I received this book for Christmas, and it's been an absolutely wonderful journey through a culinary land I knew nothing about. My girlfriend, who is from Sao Paolo, was perhaps being a bit selfish with this present - she's been more than happy to try my creations!
First, the background. The pictures in this book are exquisite, and do a great job of showing both the beauty and diversity that is Brazil. They show the difference features of the land, from the beaches to the mountains, the Amazon and the city. These pictures show daily life in markets, at coconut stands, and in the kitchen; they also show the cultural elements, like Carneval, that have made Brazil famous. Each picture is accompanied by explanation and anecdotes with add color and flavor to the story. The author also includes paragraphs on history, both of the land and of its kitchen.
Most importantly, the recipes. I have made over a dozen of the recipes in this book. You may think, "wow, that doesn't seem like many...", but I must stress this - we keep making the same ones over and over again, they are simply that delicious. According to my Brazilian girlfriend, the Feijoada I've made is the best she's ever had. Just last night I made the Moqueca de peixe, and it was heaven on a plate. Coming from the American South, I was a bit hesitant to try couvee, or Brazilian collard greens. I must say, this book's preparation beats the hell out of almost anything this Southern boy has ever had before.
This book is an expertly guided journey through a country rich with history and flavor. Do yourself a favor and buy it, experiment with the different recipes, and enjoy the new foods you'll be amazed you ever lived without.