Since it began producing and selling margarine in Portugal in 1926 under the brand Vaqueiro, the Anglo-Dutch multinational FIMA-Lever (later known as Unilever) has had an undeniable influence on the creation of the so-called Fabrico Próprio confectionery. This influence was particularly evident in the creation of the Vaqueiro Culinary Institute, which promoted courses, campaigns and publications that brought Vaqueiro closer to consumers. In parallel, Vaqueiro conducted training actions with pastry professionals all over the country, for which it developed a range of specific products focused on semi-industrial production of sweet and savory products. These initiatives created a new gastronomic culture, shared by consumers all over the country, centred on margarine – itself an industrial ingredient. By generalizing the use of puff pastry (among others), Vaqueiro united Viennese and French pastry with Portuguese confectionery of conventual tradition, as well as with regional ingredients and seasonal rituals, homogenising consumption and also a national taste for sweet and salty products, produced in small scale and in distributed form, throughout the country.
Texto: Frederico Duarte