The History of Our Brigadeiros

In the 1950's my grandfather was moving up in the ranks 

of the Brazilian Armed Forces.  Post World War II, 

obtaining fresh milk and sugar in Brazil was very difficult. 

Despite these conditions, my grandmother friends on base

still desired to prepare desserts, and therefore, started 

experimenting with substitutes. They discovered that mixing 

sweetened condensed milk and chocolate produced a 

delightful treat, but there was no name for these delicacies. 

Simultaneously, Brazil’s presidential elections were occurring.  My grandfather's good friend Eduardo Gomes was one of the presidential candidates - 

he was a tall, dark & handsome Brigadier.  He was very popular 

with the ladies, demonstrated by his amusing slogan, 

“Vote for the Brigadier who is handsome and single.” 

The campaign volunteers would prepare 

these little chocolate truffles to distribute to voters, 

and thus, the treats were named Brigadiers 

(Brigadeiro in Portuguese). 

The name caught on very quickly and the little desserts 

became a big hit.  It was such a hit that my grandmother, my aunts and her staff would roll brigs day and night to fill orders for birthdays and celebrations on the military bases.

Over time, the recipe started evolving into fancier flavors 

and more elaborate toppings to reflect celebratory 

themes at children’s birthday parties, weddings, 

and festive occasions.

    B's Grandparents Esdras & Olivia

B's Grandparents Esdras & Olivia