Monday 11 November 2013

Foodie review - Brazil

Brazil re-cap: 2013 Autumn Travels

Using my faithful Lonely Planet, I had a good ‘To Eat’ list for Brazil, which I managed to tick off in my two weeks travelling:

·         Açaí – the blended Amazon palm berries, usually mixed with banana, granola, honey and guarana syrup
·         Moqueca – seafood stew from Bahia, often served with rice and farofa (a toasted manioc or corn flour)
·         Picanha – Brazil’s most succulent meat cut, roughly translated as ‘rump cap’
·         Pão de queijo – ubiquitos cheese bread made with manioc (cassava) flour, milk, eggs and cheese
 ·         Cachaça – rumlike liquor made from fermented sugarcane juice
 ·         Caipirinha – the national cocktail: cachaca, lime and sugar

In addition, I have to add some of my own...

·         Pé-de-moleque – a completely naughty snack treat made with peanuts and sugar caramel
·         Salgadinhos (small savoury snacks / pastries) – there are so many different types, including pastéis and empandas.
·         Bolos (cakes) – again, a dizzying array of choice, all generously laden with cream or chocolate.
·         Dulce de leche (or doce de leite) – the infamous South American caramel which is served as a spread or sweet, particularly delicious when sandwiching cornstarch cookies “biscoitos de maizena”
·         Brigadeiros – chocolate fudge balls
·         Juice bars – totally worth a stop to grab a refreshing fruity blend, especially for ‘lanche-da-manhã’ aka elevenses / morning snack
·         Street stalls – you can pick up a lot from these carts, including sweetcorn and tapioca (typically cooked as ‘cuscuz branco’ with coconut milk and sugar to make a rice pudding)
  ·         Comida à quilo restaurants (“food by kilo value”) – this style of buffet eating means can you pick from often a huge selection of salads, sides, meats, fish and desserts so everyone can have exactly what they feel like
·         Churrascarias – all you can eat meat BBQ!

I was surprised by the amount of rice in the Brazilian diet, though they also had a lot of pasta, polenta and pizza.

Finally some ‘must see’ travelling highlights were ticked off the list, including:

·         Falling under the seductive spell of Rio de Janiero amid the whirlwind of wild samba clubs, sizzling sands, soaring peaks and sexy sunsets
·         Feeling the breath of Mother Nature’s ferocious roar at the jaw-dropping waterfalls of Foz do Iguaçu
·         Meander along cobblestones in cinematic colonial towns like Paraty

Though so much more remains to day I’ll have to come back to see the North – particularly places like Salvador, the Pantanal and Fernando de Noronha.

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