• Corn flour
    250 grs

  • Maize flour
    500 grs

  • White maize flour
    500 grs

  • White Corn Grits "Canjica"
    500 grs

Márcia Bragatto, Heloísa Bacellar and Flávio Bragatto

The redemption of "Caipira” corn

In her second participation at Retratos do Gosto, Chef Heloísa Bacellar decided to work with corn derivatives, due to her belief that they are underestimated by the users and the market. “People think of corn flour only for cuscus, maize only for cakes and corn grits are rarely available in supermarkets”. “But these ingredients have several possibilities”, states the chef. Her research concentrated on state of the art flours produced from “caipira“ corn, a type of corn free of genetically-modified crops, with a sweet and intense corn flavor.

The chosen company was fecularia Nossa Senhora das Brotas, in the city of Lindoia. Heading the company, created by his father in 1959, Flávio Bragatto is proud of using only “caipira” corn, grown by local farmers. Currently they have about 30 partner-suppliers, which work with the traditional variety of corn. They are the basis of the crunchy corn flour “biju”, which stands out due to its powerful yellow color and its adequate roasting. For these reasons, Heloísa recommends this product as a substitute for cassava flour in day to day “farofas”, a local recipe that is a blend of flour, spices, vegetables and fat.

With regards to the white maize flour, with very fine texture, it was used by the chef for polenta, "empada" dough and "angu", a soup-like recipe that is very traditional in the countryside. “The main advantages of “caipira” corn are its texture and flavor. Many people prefer to use transgenic or genetically modified crops because it is less labor-intensive during plantation, but the result is a very mushy crop, of low quality for flour “, explains Flavio, who plans to re-invest the support of Retratos do Gosto to supply seeds and guarantee the purchase of the harvest from small producers, increasing and consolidating the growth of “caipira” corn in the region. “ We want to use this project to encourage the small local farmers to stay in the farming business instead of looking for jobs in big cities “, he states.