Thursday, April 30, 2009
Brazilian foods I ate for the first time included acai with granola, banana and honey at a beach shack in Paraty at a table with sand under our feet. Manioc. Farofa. More manioc. Juices of apple and ginger with water weakening it. Lemon verbana and mint. Pineapple and mint. Breakfast foods like a roll that looks like a Parker House meets croissant and is soft as white bread and has something sweet in it like Filipino butter rolls I used to eat in LA. Guava jelly with cheese and toast. Moqueca with soft shell crab. Moqueca with white fish. Moqueca with shrimp. Moqueca with another white fish. Salmon in passion fruit sauce, crunchy, sour and sweet. Guacamole with a tiny searing hot pepper on top. Caiprihinas with incredible amounts of kiwi or pineapple or watermelon or passion fruit or all mixed together. Banana juice with wheat germ. Thick, sweet mango juice. Pao de Queijo. Pastillas de Queijo. Coconut cakes. Coconut soaking in sweet cane syrup. Coconut in cane syrup flattened into a cake. Guava candies. Banana candies covered in chocolate.
Much of our meals out in Brazil included meat, in fact, nearly all did. I pushed the others to go to churrasco and what a BBQ it was. The others sat waiting for bloody chunks of seared meat to drip on their plates and I went straight to the salad bar of feta and Israeli cous cous, macaroni salad, sushi and French pastries (and lots and lots of veggies).
I filled my plate up and returned to see plantains, olives, butter and other spreads for our bread and more pao de queijo, flipping my coaster over to nao obrigado (and still got some jus on my plate).
Rio made me feel more of a vegetarian than France did, and the others around me were in love with the meat, saying it was the best they ever tasted.
I did like the plantains.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
We arrived in Sao Paolo early morning, traffic creeping around us everywhere as we snaked through slow-moving mid-day streets. We had decided to stay at Fasano, in the Jardins, thinking that the chicest part of SP would decrease our chance of being robbed.
Sao Paolo had several food adventures. We started with Arabia, where we noticed that Brazilians wear jeans and button downs, men patting each other on the back as we dug into labne, fatoosh, and several kinds of breads. A woman next to us ordered watermelon juice and we drank cold mint tea. Dessert was a platter that allowed us to order by baklava and halva before we closed the meal with Arabic coffee.
While we ate our dinner at Fasano, which was incredibly expensive and not that good, we were much happier with our quiet morning at the Mercado Municipal (pictured), where at a chain food stand we had our first pao de queijo and cafe com leites as people around us shopped for Good Friday dinners of kilos of salt cod and olives and fruits.
Before we left for Rio, we visited a cafe across the street from the other swankiest hotel in SP - Emiliano - and had baguettes with cheese, fried eggs, and our first sucos (juices) - Liam's was lemon verbena and mint and pineapple, mine was apple and ginger and cayenne with not nearly enough of the latter two before we grabbed our second pao de queijo for the day. At the airport.
Friday, April 03, 2009
on the occasion of my 33rd birthday march 3, the best 33 eats of the past month.
birthday french toast adorned with the lemon to the left. mini-cupcakes from Union Market that are packaged differently every time and have frosting that is white outside and pink-tinged inside. homemade chai. kukicha in the afternoon. korean feast of tofu with garlic sauce, kimchi, soy-pickled jalapenos, and pa jun twice. hard-boiled eggs with anchovies or spicy pickles, spaghetti with meyer lemon, and marinated sardines at franny's. lassi for chana and paratha and lavendar masala chai.
salt cod hash at belcourt again. biscuits with ricotta and jam at belcourt, again. sunny eggs at little d with turkish cheese and beans and flatbread. le bernadin for the birthday with fluke laid out raw with gold leaf and rice krispies.
lemon butter cake. five pieces of white bread that the office manager's mother made. four cheese pies from trinidad bakery that she brought the next day. earl grey in the afternoon. medjool dates and blendheim apricots while i walk the streets of brownsville to spread the word about the school.
tortilla soup. refried red beans. 6.99 bag of tortilla chips. another baked egg.
all courses of our lunch at per se: cauliflower panna cotta with sweet and sour capers, salad with walnut beignets and stewed rhubarb, anglotti with goat cheese, homemade nougat and truffles and caramels, and the wine.