A city for all people. This is undoubtedly a good definition for cosmopolitan Berlin. In a quick tour of the capital of Germany, it is possible to hear the most varied languages. Sometimes you even hear German! Our good old Portuguese, on the other hand, is very striking, as in any other part of the world.
Gastronomy accompanies this cultural effervescence and provides residents and visitors with a little bit of everything. Brazilians who live in Berlin and are homesick can find, through aromas and flavors, a way to soften nostalgic memories. All handmade and with many references.
Caio Rossiter, 34, was born in Mossoró, in the interior of Rio Grande do Norte, and while still in his teens he moved with his mother to São Paulo. There he discovered a taste for gastronomy. In 2015, he went on an exchange program in Ireland and ended up staying there. And as he says, it was in the kitchen of a restaurant in Dublin “that the bug took hold”.
With the daily rush of the establishment, specializing in Spanish cuisine, came the job of cook. In Dublin, he met and married Irishman Damien. Since 2019, the couple has lived in Berlin, where Caio currently works as a driver.
Minas cheese and export cheese bread
About two months ago, he returned to doing what he loves most: cooking. She decided to sell Minas cheese — and it was almost by chance.
At Michele’s farewell, a friend from Minas Gerais who was returning to Brazil, Caio received a suggestion and a recipe as a gift.
She asked me why I didn’t make Minas cheese to sell. I did some tests and it worked. A recipe from a family from Minas Gerais passed on to a Northeastern man. If someday things prosper more, her family might even charge me royalties (laughs)”, says Caio.
Caio had the idea of creating a brand based on Minas Gerais cuisine. To increase the business, he also decided to sell cheese bread. And now, with a recipe of its own. That’s how the “Uai que trem bom sô” was born.
According to him, during the preparation of the products, it is impossible not to remember the origins. Which became the inspiration for a new recipe, still in the testing phase.
“It brings the reference of the Northeast, from the farm, that homemade cheese. I take a lot of whey from this Minas cheese that I make and turn it into a kind of coalho cheese. It tastes very good. I remember my house in the hinterland”, recalls Caio.
The war between Russia and Ukraine brought Germany some economic problems. First on the list of complaints is the rise in prices in the food sector. The milk that Caio uses to make the cheese rose from 1.10 euros to 1.39 euros a liter in two months. An increase of 26%.
To give you an idea, he needs 3 liters of milk to make a 400-gram cheese that sells for 11 euros. For now, the Brazilian guarantees that the price of cheese will not get higher.
Among the main customers, many from Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul. But according to Caio, the foreigners who tasted it, approved it. The case of the Spaniard, resident in Berlin, Imobach Martin.
I’ve been looking for a cheese like this for a long time. After I tried Caio’s cheese, I stopped looking. It’s just spectacular. I highly recommend it”, says the Spaniard.
And since dreaming still costs nothing, Caio dreams. From a Minas Gerais coffee shop in Germany, to a kiosk facing the sea in Valencia, Spain. But with his feet on the ground, he celebrates his first sales achievements. And with that money he is helping to renovate his mother’s house in Brazil.
Brazilian delight for German to see
The passion for gastronomy also changed Fernanda’s trajectory nomoto. Born in São Paulo, the capital, she moved to Berlin in 2018. And it was on the old continent that the 32-year-old economist, who has always worked in the corporate world, decided to give her story a new direction.
Since 2019, with the brand “Nena”, she makes people’s lives a little happier with her delicious cheese breads. Fernanda, who also works in a French bakery preparing catering, named her brand in honor of her grandmother, Dona Nena, now 95 years old and healthy enough to give and sell.
“She has always cooked a lot and we have a super strong bond to this day. It was hours and hours of my childhood cooking together. She is my biggest inspiration and is responsible for my passion for gastronomy”, says Fernanda.
The cheese bread recipe is from Dona Nena, but, according to Fernanda, it has some adaptations. The paulistana discovered that Germany is the second country in the world to consume organic products, behind only the United States, so she decided to create a product without preservatives, gluten, and totally vegetarian.
Besides, of course, the great demand from Brazilians, Nena’s cheese bread, little by little, fell into the taste of the demanding German public.
This is an indicator of how much the population cares about health and quality of life. And although the German people like more traditional options, the acceptance of cheese bread among them is great”, celebrates Fernanda.
In addition to the virtual sale through social networks and physical in a store of Latin products, Fernanda often participates in musical events and street fairs. And as the process is artisanal, all done in the home kitchen, the monthly production is no more than 600 buns.
The Brazilian is thinking of expanding the brand beyond Germany and has even heard some business proposals, but says she still hasn’t found the right project. Meanwhile, only those who live in Berlin have this privilege.
The affective memory with Brazilian cuisine is super strong for those who live outside the country. And this comes from the handling of the ingredients, the smell when they are in the oven and the time to sit at the table and taste”, remembers Fernanda.
Berlin is a city that has learned from history. He tore down a wall to unite peoples, daily combats intolerance at all levels, unites Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Potiguars, Germans, Irish, Spaniards and many other peoples around an affective gastronomy.
The train is “good” and has room for everyone.