MERIDIAN, Idaho — Attention all chocolate lovers: have you ever heard of brigadeiro?
Brigadeiro is a handcrafted chocolate bonbon, very similar to a chocolate truffle. In Brazil, they are considered a "sweet staple."
"It's the number one treat served in Brazil," says brigadeiro maker and Nezzy's Brazilian Sweets owner Inez "Nezzy" Meehan. "If you go to a party, it doesn't matter if it's for a corporate event to a wedding to a baptism or a birthday, you must have it. If you don't, there's not a party. It's not fun. People will turn back and go home!"
Nezzy has been serving up brigadeiros from her Meridian home for the last five years. She says brigadeiro recipes vary by family, tradition, and preference.
"Everyone has their own twist. We do learn at a very young age with mom and grandma, pass on generations to generations, but my brigadeiro is a gourmet version," she explains.
Nezzy uses fresh and premium ingredients, like Belgian chocolate, to make her creations a little creamier with a melt-in-your-mouth finish. That small touch is making a difference, as she's sold thousands of handcrafted chocolates over the last few years.
"It's a labor of love sent to me if I'm going to put that kind of work into it, and I'm a perfectionist. It needs to be the way I like it," says Nezzy, who also does her own prep work and packaging.
She tells Idaho News 6 she's grateful for all the support she's received along the way.
"I was so surprised with how this community embraced my little business. To this day I get emotional. It's incredible."