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Sommelier teaches how to harmonize pantanal dishes with beer

Rich, exotic and tasty foods from the Pantanal can combine with this popular drink

One of the most important Brazilian biomes, located in the states of MS and MT, in the Midwest of Brazil, the Pantanal receives influences from several countries in the region, such as Paraguay and Bolivia, mainly. It is there that the culture of the Pantanal is forged, with its multiple backgrounds and ethnic origins which, of course, is directly reflected in its cuisine — rich, exotic, wild and tasty. Chef Paulo Machado and sommelier Renan Vieira led this pairing.

Pantanal complex

The Pantanal Complex is home to a vast fauna, with more than 650 species of birds and 300 types of fish, an equally complex vegetation, including the Atlantic Forest, Cerrado, Amazon forest and even the Chaco, which regulate droughts, floods and human activities. pantaneiro. As diverse as the vegetation and geography of the Pantanal are its inhabitants, of diverse indigenous ethnic groups.

pantanal foods

According to chef Paulo Machado, the region’s food is a melting pot of cultures with influences from parts of Brazil and neighboring countries, such as Bolivia and Paraguay. Beef red meat accompanied by beans, rice, flour and cassava is the typical meal of the Pantanal people, who also rely on fishing as another source of protein. And “a bit more” of native vegetables and fruits, in jam or syrup. To top it off, yerba mate, present as typical drinkas well as grated guarana mixed with water.

role of harmonization

For sommelier Renan Vieira, the harmonization has an aggregating function: “The third flavor created is capable of breaking prejudices, making people understand the versatility of this incredible food and presenting a new world of possibilities”.

picks and tips (By Chef Paulo Machado)

Paraguayan soup

“Despite the name, it is a salty corn cake that contains cheese, milk, eggs, onion and yeast. There are different versions about its origin — it seems to be a derivation of the Spanish stew or a Paraguayan afternoon snack called ‘jakaru’. Whatever it may be, the fact is that Paraguayan soup is delicious and very typical of the region. It can be consumed hot or cold.”

Caribéu harmonized with Leopoldina Red Ale (RS) (Image: Priscila Mota)


“Also known as guisadinho, the caribéu is a very popular recipe in the highest region of the Pantanal, that is, in areas where it is customary to eat more sun-dried meat (charque). This is because the altitude significantly reduces the number of rivers and, consequently, the availability of fish. On the other hand, it increases the supply of land, which stimulates livestock production. It was on farms without refrigeration, where beef jerky and cassava were used a lot, that this stew was born, one of the simplest and most tasty from the Pantanal. There are also recipes that use pumpkin. The caribéu can be accompanied by white rice. It’s my mother’s favorite dish, the plastic artist Lúcia Barbosa.”


“Traditional sweet from the Pantanal and Tropeira cuisines, as well as from the Paraíba Valley, where it is also known as ‘furrundu’. In Cuiabá, it is widely sold in candy stores. Furrundum is a green papaya sweet with brown sugar, flavored with cinnamon, cloves and, usually, grated ginger, which conveys its Portuguese heritage. The fact that it is still popular today seems to be explained by the use of the still green fruit, since ripe papaya is the right food for the birds of the Pantanal. Its inseparable companion is a piece of fresh cheese or half-cured cheese produced on the farms. Warmed furrundum goes very well with ice cream.”

harmonizing (By Sommelier Renan Heimbach Vieira)

“Regional dishes have very strong connections with our affective palate, it’s impossible not to remember the foods made by my grandmother, for example. It was very interesting to combine these memories with new flavors and realize that, even though they come from such different cultures, they combine so well.

All the dishes in this pairing have their origins on the farm, comfortable foods made with ingredients found there. I decided to choose beers comfortable, betting preferentially on the similarities and balance of forces. For those who want to be more daring, it is still possible to bet on beautiful contrasts — for example, acidic beer with notes that refer to lemon with the Paraguayan soup, or, who knows, a hoppy American-style beer, such as an APA, and the Caribbean. Finally, a very toasty beer accompanying the furrundum.”

Paraguayan soup + Abbessa Export (RS)

Dortmund Export, 5.0% ABV

“Since it is a cake based on corn and cornmeal, we use a light beer with alcohol and body. But we can’t forget the onion and cured cheese, which call for a beer with a slightly more malty focus. So we got combine flavors caramelized, especially the onion on top, making a counterpoint to the slightly salty cured cheese. The set brings an interesting sum of malt cereal with corn and contrast of Maillard sweetness with cheese, perfect for a starter or a quick snack.”

Caribéu + Leopoldina Red Ale (RS)

Red Ale, 6.5% ABV

“For this pairing, we need a beer with a little more body, so I chose Leopoldina’s Red Ale, a beer with 6.5% ABV. Its caramel notes harmonize due to the similarity with the meat, and also with the sauce. The light toast contrasts with the saltiness of the charque, the peppery touch, which is already softened by the cassava starch, is very interesting with the moderate English hops of this beer. The set brings a comfortable and balanced harmony, able to please even the most suspicious palates.”

Plate with furrundum next to glass and bottle of beer
Furrundum harmonized with Heilige Barley Wine (RS) (Image: Priscila Mota)

Furrundum + Heilige Barley Wine (RS)

English Barley Wine, 9.0% ABV

“To end with a flourish, we accompanied the dessert with a Barley Wine, a very robust and alcoholic beer, which helps to balance the intense caramel of the rapadura used in this dish. Its notes of dried fruit, nuts and also woody add to the taste of papaya, ginger, cloves and cinnamon, producing a third, more complex and intense flavor, in a sweet, fruity finish with touches of spices, which makes it difficult to know where it starts. the sweet and where the beer ends. An explosion of sensations.”

Published by Revista da Cerveja.

By Emilio Chaga

Source: Maxima

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