Coxinha e cafe

Afternoon snack time between meetings.

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Getting to Know Brazil through Food: Sushi

Sao Paulo has the largest population of Japanese people outside of Japan and  Japanese food and culture can be seen through-out Brazil. Because of this, many people thought I was local… until I spoke of course.

One thing I love about Brazil is the rodezio (all you can eat).  Normally people think of this with the all you can eat churrascarias, but the rodezios at Japanese restaurants are my favorites.  You pay a set price and can choose from typical appetizers like edamamme, gyoza, spring rolls, and shitake mushrooms.  You can choose from a variety of hot dishes like chicken katsu or grilled salmon.  And of course you have a selection of sushi, rolls, and temaki (hand rolls).

The picture below shows some photos from favorite neighborhood Japanes resturant, Kyomix (located on Rua Consolacao), another good place near Parque Ibirapuera, called Tokio Sao Paulo, and an upscale kappa style restaurant, called Kinoshita.

Temaki from Tokio Sao Paulo

Mixed Sushi and Sashimi platter from Kyomix. My favorite

Kinoshita – part of the 9 course sampler

Getting to Know Brazil Through Food: Picadinho

I first arrived to Brazil in April. My little dog, Sammy came with me and I would take all my meals with her outside.  Therefore, I had to go to a place that had outdoor seating and allowed dogs.  One of the first places I came across near my apartment, was Taveras.   In my broken Portuguese, my first week, I asked for something “typical” of Brazil and the server, suggested Picadinho.  I later found out, this is not typical of Brazil, but actually of the Sao Paulo State.  It is normally beef stew, served with rice, farofa (manioc flour), egg (sometimes farofa de ovo), banana (sometimes fried) and a vegetable or pasteis.

Here are some of my favorite variations:

This is my favorite version from Taveras: Served with raw banana, farofa de ovo, and okra

Picadinho from Quioscao: fried banana, fried egg, pasteis

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Getting to know Brazil through Dessert

One of the best things about Brazil is the FOOD… Including desserts or “sobremeses” literally, “on the table.”. This is a tasting platter of traditional pudim (similar to flan), brigadeiro, and quindim from chic Bar da Dona Onça located in the Copam building.

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The next picture has their signature churros… Fried dough with cinnamon and sugar and a side of doce de leite.

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Foz de Iguassu (Iguassu Falls)

My boyfriend and I vacationed here in July. At this time, Brazil had received so much rainfall, that the falls were 7 times stronger / more water than normal. We stayed at the Orient Express’s Hotel Das Cataratas which is located on the Brazilian side directly in the park. Beautiful hotel.

This is the view from the Brazilian side:

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Beaches of Rio de Janiero

ImageOne of the most magical places on earth, Rio de Janiero, Brazil

Sampa Way of Life

So, I’ve taken my US coast to coast antics and brought them to Sao Paulo, Brazil.  I’ve been living here about half time the past 6 months.  This doesn’t make me an expert on Brazilian culture by any means, but I now feel qualified to speak a bit about the food, the people, and Brazilian life.  One of the things I love here is just how HAPPY people are here.  While Brazil is the 6th largest economy in the world right now based on GDP and expected to be the 5th by the end of 2012, the average Brazilian citizen is not wealthy by any means.  There have been many studies that indicate a country’s wealth directly correlates to how happy the people are, but Brazil is one of the true great outliers.

Perhaps the people are so happy here because they get so much sunshine?  The seasons are opposite of the US, but winter here is extremely mild.  When the weather here was 60 degrees F, I ran around in shorts and a t-shirt blissfully.  The Brazilians were bundled up in down jackets and scarves.  Humorous.  I to them and them to me. Read more of this post

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