We have enjoyed lots of cuisine throughout our tour of Brazil. From the southern most point of Brazil to Salvador. Although the food was delish in Rio de Janeiro we have enjoyed a lot of different flavors in the state of Bahía . Touring beach towns and drinking as many Coco Gelados and Caiparhinas all the way to Salvador.
From Sucos (fresh fruit juices) to the infamous Açai berry, there is an amazing variety of foods that we have never heard of nor have ever crossed over our palettes. Some of the foods and beverages that we definitely are writing home about include:
Açaí- this new celebrity in the power food realm, an Amazonian berry, that is so intensely dark purple that it stains your teeth much like a fine Bordeaux. Delicious and full of energy, it is usually blended and served with bananas, granola, and honey. Supposedly the hunters of the Amazon will chew the berries of Açaí with Farrofa and this will keep them full all day and give them lasting energy.
Moquecas- Sizzling on a ceramic plate, this fish or shrimp stew is made with Dende Oil (a red oil made from a particular palm tree), coconut milk, Pirao ( a mix of fish sauce and Farrofa), and sometimes accompanied with black-eyed peas or beans and rice. An amazing Bahían dish.
Feijoada- A hearty dish, do not try to Samba after this meal. A beef , sausage, bean stew served with Couvé ( shredded greens cooked with garlic), oranges, and Farrofa (ground Yuca root). Absolutely fantastic and fiilling. Showcases some of the main staples in Brazil. One of the best Feijoada’s in Rio is located at the Casa Rosa, Centro Cultural, on Sunday nights. A great place to eat traditional cuisine and listen to live Samba music. This fantastic building was at one time an infamous brothel.
Sucos- a variety of fruit juices, one of the more interesting varieties include: Cajú , Cacao, Graviola , fruits that definitely are not grown in California and for that matter in Napa. Make sure to ask for sem azucar or it will be very sweet. Usually they blend the pulp with water, the fruit flavors are still strong however, and the drink is very hydrating.
Acarajé – a food particular to the state of Bahía, a deep fried bun made of flour from ground Black-eye Peas, that is fried in the infamous Dende oil and stuffed with shrimp, spicy chile peppers, Okra , and another ingredient that is difficult to translate. A very Creole-esque snack. Lovely and beautiful women make them from scratch infront of your eyes.
Lastly, one of our favorite beverages asides from the Fruit Caiparhinias, are the Coco Gelados, the chilled young coconuts that they machete a hole in and put a straw in and let you enjoy it at the beach or through a stroll in town. Refreshing and rehydrating. However, be careful too much young coconut can have a laxative effect.
We are now off to Argentina, going to live like the Gauchos along the Pampas through our exploration of Buenos Aires and Mendoza. Can´t be from the Napa Valley and not go wine tasting in Argentina.