Bakeries are my obsession. If I wasn’t a journalist writing about them, I would probably be the owner of one. But let me be more specific: I’m talking about Brazilian bakeries. For those who don’t know, the bakery is a staple of Brazilian daily life: it’s where we can have lunch, dinner, late-night snacks and even buy a couple of magazines and some toiletries.
In fact, the first thing I do when I land in Brazil is head to the bakery for a proper breakfast.
While the country already successfully exports planes and flip flops to the rest of the world, who's to say that bakeries couldn’t be another great cultural export to come from Brazil?
But please, no half-hearted measures: I would expect a full Brazilian invasion. Our presidential candidates in this year’s elections should take a note.
The bread would be fresh and made at all times of the day. And, most importantly, the bakery should be open 24 hours a day, like in my hometown São Paulo where you can eat your fresh bread after a night out at 03.00, or at 05.30 if you wake up early and you’re feeling a bit peckish.
There would be seats. In fact, there would be table service. Living in London it is so hard to find a pleasant place where you can sit down and eat late at night. At 23.00 there are only a few places open – and the ones that are open are not very inviting.
So, to any Brazilian entrepreneurs reading this column, I urge you to do something about this. There’s a demand for it. Who could resist pão na chapa? It is basically bread and butter pressed in the oven – not as exotic as it sounds – but simplicity is key here. All accompanied by a wide variety of fresh juices.
Many say Brazil is an irrelevant political force in the global stage. Just wait until you try our bread...
Fernando Augusto Pacheco is a researcher for Monocle 24.