I've heard of Paçoca "candy" before from friends who have been to Brazil. They are traditional Brazilian treats made very simply of ground peanuts, cassava or corn flavour, sugar and salt. I spotted this tub of Paçoquinha, produced by Santa Cruz Alimentos, in the Brazilian section of a grocery store in central London.
The plastic tub was filled with individually and brightly wrapped Paçoquinhas, in the traditional cork shape. The texture is extremely crumbly to the point that these seem to be held together purely by goodwill. Apparently the word Paçoca comes from a native dialect meaning "to crumble". My advice is - handle with care and eat them straight from the wrapper!
The taste is absolutely superb - they're like little crumbly bites of slightly salty peanut butter. So simple but so delicious! If you're a fan of peanut butter then you need to track these down - mine all disappeared within one weekend! There are lots of recipes for making these online and they seem fairly easy to do. One of the recommendations is to eat them crumbled over a banana - I definitely need to make some Paçocas of my own just to try that!
Grocery Gems Verdict: Santa Cruz Paçoquinhas
RATING: 10 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Absolutely.
Vegetarian: Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Purchased: A grocery shop near Oxford Street, London.
Price: £4.99p for the 324g tub (I paid tourist prices but it was worth it!).