Monday, January 11, 2010

The Right Bite

I know that I have yet to show pictures of Santarem nor share thoughts and pictures about the Amizade project itself, and today I had such intentions, except I got hungry.
I have now been here for a week and have developed some early opinions about Brazilian food.
Although in the first picture, it may be hard to recognize what is lying under the garnish on the plate. It is a special freshly-caught fish called a tucanare. This was served at a table directly on the beach during a weekend outing. The second picture of what appears to be a rolled-up pancake is a popular breakfast treat called tapioquinha. It was served by a chef, like those who make omelettes at our buffets, hot out of a frying pan onto your plate as if it were manna. Actually the filling is made of tapioca and the "covering" of rolled farinha, both products of the manioc root. The last photo of prawns and rice taken at an ocean front restaurant along the Copacabana was tasty primarily because I treated myself in honor of my arrival on my first night in Brazil.
Even though I have neither found Brazialian food particularly innovative nor interestingly seasoned, I must admit, I see families experiencing a greater joy in eating than I might see at a typical Outback Steakhouse in America. Mealtime is later, longer, and with more laughter. The food, for the most part, is sweeter or saltier or more fried than my cardiologist would certainly endorse, but mysteriously enough, I see very few obese people. Last night at the pizza parlour, my host and her sister squeezed ketchup and mayonaisse all over their pizza. This was the craze from what I could see. Although I have been offered more Coke and Orange Fanta than in a lifetime, there is a passion for fruit juices here, a resource for quick energy, which I find totally delectable. On every block in business districts,and along the beach, it seems there are booths peddling a variety of freshed squeezed juices including orange, mango, coconut and especially acerola.
I have not gotten homesick for good ol' American cooking and find eating out when I am home often problematic. I'll take Brazilian food over cheeseburgers and chicken fried steak, but all this talk of food hasn't abated my hunger. Gosh, I could stand a Washington Delicious apple to tide me over!


  1. It's fun seeing the food. It looks pretty darn good to me, especially with lime on it. I think I'd put lime on everything. Well, maybe not the tapioca thing, which I'm sure I'd enjoy!

  2. Very nice food post and keen commentary. I like quinhua and I like tapioca. Here I am pitching you an apple. Crunch!!

    From now on I will only post ugly pictures. LOL MB

  3. Mmmmm...haha...very nice! I think there are much to distract your interest for the time being;) It looks yummie and you are one lucky man!

  4. Great post! I'm so proud of myself...I knew there was a fish under all those garnishes in the top picture. You can see the head peeking out, and a bit of the fish's underside towards the front. You have to look carefully to see it, though. That's absolutely baroque...I don't think I've ever seen a fish with such a variety of garnishes piled on top of it. But the dish that really intrigues me is that plate of prawns and rice with lime wedges. You think you can get a recipe for that?

  5. Oh, I love experiencing this whole wonderful adventure with you through your posts!! The food looks fabulous! Well, maybe I just had too light of a dinner tonight! But whatever, I look forward to your posts, Lee! And it does seem like such a marvelous adventure and I love sharing it -- even from a distance! ENJOY!


  6. I think it takes a while to develop a taste for foods different than what one usually eats. It also appears you are well on your way to developing that taste. I'd be interested in your feelings about Brazilian food at the end of your adventure.

    Mayonnaise and ketchup sounds like an American aberration, though! Yikes!

    Have fun, my friend!

  7. Well, thanks Lee, now I'm hungry. Well, until you mentioned the pizza add-ons. When I spent time in the south, I thought I had some challenges acclimating to the food, but your adventures should prove a bit more challenging.

  8. Bonjour Lee!
    It's almost 9:00 pm and I just got home from the dentist's, can you imagine what your post is doing to me? Especially as I love fish, prawns and tapioca! Enjoy it!

  9. It is evening here in Palm Springs and I've been contemplating a delectable meal after a hike in the Anza Borrega desert. How advantageous to see your pictures to whet my appetite even more. Now to find a Brazilian restaurant...