Saturday Market Vendor Feature: Brazilian Roots Food Truck
Marketgoers will recognize returning food truck Brazilian Roots, which sells beiju, an indigenous flatbread traditional to Brazil made with cassava flour and naturally plant-based and gluten-free. Come out for their last market date of the 2018 season and try your own: you’ll find it filling and flavourful, sweet or savoury, and always served with a smile from friendly owner Luciano!
How did your business start and what drives you?
Beijú Foods is a Canadian company proudly founded in BC by Brazilian immigrants to honor their roots and promote the best of Brazil’s creative and flavourful food culture. Beijú Foods is focused on indigenous culinary traditions, native crops, and its fusion with African and European cuisine during Brazil’s colonization. Above all, we are passionate about ancestral cultures that are simplistically rich, and that can show us how to live harmoniously with our ecosystems, and to adapt to challenging situations. Our mission is to bring new, healthy and sustainable food alternatives to your daily life so you can enjoy a healthier diet with exotic ethnic flavours. Beijú Foods main core values are Quality, Sustainability, and Community. We source our products from carefully chosen premium suppliers, who work at fair ethical conditions that are sustainable for the community and the planet. High quality and sustainability also mean health – our products are gluten-free, non-GMO and minimally processed to avoid the use of artificial ingredients and preservatives. Also, we invest in the latest packaging technology to keep our products fresh and 100% natural. We actively advocate for indigenous rights and the environment. We believe in a more respectful and holistic connection between individuals, communities, cultures and nature.
What do you sell from your food truck?
Our featured item is Beiju – an indigenous gluten-free flatbread, made one hundred percent from cassava. Boost its nutrients by adding seeds and nuts, as well as fillings like meat, cheese, fruits and vegan options. Baking a beiju is a magical trick that is healthy and delicious! The Brazilian Roots Truck also offers other “forest foods”, like açaí smoothies, yerba mate and guaraná. We also serve cassava based bread, cassava cheese balls (pão de queijo), paninis and other seasonal options. In addition to offering a fusion of traditional Brazilian flavours, our kitchen pays special attention to nutrition and will strive to make recipes as healthy as possible, using wholesome local ingredients.
What is cassava flour?
Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is a shrub original from Brazil whose roots are edible. It was used for thousands of years as a main source of energy by the pre-Colombian population of the Americas. Nowadays, it is common to find indigenous arts that make references to this plant, as it is a vital part of their lives. In the 16th century, Portuguese traders took cassava to Africa and today no other crop is as important as a food source for the resource-poor African regions. In Asia, cassava also became a staple foods and Thailand is currently its biggest world producer, followed by Vietnam and Indonesia. As a drought-resistant crop that does well in poor soils, cassava is a starch-heavy lifesaver for low-income areas throughout the world. Cassava and its vast spectrum of sub-products and recipes are still one of the main staple foods in Brazil, and the most famous Brazilian dishes have some form of cassava component in them. Cassava permeates all Brazilian social classes: it was the base of slaves’ meals until the 19th century and is still a daily resource for Brazil’s poorer populations, nonetheless higher classes also eat cassava broadly and daily. Lately, cassava has gained a strong popularity with athletes and other functional diet seekers because it is such a great and pure source of energy!
If you want to learn more about the Brazilian Roots Truck, check them out on instagram, facebook, or their website. You can see all of their upcoming dates at the UBC Farm Market here. Learn more about other market vendors and topics on our Saturday Farmers’ Market blog! These weekly market blog posts are linked from our newsletter when they are posted; to get regular updates, make sure to join our newsletter here.