Monday, 15 September 2014

Adventures In Food: Brasil

{plato vegetariano}
Ah Brasil. What amazing food memories! After travelling through Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, Brasil was fresh food heaven! One amazing thing that we need to bring to Australia is pay-per-kilo buffet restaurants. They had such good options (including cooked to order steaks and meat for carnivores, and salads, veggies and some veggo hot dishes for the rest of us) and as a person who can't eat enough of a fixed price buffet to make it good value, I didn't have to worry about the cost.
The meal pictured above was my absolute favourite in Brasil. It reminded me a lot of casados in Costa Rica. I wasn't really sure what I would get when I ordered the 'vegetarian plate' but it turned out to be the perfect mix of salad, beans and rice, potatoes, sauteed couve (kale with garlic) and a fried egg, all topped with a mealy crumb. Those beans though. I have NO IDEA how they get such ordinary looking beans to taste so fabulous!
{pastel de choclo y catupiry}
Pastels are big flat pastry envelopes deep fried with (insert your filling here). Catupiry is a fresh white Brazilian cheese which I ate at every available opportunity and choclo is sweet corn.
Brasil's national drink, made with the local liquor cachaca, sugar and lime juice. They are delicious but make for a bad hangover. Swap vodka for cachaca and you have a caprioska. Sit on Copacobana or Ipanema beach and within two minutes someone will offer to sell you one of these.
{pao de queiso}
This bread is a mystery to me because when you bite into it, the texture is like chewy bread, and the flavour is unmistakeably cheesy. Maybe just a lot of cheese in a bread dough? A breakfast favourite.
Xis (pronounced sheese) is a Brasilian burger. They are big and flat and melty. Don't expect much salad.
Bauru or bauruzinha (little bauru) is like a Brasilian sausage roll. Luckily there are roast veggie options available!
I would have put the following sweets in my 'South American Sweets' post but they are too unmistakeable Brasilian!
{açai bowl}
This was my first ever açai bowl and I haven't looked back! Açai is a bit of a trendy superfood but honestly this is so delicious it deserves the accolades. It is a berry, blended with ice and probably tons of sugar. Top with granola, honey and fruit and enjoy!
{bomba de morango}
The lady selling these on the beach changed my life. Strawberry (sweet and moist), covered in a heavenly chilled condensed milk/white chocolate concoction, finally coated in a thick, crunchy egg of chocolate. I walked around town trying to find her again every day we were there with no luck. I finally had another one on Ilha Grande- which had almost a gooey brownie batter filling instead of condensed milk! Everyone must have one of these once in their lives.
Brigadeiros are basically little truffles. Usually we had chocolate ones with jimmies (as on the left, our airbnb host Fernanda left us a care pack!) but we were lucky enough to have these brilliant milky caramel ones too. Also pictured are mini pastel de nata (Portuguese egg tarts), borrowed from the colonising Portuguese.

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