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!