The other day I found arracaccia here in Austria while strolling through the Naschmarkt –one of my favorite places in Vienna ever since my first visit. It is like a mix between São Paulo’s Municipal Market and the classic Carioca farmer’s market, with restaurants placed between the fruit and vegetable stands.
I have always enjoyed the Saturdays when I have champagne and oysters for breakfast, before trying to buy everything the market has to offer – just for the beauty and variety of its produce. By the end, I settle on taking home only what I can realistically cook and eat.
So I came home with the rare arracaccia, a South American root vegetable that tastes delicious and is very popular back home and I did not want to only make a simple purée out of it. Thinking about Rio de Janeiro I recalled a late-night conversation during the subway ride home from the gastronomy university that I was attending at the time. It was about a dish to be served in a competition for culinary students, hosted by the Chefs Association. I was going to make an “Escondidinho” with Guineafowl confit. Escondidinhho is a kind of pie made from a soft purée, filled with meat and baked until golden. Chili is always a good match for it.
For the competition took me 4 hours of cooking to prepare 10 dishes for the Chefs of the jury. We were six participants and had to wait one day for the points to be scored – but I was not to be disappointed: I made the first place!