Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just say nao!

Okay, so you obviously can’t come to Brazil and not go to a churrascaria. The thing is though, I hate them.  I hate Fogo de Chao and anything like it.  I don’t like the pressure I feel to eat, eat and eat so much meat.  I love meat, but it’s just too much. 

BUT…see first sentence.

We went.  I ate…


I thought the meat wasn’t so great anyway so I kept my card red side up most of the night…


I was almost happy the food wasn’t that great, although the sushi on the salad bar was delicious.  Again, I just don’t like the pressure or the experience of these places. 

I think their lollipops say it all…


Monday, August 22, 2011

sugar water





Sugar cane juice freshly crushed on the street.  Not much to say except it was really, really sweet.

Thursday, August 18, 2011



I mentioned before that feijoada is the national dish of Brazil.  I finally had it in Salvador, the birthplace of feijoada, and plan on having it every Saturday I have left in Brazil!  It’s supposed to be a Saturday dish and many places only have it on the menu those days.

Feijoada was created by the African slaves with the leftover parts of pork and beef being thrown out by their owners.    Being from the South, this style of cooking resonates deeply with me.  From our shared ugly pasts, both nations have benefitted from the talent of these incredibly strong African women making the very best of the very worst.  To have something good when everything else in their lives was so very bad, something to nourish their bodies and their soul- that is why this kind of food brings so much comfort when you eat it.  It was created to do just that. This is the kind of food I love to eat. 

Basically, and hey this kind of food is basic, it is a slow cooked black bean stew.  I found this recipe from Jaime Oliver who apparently got it from his dishwasher’s mother who is Brazilian.  I think it would be hard to mess this up.  I know everyone back home is chomping at the bit for fall weather and I think this would be an awesome dish to ring it in when it finally arrives.  I totally plan on making it for football game parties.

The only discrepancy I noticed with his recipe  is that it should be served with farofa as well.  Farofa is toasted manioc flour and is awesome sprinkled over beans and rice.  I’m fairly certain you can find it in the Latin America section of your grocery or at the very least the farmer’s market.

Proof of how much we all loved it…


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

who knew?

The captain of our boat in Paraty took us to a little island beach shack called Bamboo Hut for lunch one day.  We went with the super flakey and incredibly fresh fish bites…


and a  yummy heart of palm salad…


They really love their heart of palm here and I love them for it.

We also ordered fried shrimp.  They were pretty small and fried with the shells on. Being the American girls we are, we began removing legs and peeling the shrimp.  We were taking off all the batter and left with a measly amount of shrimp.  No way this is how to eat these pretty little things…


We finally gave it a go and popped the whole thing in our mouths.  Totally yummy. Technically we were popping off their heads, but I eventually gave up on that and ate them, tiny little shrimp brains and all. 

I did a little googling and couldn’t find any health risks or benefits from eating the shells, but we all survived and enjoyed a much less labor-intensive lunch to boot!

Turns out I let go of two of my food taboos, eating shrimp shells and heads and eating from a kitchen without an actual floor…


Good things can come of letting go.

Friday, August 12, 2011

million dollar idea

I’m going to start selling these on Ponce when I get back…


Keep your 40 cold while you hang out on the corner!  They’d actually  be great for tailgating.  Greenies, don’t despair- 40’s are more environmentally friendly with less packaging. Dainty girls- no worries, I’ll offer ones for 22’s as well!  I’m going to be rich!!!

Seriously though, I do love the way they keep your beers cold at the table here.  If you don’t get one of these snazzy (sexist) coolers, they’ll at least keep your beer in a bucket of ice.  There is nothing I hate more than a hot beer.  Okay, maybe there are things I hate worse…world poverty, wars,  famine, popcorn stuck in my teeth, greedy politicians, scratchy laundry tags left in my clothes, selfish people…you get the point, but hot beer is right on up there.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Our friend from Sao Paulo told us about a saying in Brazil, “If the chopp is Bohemia, then the place is good”. Chopp (shop-p) is their term for beer on tap.  They have a solid light beer and I really like their dark which is a bit sweet.

Jules is a big fan of the Bohemia pilsner because a giant bottle costs about $5 USD…


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

street desserts

We had decided to hit up one of these carts before we had even found a place we wanted to have dinner…


Sadly for the Wife, almost everything had coconut and the one chocolate cake they did have wasn’t very good.  We got three different ones to try…



I think mine was the best and I’ve been scouring the internet for the recipe.  Not an easy task when you don’t know the name of the cake and don’t speak Portuguese. 

If anyone wants to try this recipe out and let me know if it came out like a very dense, sweet cake that looked like this…


I’d owe you one.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

sao paulo

One of our friends from Sao Paulo is married to a chef. I can't tell you how much I wish we spoke the same language because I've always been dying to talk to her about food. We were in India together for God's sake! Sadly, we can only communicate with a mixture of broken Spanish and charades. I wish you could have seen the waiters in Costa Rica that use to laugh at us having breakfast together.

Although her husband still works with my wife, they have a 1 year old so they've settled in Sao Paulo. They took us to one of their neighborhood restaurants on Sunday.

As I've been eating waaaay too much beef here in Brazil, I went with the herb crusted baked chicken with mushroom risotto...

I always find baking chicken difficult. It always turns out so dry when you remove teh skin. I'm thinking they seared the crust on before baking. I could have asked the chef but that's a difficult one in charades.

Jules went with the pasta with prawns...

Very yummy.

As we were dining with So, who is a big believer in ending a meal with something sweet (hey, you don't have to twist my arm), we had dessert...

Oh my gosh, molten chocolate cakes are seriously my favorite dessert and this one was perfection.

Obviously, I was too busy eating to take a picture once we dug in. I have only had a chance to make these once and although I had a couple too many glasses of wine and overcooked it a bit (hey- it was New Year's Eve)the taste was spot on. Recipe I used is here.