Gratitude Friday: A Taste of Brazil

While spending a week in Brazil, we certainly got spoiled by the food.  We aren’t used to tasty food while living in Geneva, so thus, this week’s gratitude Friday post!

Upon arrival in Rio, we took advantage of the ocean and dove into fish dishes.   We enjoyed fish stew, moqueca. We also had delicious fresh sushi.  We can’t afford sushi in Geneva (like 25 CHF a roll!) so we loved the all you could eat option at the restaurant we dined in.

Moqueca, image courtesy of simplyrecipes.com

We weren’t sure what the plans were in Goiania so we also took advantage of trying a traditional  churrascaria barbecue, Tourão grill, near Barra da Tijuca in Rio.  We have both experienced this type of service in the US, so knew to expect to eat a lot.  That was an understatement…..here in Rio, the meat flowed even more freely.  We loved the variety, especially since we aren’t used to having much meat in Switzerland because of the cost.   In Rio, it was 37 $R per person for the service, which was less than $40 USD for the both of us!

Typical Brazilian steakhouse concept. Image courtesy of open table.com

The best of the foods came in Goiania when we met up with D’s family.   We were greeted by fresh fruit, juices, breads, cheeses, and focaccia at Mama I’s apartment.  She even had sweet gelato-pudding for dessert.

Cheeses & breads at Mama I’s

Foccacia that was made fresh by Mama I

After breakfast, Gabe & I, along with Aunt French Cougar and Aunt Brazilian Bombshell, went to the Awesome Family’s house to stay.   D calls Mrs. & Mr. Awesome her aunt and uncle, but really they are just very close family friends that go back 35-40 years.

We didn’t know we were going to paradise.  They had a lovely home.  And the food at this house was off the charts.   In minutes, she had prepared us three pizzas to snack on.

Mrs. Awesome’s delicious pizza.

That night we went out with the group.   D ordered a selection of appetizers.  I adored the fried yucca.  Also, they ordered piranha for the group.  One order fed 10 of us as it came out with two types of bean sides, rice, and sauce.   Also, The Awesomes ordered chicken stuffed with cheese.  The Swiss would approve of this Brazilian dish!  Delicious!

Yucca appetizer

The delicious meat & sides

Chicken stuffed with cheese

The wedding day I also got a little treat of appetizer items that Mama I picked up for the girls at the salon to tide us over to dinner.

Little Brazilian bites

Wedding fare was a little fancier….a beef and rice with some delicious salads.   Brazilian weddings go later and this feast was served after midnight.  Boy, was I ready to devour it!!  Actually, this is Gabe’s plate.  I started eating mine too fast and forgot to take a photo.

Gabe’s wedding plate

We also got to experience country cooking when we went on our waterfall excursion near Pirenópolis.  The place where we started our hike offered a home cooked food buffet, on cauldrons over fire.  It was so awesome!

The set up. Open fire blazing under all the cauldrons.

The cauldron selection – beans & rice, zucchini, corn, pumpkin, ribs. Also eggs and steak were grilled on demand.

My plate. Mmmm.

The evening in Pirenópolis, we let Daugther and Son Awesome order as we were at a loss for the Portuguese menu and the foreign Brazilian dishes.  And it is so much easier in a big group to do family style.   Locals know what is best, and everyone gets to try something new.  I couldn’t recommend this approach more for groups in a foreign country.

We were delighted with a seafood risotto, a steak plate w/ sides, beans & rice.   The aunts ordered some white spaghetti to appease some cravings from back home.

The next day’s breakfast was a beautiful spread of Brazilian pastries & rolls with fresh juice and coffee.  By the way, their coffee comes sweet.

Coffee and juices

Speaking of juices, we tasted our fair share.  Passionfruit, Cajou, and my favorite – mango.   We were even able to see the cajou growing during our hike to the waterfalls:

Cajou fruit

Before leaving for the airport, we stopped at the family’s rental house where the group had been BBQ’ing and cooking all day.   We got to taste the delicacies out of the pots:

Yummy Brazilian soup: corn based with pork meat in it

Chicken & rice. Mmmm.

As you can see, we had quite an array.  Never have we experienced such a wide variety of foods in our travels.    A big thanks to Mama I, the Awesome Family, and to D, the bride, for giving us such a taste of their amazing country.

Bon weekend, everyone!

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