Article written by Michele Sergio and published in Il Roma on October 14, 2018
In the fifties the beating heart of the city Naples is the Umberto I Gallery.
This spectacular Art Nouveau building, built in the late nineteenth century by architect Antonio Curri, is a meeting place for fans of Napoli football, artists and singers looking for contracts and writings, as well as the diverse world of so-called “Sanzari” , intermediaries capable (sometimes) of providing employment to the people who are looking for them.
The Neapolitans want to return to normal after the hard years of the Second World War and bars and cafés become the meeting place par excellence, in particular, as mentioned, in the Gallery. In the difficult post-war years, many people, many things that are taken for granted today, such as a breakfast (cappuccino and croissant), were a luxury. It is here that many patrons begin to request something more substantial than traditional coffee, adding milk and cocoa. A sort of mini-cappuccino much cheaper than the real cappuccino. The Brasilian Coffee is born from the name of the bar of the same name, already famous for having raised the pacifier to a symbolic icon of our football team.
This coffee can also easily be made at home.
The ingredients are as follows: coffee, sugar cream, milk foam and cocoa.
We can make coffee either using the classic Moka, or using the homemade coffee machine with pods or capsules.
The cream of sugar is made by pouring into a small jug 10 parts of sugar and 5 parts of coffee (to be clear for every teaspoon of coffee you have to add 2 teaspoons of sugar); the two ingredients must be mixed vigorously to obtain a creamy brown color. The cream of coffee is omnipresent ingredient in Neapolitan gourmet coffee and, moreover, it is one of the many secrets to make a good Neapolitan coffee.
The milk foam (not to be confused with milk cream) can be made with various techniques. The best is the simplest is using an electric whisk that will be immersed in the pot just happy with the milk (obviously hot) for a few seconds. The result is quick and surprising (the electric whisk is also useful for preparing a good cappuccino with lots of foam).
Finally, cocoa can be found in any store or supermarket.
Once the four ingredients are ready we can proceed to “assembly”. Using a glass beaker, first pour the cream of sugar, then a cup of coffee (preferably the creamy coffee made with Neapolitan blend) and the milk froth. Finally decorate everything with a sprinkling of cocoa.
After more than half a century, the Brazilian Coffee has become a classic of the Neapolitan coffee shop, always in vogue and always requested. This was followed by the many variations proposed by the always imaginative Neapolitan bartender (and not): from Espressino to Caffè Marocchino, from Caffè Strapazzato to Caffè Gegè, just to name a few. But this is another topic. So next and then to everora between the smoke and the taste of a good Neapolitan espresso.