and bijus, in fishing, hunting with “roasted” meat that is baked in heated pits.
In terms of Portuguese influence, there is the Barreado, a typical dish that originated in fishermen sites and, in time, became popular in coastal cities where it has been cultivated for approximately 200 years in the municipalities of Antonina, Guaraqueçaba, Guaratuba, Morretes and Paranaguá.
The name of the dish comes from the expression “barrear” (literally, fill with mud) because the cooking pot was filled with ash paste and cassava flour to prevent steam from escaping and drying out the roast, hence the Barreado, which was a contribution of the Azoreans who named the dish.
The Barreado represents abundance, celebration and joy and it was adopted as a dish of the pre-carnival period, or the entrudo. A characteristic of this dish is that it does not lose its original taste even after re-heating, which means that people are free to participate in the fun without having to cook. The ingredients of the Barreado are meat, bacon and seasoning. In the past, it was cooked by the former inhabitants of the coast in pits over hot coal, taking almost 24 hours to be “just right”. A true ritual was required to prepare the meal that was defined as the typical dish of Paraná.
The Cycle of Tropeirismo (Cattle Dealers) changes the economic focus of the State as well as the culture and traditions due to the influence of the locations through which the Tropeiros passed. The Tropeiros basically transported caravans, but they were also messengers of news, consolidators of paths and founders of population colonies that were scattered along their routes. They were the link of integration between vilas, towns of southern Brazil and even overseas, and they assimilated words of Castilian origin, like churrasco (barbeque), charque (jerked meat), bombacha (wide breeches typically used by gauchos of Brazil), and arroio (creek), incorporating these word to the vocabulary of the people of Paraná.
Gastronomy was also influenced by the journeys of the tropeiros, as they became familiar with certain types of food and spread this knowledge to the locations they visited. Consequently, the cities that were established from former “pousos” or resting places, such as Lapa, Castro and Tibagi, still cultivate tasty dishes like Quirera Lapiana, Virado de Feijão, Arroz Tropeiro, Castropeiro and Paçoca de Pinhão with Charque.
Migration and immigration allowed the population of Paraná to incorporate the eating habits of the new inhabitants, namely from Germany Italy, Poland and Ukraine, who conserved pork in lard, consumed yellow corn grits and roasted whole ox, pigs and sheep on the spit.
More recently, several municipalities established typical dishes, cultivated traditions of their ancestors and regional social and economical aspects that are often translated into joyful culinary events that delight visitors, such as:
• Concurso do Dourado Assado– Foz do Iguaçu
• Concurso do Porco à Paraguaia– Missal
• Festa da Costela – Apucarana
• Festa da Costela no Chão – Maria Helena
• Festa da Costela no Chão e Porco no Tacho – Iporã
• Festa da Leitoa ao Fogo-de-Chão - Santo Antonio da Platina
• Festa da Leitoa Desossada à Pururuca - Paraíso do Norte
• Festa da Leitoa Entrincheirada – Juranda
• Festa da Leitoa Fuçada – Janiópolis
• Festa da Leitoa Mateira - Mamborê
• Festa da Leitoa no Tacho - Lobato e Ribeirão Claro
• Festa da Piapara na Telha – Alto Paraíso
• Festa da Tainha - Paranaguá
• Festa da Tilápia – Porecatu
• Festa da Vaca Atolada - Boa Esperança
• Festa do Boi no Rolete – Altônia, Engenheiro Beltrão, Marechal Cândido Rondon, Planalto, Ribeirão Claro, Santa Fé e Santa Terezinha de Itaipu
• Festa do Borrego no Rolete - Irati
• Festa do Caranguejo - Pontal do Paraná
• Festa do Carneiro ao Molho Procopense – Cornélio Procópio
• Festa do Carneiro ao Vinho - Peabiru
• Festa do Carneiro Desossado e Recheado – General Carneiro
• Festa do Carneiro no Buraco - Campo Mourão
• Festa do Carneiro no Rolete – Carambeí, Piraquara e Ribeirão Claro
• Festa do Charque - Candói
• Festa do Charque a Vapor – São Mateus do Sul
• Festa do Costelão – Luiziana, Maripá, Palotina e Santa Helena.
• Festa do Costelão ao Fogo-de-Chão – Paranavaí
• Festa do Cupim Assado - Pato Bragado
• Festa do Cupim Noroeste – Alto Paraná
• Festa do Dourado na Grelha – Medianeira
• Festa do Dourado no Carrossel – Itaipulândia
• Festa do Frango – Bom Sucesso, Cafelândia, Novo Itacolomi, Toledo e Umuarama
• Festa do Frango Caipira Graciosa – Quatro Barras
• Festa do Frango Desossado e Recheado – Maripá
• Festa do Frango, Polenta e do Vinho – Curitiba
• Festa do Lambari – Porto Vitória
• Festa do Leitão a Dois Vizinhos – Dois Vizinhos
• Festa do Leitão à Pururuca – Engenheiro Beltrão
• Festa do Leitão à Sarandi – Toledo
• Festa do Leitão a Xaxim - Toledo
• Festa do Leitão Maturado - Goioerê
• Festa do Leitão na Grelha – Céu Azul
• Festa do Matambre Recheado – Pato Bragado
• Festa do Peixe na Telha - Marilena
• Festa do Pernil à Pururuca - Farol
• Festa do Pierogi – Araucária
• Festa do Pintado na Telha - Guaíra
• Festa do Pirá de Foz – Foz do Iguaçu
• Festa do Porco à Paraguaia – Céu Azul
• Festa do Porco na Lata – Mandaguaçu e Santo Inácio
• Festa do Porco no Rolete – Cidade Gaúcha, Mandaguaçu, Sertaneja e Toledo
• Festa do Porco Recheado e Assado ao Forno – Toledo
• Festival da Alcatra - Santa Helena
• Festival da Carne Suína – Medianeira
• Festival de Frutos do Mar – Pontal do Paraná
• Festival do Frango – Matelândia
• Galinhada Orgânica – Missal
In the western region of Paraná, the Porco no Rolete, or Pork on the Spit, is one of the main culinary attractions. This typical dish of the municipality of Toledo requires technique and art during preparation.
A pig of approximately six months is roasted whole on a spit that always rotates in the same direction and speed. One month before slaughter, the animal feed is changed to reduce the amount of lard without causing weight loss.
The origin of this dish is still unknown as the habit of roasting an animal whole on a spit is common in several populations. The municipality of Toledo was basically colonized by Germans and maybe that is why the Porco no Rolete has sophisticated seasoning, such as lavender, nutmeg and rosemary and lots of dry white wine.
Every cook has secrets when preparing this dish. The filling is known to have more than 30 ingredients, according to the individual palate and imagination of the cook. The traditional recipe has sausages, pepperoni, minced meat, green corn, peas, palm hearts and mushrooms. One of the roasting secrets is to pinch the skin of the animal to allow the fat to drain, which facilities digestion.
The Porco no Rolete takes about 20 hours to cook. According to gourmets, all the preparation is well worth the sacrifice.
In May 1974, the setting was the country headquarters of the Clube de Caça e Pesca de Toledo (the Hunting and Fishing Club of Toledo) between a chimarrão and a caipirinha, to the sound of a guitar and a harmonica, around a coal fire where meat was roasted and seasoned with lots of history, brave bids and challenges, representing the ideal environment for a great idea. This is how it happened and this is how it was done.
Celeste Vivian, a local agricultural progressionist, claimed that he knew how to roast a whole pork stuffed with exotic seasoning poked with a single wooden spit that was rotated manually. The challenge was made and accepted. In the following days, the subject thrilled all the other members of the club who rapidly formed team with their respective assadores (roast cooks).
The club management and the participating teams established the rules and invited a group of important people in the city to form the panel of tasters and judges. The most delicious culinary event of Brazil was created, the Porco no Rolete Festival, which culminates in the competition between the roasting teams.
The typical dish of Campo Mourão, the Carneiro no Buraco, (literally, mutton in the pit) is based on the indigenous custom of cooking food in pits dug in the ground to avoid causing forest fires. There are signs that the dish incorporates customs from the exchange that occurred in around 1580 with the arrival of the Jesuits in South America.
This unusual method of preparing food attracted the attention of a group of pioneers of the city who decided to introduce a series of innovations to the recipe. From the first adopted innovation to the current method, many experiments and adaptations were needed to perfect the dish, which has since been sporadically served in get-togethers among friends.
In the 80s, the tradition expanded and the reception of authorities and other important visitors in the municipality inevitably included Carneiro no Buraco. Campo Mourão established this delicacy as a typical dish and created the National Carneiro no Buraco Festival in 1990, from a movement triggered by the Boca Maldita fraternity. The culinary event is always held on the second Sunday of June with the objective of preserving and spreading this delicious tradition of the municipality and its colonizers.
The dish currently holds a high quality standard and is among the most popular typical dishes of Paraná. It even delights vegetarians due to the large amount of vegetable and tubers in the dish. Carneiro no Buraco promotes Campo Mourão in all of Brazil and even in neighbouring countries.