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Posts tagged “Brazil

Bloody Limes!

A Brazilian caipirinha

A Brazilian caipirinha

One of my pet hates.

Nearly every blog I see that details the Brazilian caipirinha and/or gives a recipe, tells you to use LIMES! And, I saw another this morning.

A caipirinha is made with LEMONS!

Limes and lemons are totally different flavours; limes are not as sour as lemons.

The confusion arises because here in Brazil lemons are green; and everyone outside Brazil sees a green lemon and goes “Limes”. They are NOT Limes.

As green lemons get older they tend to develop a yellow tinge, limes do not.

Please help stamp out this erroneous bullshit!

Green lemons are NOT limes

Green lemons are NOT limes

Cheap 51 is used most, but I prefer something a little more upmarket

Cheap 51 is used most, but I prefer something a little more upmarket

If you can’t get green lemons, don’t use limes. Use a traditional yellow lemon, and if you want to have the ‘Brazilian green’ garnish with lime slices.


  • 1 lemon cut into eight pieces.
  • Sugar to taste.
  • Mash the lemon and sugar in glass (or use a mortar and pestle), add ice.
  • Fill glass with cachaça.

Once you have made the mix, you may need to add extra sugar because green lemons are ‘nipple puckering’ sour.



I’m a day late… yesterday’s whisky story took precedence 🙂

This is a part reblog from yesterday’s post on Life I thought it may interest you.

Recently I have made reference to queijo coalho (coalho cheese) when talking about BBQs and stuff. It usually comes on a skewer ready for the BBQ.

BBQing cheese

And doesn’t melt and run everywhere. Exactly what and how it’s made, I have no idea; I just know that it’s delicious. The name coalho means rennet and it is a product of northeastern Brazil. Often it is served or even grilled with a sprinkle of oregano.


Brazilian Food

I found this this morning, and thought, great, a typical Brazilian dish.

Reblogged from EatRio

Baião de Dois

There, does that look okay? It’s yummy.

Oh, you want the recipe…

Click on the link above for the full story and recipe.

Wednesday Whine

Aurora-Colheita-Tardia-Semillon-e-Malvasia-Bianca-ALTA-244x1024I don’t have many Brazilian wines in my rack.

However, I do have a half bottle (500ml) of Aurora Late Harvest 2012 from the south, Bento Gonçalves.

Vinícola Aurora

Page in English

Grape variety: Semillon Mavasia Bianca

Best temp: 10 – 16ºC

Food pairings: desserts, mousse, cheesecake, chocolate fondue. Also with ‘blue vein cheeses, Roquefort and Gorgonzola.

Royal Stilton

Royal Stilton

Be interesting to try it.

Lemons or Limes? The Battle

During the week I read on a cocktail blog I visit, a recipe for caipirinha, Brazil’s national drink. The recipe calls for lemons, but nearly every blog where I read the recipe makes the mistake of using limes. This cocktail blog, correctly, used lemons. I commented on it, and congratulated the blogger.

Then I saw another on Friday, that used limes! AAArrrggghhh! I left a comment somewhat venting my spleen, after which I felt guilty. However, I received a civilised reply thanking me for the correction, adding that he had heard about our green lemons.

There is a huge difference in the flavour between lemons and limes, lemons are sour whereas limes are almost sweetish.

These are Brazilian lemons, they are NOT limes

These are Brazilian lemons, they are NOT limes

The problem arises with the colour.

Here in Brazil lemons are green, but typically from outside Brazil anyone who sees a Brazilian lemon goes “limes”. and that is totally wrong.

This photo shows the lemons I bought at the supermarket last week.

I know they are lemons, because they are sour, they are so sour that they will invert your nipples and send ripples through your teeth. But they make wonderful caipirinhas.

A traditional Brazilian caipirinha

A traditional Brazilian caipirinha

Reblogged from Life is but a Labyrinth

What beer be this?

Baden Baden Stout


Despite the German sounding name, it’s made in Campos do Jordão, up state  São Paulo, Brazil.

Baden Baden Brewery

How I came to know about this beer, simply, I saw it on the supermarket shelf yesterday. Horribly expensive when compared to most Brazilian beers, but the sight of the name “Stout” was enough to trigger my impulse buying senses… I am such a weak person; as a result, two 500ml bottles at R$13 each ($5.50) ended up in my shopping cart.

They’re in the fridge, and will probably feature in my lunch.

There will be an update, good or bad. Generally, beers like this when made in Brazil are not good, I hope that I am pleasantly surprised.


Halfway through my first handle.

I am not pleasantly surprised.

It’s barely palatable. Sweet caramelised brown crap. A brown head instead of the near white of Guinness.

It is not even remotely stout-like.

In fact to call it ‘stout’ is a crime.

The chances are that I will finish this bottle, the other will be removed from the fridge and put on the shelf; where I suspect it will remain for a long time.

Sunday Art Fare

Okay, this is a Heineken ad, but it’s still art.

Beer Rio funny

I like it because it’s Rio de Janeiro, and I live there.

Jambo is NOT an Elephant

No, that’s jumbo!

Yesterday I was given a fruit that I had never seen before.


Red Jambo, in fact.

Pear shaped, bite through the red skin and you have near white flesh with more texture than flavour and a single pit in the middle.

Syzygium jambos originated in Asia, but it is here in Brazil too. In fact there is a tree growing not 100 metres from my house. I had always dismissed it simply as a big tree, perhaps a mango tree which is so common around here that I never gave it another thought.

Until yesterday. I was having a hot afternoon beer at the botequim (neighbourhood bar) next to home and one of the fregües (regulars) arrived with a bag of something heavy. He pulled out a jambo and told me about them and the tree by the canal.

Most of the images (googlised ones) are of small bushy trees, but the one next door is quite big… several metres, in fact.

Hang on, I’m off to get a photo!

Back, taken, processed, and here for your edification.


Our local jambo tree

So, even at 60+, I learn something everyday.

Sunday Art Fare

Art in advertising

Brazil’s Antarctica Guaraná


What beer be this?

Sankt Gallen Sweet Vanilla Stout



Read more, but be warned, it’s all Japanese

This ‘Gallen’ character seems to be popular…

“The founding of St. Gallen is attributed to the Irish monk Gallus (ca 550–620 or 640), who built a hermitage by the river Steinach in 612 AD.”Wikipedia

St Gallen is also the name of a Brazilian beer (weissbier and stout/porter styles) made in the mountainous part of Rio de Janeiro state, it appears the Japanese have latched onto the marketing tool too, which doesn’t surprise me.

Whereas, St Gallen is actually a city in Switzerland, and has been since an abbey was built there c720 and in the 1500s became a textile centre and today has one of the best business universities in the world… nothing to do with beer at all.

It seems to me that the use of St Gallen is nothing more than a marketing ploy to sell beer.

The Brazilian product by the same name

The Brazilian product by the same name

The stout/porter I have tried, a little too sweet for a stout, nothing to write home about.

Lactobacilious Lokos

Bols Yoghurt Liqueur

As near as I can figure Lactobacillus Lokos is yoghurt with vodka…

You know the old story you used to tell kids, they even sung about it, “A little bit of sugar helps the medicine go down!” Well, I guess this is the adult option.

Bols even have a bottled version…

Lactobacillus is lactic acid bacteria, we need it in our diet, if we need it, it must be healthy, we must drink more…

I like that rationale.

Lactobacillus is just one of the many live organisms that live in our gut, that we need to to turn food into a body-friendly product.

From Carlos’ Kitchen (in Portuguese) come two recipes:

1 :: Lactobacilious Lokos (lokos = crazy)

  • A pot of yoghurt (flavour of your choice)
  • At least a shot of vodka
  • Ice
  • Shake and drink

2 :: Lactobacilious Safado (safado = bastard)

  • A pot of yoghurt (flavour of your choice)
  • At least a shot of Catuaba
  • Ice
  • Shake and drink

catuabapoderoso1Easy peasy.

What might not be so easy is finding Catuaba outside Brazil.

The name catuaba (pronounced [ka.two.’aba], a Guarani word that means “what gives strength to the Indian”) is used for the infusions of the bark of a number of trees native to Brazil. – Wikipedia

It’s an aphrodisiac, energiser and a stimulant for the central nervous system.

It contains the famous Brazilian guaranã.


Reblogged from: Life is but a Labyrinth

Gourmet Bolivia – an Oxymoron?

Gustu, Bolivia: the surprise restaurant venture by Noma’s Claus Meyer

Nobody predicted the co-founder of one of the world’s best restaurants would pick Bolivia as the location for his next venture. Ed Stocker visits the newly opened Gustu in La Paz

Gustu’s inauguration night in La Paz, Bolivia. Photograph: Stephan Gamillscheg

Gourmet Bolivia. Now there’s an oxymoron. While its neighbours, in particular Brazil, Argentina and Peru, have established themselves on the world’s food scene, Bolivia has yet to make its mark. Few of us can name any classic Bolivian dishes, fewer still any Bolivian chefs.

So the news that Claus Meyer, co-founder of Copenhagen’s Noma, a three-time winner of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants (and the current number two), was opening an upscale restaurant in the capital La Paz was greeted with some astonishment. But Meyer – who, alongside Noma co-owner and chef René Redzepi, is famed for his trailblazing ultra local, seasonal cuisine – was drawn to the country not by its existing cuisine, but by the potential of its raw ingredients.

“Why Bolivia? If you have access to a large diversity of products, unknown to foodies, then you have a strong chance of coming up with something that could have global interest. Bolivia may have the most interesting and unexplored biodiversity in the world,” he says over the phone from the Danish capital. “If we succeed, this will mean more to the Bolivian nation than Noma and new Nordic cuisine has meant to anyone.”

Tender beets and papalisa with hibiscus. Photograph: Ed Stocker

It seems like quite a leap into the unknown for a man who, by his own admission, had never travelled in the country before. He says he was swayed into picking Bolivia by the work done there by Danish NGO Ibis, which has become a partner in the Gustu project. He hopes the benefits will be three-way: for him as restauranteur seeking new inspiration, for customers looking for something new, and for the country, South America’s poorest.

Following in the footsteps of Brazilian chef Alex Atala, who is credited with redefining Latin American food with his use of exotic Amazon ingredients at his restaurant DOM in Sao Paulo, and Peruvian Gastón Acurio, whose international chain of high-end restaurants has put his country’s cuisine on the food map, Meyer wants to offer diners a chance to explore local Bolivian flavours they have never even heard of, let alone tried.

Gustu, which opened in April, is located in the zona sur, the southern part of town where its wealthiest residents live, some of 1,110m below the wheeze-inducing heights of El Alto, La Paz’s satellite town in the north, 4,100m above sea-level.

The restaurant’s interior feels every inch the international diner: minimalist décor, grey walls, large windows with impressive views of the Andes and low-wattage exposed light bulbs. Like the food, everything is sourced from within the country, overseen by local designer Joyce Martín. There are flashes of local colour, too, in the Andean-inspired striped cushions dotted around the space.

Sampling the Gustu tasting menu is certainly a lesson in the biodiversity that Meyer rates so highly. Tender beets come with papalisa, a yellow potato dotted with shocks of pink and flavoured with hibiscus, a plate bursting with colour and flavour. A perfectly cooked egg yolk comes in a “nest” of palm heart strips and alpaca charque, Bolivia’s jerky equivalent. Pink llama loin is served with fermented carrots, coa oil (a herb that tastes like a combination of rosemary, Swiss mint and eucalyptus) and little green and yellow wakataya herb flowers, giving the dish a unique sweet-fragrant kick.

As Bolivia is a landlocked country, seafood doesn’t make an appearance, but Lake Titicaca trout does. A standout pudding is the chankaka – sugar cane honey – meringue with sorbet made from tumbo, a green-skinned fruit that looks like passion fruit and grows just outside the restaurant. This is the sort of menu that needs footnotes.

The five, seven or 15-course menu arrives beautifully presented on rough-cut slate plates and in ceramic bowls, with attention to detail as obsessive as at Noma. There is also an alcohol-pairing option which, like the cuisine, is full of surprises. For one, Bolivian wine is really rather good, even if some of the bottle labels are shockers. Their whites span everything from riesling to torrontés, their reds go from malbec to merlot. And then there are the cocktails, all made from singani, the national grape-based spirit, and often infused or macerated in-house. The singani with orange is particularly good, with the chankaka (unrefined sugar cane) giving it a dark sultry colour.

Gustu’s two head chefs are from Venezuela and Denmark respectively and they haven’t been afraid to include ideas and ingredients – still locally sourced – that are rarely eaten by Bolivians, including cauliflower and rabbit. Meyer defends the use of foreign chefs, citing the number of non-Danish cooks working at Noma, including its Macedonian head chef. “It doesn’t necessarily take a Bolivian chef to release the true potential of Bolivian cuisine,” he said. “It takes someone with a very humble attitude towards everything, able to see, smell, eat and learn.”

Read more

Read more



Gourmet Beer


Monja Old Paul Limited Edition produced in Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

A craft beer made with the crystal clear waters from Serra da Mantiqueira.

Serra da Mantiqueira

What is Picanha?

I live in Brazil and have done on and off for the past 20 years.

Churrasqueiro - BBQ

One of the delights of Brazilian life is the ‘rodizio;’ a dining style pretty much unique to Brazil. I have never heard of it elsewhere unless the idea has been imported by a Brazilian emigrant.

Rodizio doesn’t have a translation, you pay a set price and participate. Salad bar and side dishes are included, but you pay extra for the beer (or your tipple) and dessert. The waiters continually bring meat from the churrasqueiro (BBQ) and slice it off the huge skewer directly on to your plate. This repeats until you are replete. In fact the tendency to waddle as you leave a rodizio is endemic; when the waiter brings along another skewer of delicious meat, it’s so hard to say “No.”

Picanha with the traditional fat

Traditionally the best meat at a rodizio is picanha.

Now all this leads me to question. What part of the cow (okay steer) is picanha? You see if you look up picanha in the dictionary, you won’t find it. Picanha is a cut that you won’t find in a butchers oustide South America, unless one happens to have a Brazilian açougueiro (butcher). Brazilians have different cuts. Picanha is actually the rump cover, a part of the top sirloin. In America and England they cut the layer of fat off, but here that layer of fat is the trademark of picanha. Sliced off the spit in almost paper thin slices, rare to the point of bloody, it melts in your mouth.

Copied from my blog Life is a Labyrinth

If you want more information on this wonderful cut of beef check out the post (in English) on Home Sweet Floripa

Craft Beers

Craft beers are nothing new. Man has been making them since the year dot.

We discovered some unique ones last week when I explored beers in New Zealand.

Let’s have a quick look at some from Brazil. Brazil has a great advantage over the rest of the world because it boasts some of the more unique flora of the planet.

Forest Bacuri Cerveja

The Bacuri fruit comes from a tree (Platonia insignis) that is native to Amazônia and grows up to 35 metres (about 100ft), it has a hard shell and inside three segments of an aromatic white pulp.


The uses of bacuri are varied, it is made into sodas, juices, icecreams, liqueur, jams and candies. Of course, also beer.

The beer is described as ‘super refreshing’ and has an alcoholic content of 3.8%

The beer is produced in Belém, Pará in the north of Brazil and so far has been distributed as far as São Paulo, it doesn’t appear to have reached Rio de Janeiro yet, so America beer lovers will have to wait until I have had a sip… or two.