Saturday, March 12, 2011

Airline Treat - Mousse de Maracujá Caramels

Airline travel has become increasingly standardized around the world in the past decades, and the formerly-glamorous world of air travel has almost totally disappeared in most places, including Brazil where airline travel has grown tremendously in recent years. On Thursday night I returned to Fortaleza from Rio de Janeiro on a flight by TAM, Brazil's largest airline and was reminded of gentler times and the small touches of service that one seldom finds these days on board a plane when the stewardess passed down the aisle handing out candies prior to take-off.

When I first began flying, the practice of handing out candies or chewing gum prior to departure was nearly universal - ostensibly to help passengers adjust to changes in cabin air pressure. Outside of Brazil, I can't remember the last time I've seen it though.

On TAM, on the other hand, I can't remember a flight when the candies weren't offered, so I assume that it's part of the standard service practice on board. I don't always take the candies, but on this last flight I did, and I'm very happy that I did so. TAM seems to have a new flavor caramel now, and the flavor is my favorite - passion fruit (maracujá). I'm only sorry that I didn't grab a handful when they were passed out.

It turns out that maracujá is a new flavor for the candy's manufacturer, Arcor, too. According to the industry website Gastrononia & Negócios, this newest flavor was only recently launched and is the latest addition to Arcor's line of toffees and caramels.

I think that TAM was very clever in switching their candies to this flavor, which is very closely identified with Brazil. Now if they'd only start serving caipirinhas!

7 comments:

  1. I have just returned from Brazil and flew TAM. I love the flavor of this fruit. It is also very good in a vodka made by Schmirnoff. But what I need to know is can one get this candy in the states? I went many stores in Palmas brazil and could not find on the selves there!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're the first person I've heard of who's been to Palmas. Interesting!

    I don't know exactly if or where you can buy these candies in the USA, but the company that makes them, Arcor, does have offices in Coral Gables, FL. Here's a link to their contact info:
    http://www.manta.com/c/mm4jwc7/arcor-usa
    Maybe you could contact them to find out if you can buy ths candy in the USA.
    JAMES

    PS. Thanks for the tip about the maracujá-flavored vodka. I've seen it in the stores here in Brazil and will try it out.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love maracuja too although I have never ever tasted this candy. I am from Recife. There are all kind of desserts made with this fruit. Have you ever tried Torta de Mousse de Chocolate com Maracuja(Chocolate and passion fruit mousse tart)? Recently I made a queijadinha that has concentrated passion fruit juice. Yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  4. can this passion fruit be concentrated to a state that it can be rolled into small balls and then hand rolled in chocolate? while in belem,pa, brazil there was a most delicious candy with a rather thick but not gummy yellow fruit of some kind hand rolled in chocolate balls. small shops would give these candies out in place of change. can anyone tell me what these are and how to make them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi - I can't answer your question definitively one way or another, but I think what you ate was probably not maracacuja, as that fruit is very juicy with almost no pulp, so I don't think that even if you concentrated it you could roll it into little balls. An interesting mystery, though!
      JAMES

      Delete
  5. Funny. I just got one of these candies on TAM airlines from Buenos Aires to Iguazu and I really loved the taste. So much so, I started Googling and found this blog post. Now I'm trying to find somewhere in the states to order them from, too.

    Russ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment. They ARE amazingly good, aren't they? Good luck for your search. Do start with Arcor, as mentioned in a previous comment above.
      JAMES

      Delete