Sunday, October 16, 2011

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: FOOOOOOD!

I actually get excited to eat here in Rio de Janeiro. I'm not talking about fancy or exotic food. I like the regular old Brazilian meal.

Today we went out for lunch with some friends. We got a mix platter so that we would have to decide between yummy meat, delicious chicken, chicken hearts, or anything else for that matter.

Here comes the food: rice, farofa, the salsa mixture that I ADORE but can never remember what it is called, chicken hearts, squares of fried cheese, chicken, and meat. My bloated belly is brewing gas as we speak.

But if you think about it, minus the lack of vegetables, it's a damn good meal. It's real food! This was a meal my Grandmother would call a meal, if you know what I mean.

And that is what I love about eating here. You go to someone's house or out for lunch you aren't going to get some fru fru crap. Oh no, Brazilians eat real hearty food! There are flavors, a hell of a lot more garlic than we are used to, and plenty of salt.

I for one am a happy camper. That reminds me, I need to go buy some garlic...


This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
  • Link up your post on Fadra's page (click on the badge below).
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.



  1. That's a vinagrete, right? The sauce you can't name?

  2. Don't know. Could be. I'll ask Mr. Rant :)

  3. It's vinagrete, at least that's the name we call in the Northeast and other areas. This post made me hungry, I'm stuck in this upstate NY grey and wet fall and would kill for that plate. Girl, I'm gonna cook that food right now :)

  4. Looks delicious! Are you talking about pico de gallo? That's what the salsa looks like.

  5. You had me drooling until you mentioned chicken hearts. What can I say I am a wuss when it comes to the non traditional pieces of meats. And in my opinion "too much garlic" is not possible.

  6. It is vinagrete. Mr. Rant just confirmed. I love that stuff!

    Angela, glad to inspire some cooking ;)

  7. Have you tried hearts? Got to try them! They are delicious!

  8. Rachel,

    I love Chicken hearts too!
    Thank God we can find Farofa in any Grocery store in the Boston area :)
    It looks like you also ate Fried Polenta, which is my all time favorite and I miss it so bad :)


  9. Here in the northeast, there are people who eat testicles of ox à milanesa

  10. Sometimes it's called molho a campanha (aka vinagrete)...and I love it too!

  11. It looks delicious! I want some. There's a Brazilian restaurant in Miami Beach that we love to go to (not sure how authentic it is) because of all the flavors. Enjoy!

  12. does anyone know any italian restaurant in the us that serves polenta??
    I've never seen it.

    I love anything w onion and garlic on it :-)

  13. molho a campanha was what I was trying to remember!

  14. totally off-topic question:
    anyone know what is the best way to get into brasil for an extended stay? my gf lives in rio and i want to move in with her and if it works out we'll get married. i've got a standard US visa that theoretically lets me stay for up to 90 days twice a year for a total of 180 days. but the last 2 times i visited the immigration guy said i could stay maximum 10 days. soooooo....any suggestions?

  15. @ Anom

    Below is link for the Visa section of an online expat newspaper called "Sweet Home Floripa".
    It provides info ranging from Investor Visa and Student Visa all the way to official translations (for marriages and such) and even touches upon Brazil's recent immigration reform (lei do estrangeiro).
    Anyway the subjects are laid laid out in various posts, scroll down for an interesting interview with an immigration lawyer. Quite useful.

  16. I spent ten days in Brazil and this post brings back memories. I think a gained ten pounds as well! :)

  17. It took awhile but I really have started to love the food here! I really hope that fast food doesn't infiltrate too much with the growing economy. I really enjoy the freshness of the ingredients.


  18. Did anyone spend some time in France, Belgium or Italy before? Or heck, Asia for that matter (great food)?

    The Brazilian 'cuisine' is unexisting. They don't spice dishes up, they just ad garlic & salt. That's not spicing things up people, that's adding something to your plate in an amount it ruins the original flavors of your ingredients. Spices are used to increase the flavor not hide nor kill it.

    Brazilians also don't have any idea about bleu, saignant, a point or bien cuit. They just bake the meat until it's ruined. That's not how it's done...

    Not talking yet about the boring combinations. They never experiment nor combine surprising flavors. It's always the same dried out food.

    Go & eat out in Olympe or Roberta Sudbrack to experience real food & the meaning behind the word 'cuisine'.

  19. I totally disagree with you and have no idea where you have been eating. I have been to very few places that have "ruined" the meat. And food does not have to be fancy smacy to be good.

  20. Rachel, with all respect, but guess you never been to Europe?

    It has nothing to do with 'fancy'. The restaurants mentioned above offer what an average restaurant in Italy, France or Belgium offers. The average restaurant in Brazil offers bad food, point. The 'chefs' never had any education (cook/culinary school).

    Brazilians don't have the culture and personal interest for food as most Europeans have. They eat because they are hungry. They don't spend hours in a restaurant to enjoy the chefs creations. They don't care to have the best ingredients, they just go to the supermarket and mix it all together.

    In Europe we have our own herbs in our gardens, local butchers selecting the best meat, local bakeries at every corner with the best breads and everyone using recipes passed from family to family,...

    Try to find a good Brazilian cheese, wine or even a piece of chocolate.

  21. With all due respect I have been to Europe. I have also enjoyed many creations from chefs and quality ingredients.

    I'm sorry but sometimes a girl just wants to eat without all the pretentious "creating" from "chefs". I want real food that doesn't require a special fork, a 40 minute wait, and a R$200 bill.

    Just because Brazilians do it differently doesn't mean that it is bad. Of course there are plenty of crap restaurants here. Obviously. My tip is to not go to a "typical" Brazilian restaurant in more touristic neighborhoods like Copacabana or Ipanema. Find a real one, one that Brazilians line up for and wait to get in. That is where the real food is at.

  22. I have to agree with Rachel on this one...

    What does cheese, wine or chocolate has to do with good food?!!!

    By your definition Thai, Indian and Japaneese food are all bad since they have no cheese, wine or Chocolate...

    We do have spises on our cusine, Muqueca, feijoada and any dish from Minas, Bahia and Espirito Santo all have spices added while preparing the food and the lack of one would change the dish. But our cusine is mainly home cooking not very sofisticated.

    We do have a range of bake points of meat... Did you ever go to a churrascaria with a native speackers? (boi berrando, mal passado, ao ponto, bem passado) plus the amount of fat on the meat (boi gordo/boi magro) Any "medalhao" served on brazil with be midium rare on the middle...

    I guess you ate at turist trap or didn't have a Brazilian accompaning you on your meals...

  23. Damn, one more whiny Italian- notice the "punto" in his/her comment-. It seems all these people know how to do while in Brazil is engage in hyperbole and complain about silly things like farofa. Dude, if you're broke and need some capital to go back home and revamp your salami business then just say so. I know this great Greek bank which sells bonds at dirt cheap prices, it is a sure thing. Go for it.
    If not you can just get in line with the rest of them and beg the Germans for money. Be kind though since they tend to frown upon those who can't even keep their finances in order and there is no amount of hyperbole and gesticulation that can overcome that. Punto.
    I bet that farofa is tasting better now.

  24. Ok Gritt, after that much sass I am demanding a real blogger profile so we know who the hell you are ;)))

  25. "They don't spice dishes up, they just ad garlic & salt."

    anonymous, you really do not know what you're saying, who told the chefs to''study''does not it? Most of the studied rather large heads. And pepper? For God's sake, you've been in Bahia? There almost all food is spicy!

    Deveria ser proibido postar em anônimo.

  26. Anon,

    Yes, I have had polenta in American Restaurants. Usually upscale restaurants, not necessarily Italian, but always upscale, despite the fact that polenta is a tradional poor/blue collar people's food. Also, it is very popular served with Ossobuco, and I frigging love it. :)



    There is no pico de gallo in Brazil. Brazilians don't even know what that might be.


  28. Anonymous on Crack, ( yes you! )

    What the frigging hell are you talking about?????
    You probably have never been to Brazil and if you have, you went on a 5 Reais a day budget! Don't blame the country, the people and the culture. You should have prepared better and perhaps saved a little more money. You would have had a much better experience.
    Now, unless you were eating fermented YUCCA, you were eating European or African style meals in Brazil. There really isn't much of a Brazilian cuisine.
    Brazil was colonized by Europeans and it's cuisine evolved from rustic colonial from the days of the Portuguese Plantations influenced by the African slaves with a dash of an native touch. ( Feijoada ).
    I am from Sao Paulo, part German, part Italian, part Spanish, French, Jew, you name it, I have a little bit from every part of Europe in my blood. My family cooks very traditional Paulistano/European influenced cuisine. My mother makes the best Lasagna I have ever tried. Her Filet Mignon stroganoff is to die for. She makes Jams and cans vegetables every year, a family tradition from Germany. We make chicken and goose liver pate at home. We make delicious home made breads.
    Sao Paulo has the best freaking bakeries I have seen anywhere in the world where I have visited, including many European countries. We have had Italian friends visiting us in Sao Paulo and telling us our Pizza is much better than the simple crappy version they serve in Italy. My Italian friends are from Rome and Milan.
    Brazilian Churrascarias are taking over the US and Europe, including Italy. Have you ever eaten in a Brazilian Churrascaria? Most likely not! Or you wouldn't have made such an uninformed/ignorant comment about Brazilians cooking meat to destruction. Brazilians are masters of barbecue and cook meat to perfection.
    Brazilian chocolate is freaking great, made with fresh cocoa and real sugar. I have had some pretty crappy European chocolate from Germany, Poland and Russia, not all European chocolate are as good as Godiva or Lindt for example.
    But I am not about to bash European cuisine, because I really appreciate it and love it. After all, we. European Brazilians brought it over here and evolved by mingling with the natives and the Africans ( and evolved by 10 fold if you ask me ).

    Europe has some great foods and I have always been to European countries with a proper budget to enjoy the best the locals have to offer.
    You need to learn more about Brazil, because every person reading this blog, has either lived in Brazil, been to Brazil or it's presently there, enjoying the hell out of every great thing the Brazilian cuisine has to offer, and you have no freaking clue what you are talking about.

    Just made a fool out of yourself.


  29. Anon, ( the nice one)

    You can try "Leonardo's Restaurant in New York for a great "Polenta with Ossobuco".
    It's on West End Avenue and 94th Street on the upper East Side in Manhattan.


  30. To all the answers relating to my financial status. I'm 45 and retired, living in Brazil since 2 years. Sold my restaurant in Europe 2 years ago after 15 years of hard work. I don't have a budget issue at all, hence the reason I'm mentioning restaurants which are actually good but considered upper-class places. And yes I do live in Leblon. A place for some reason some people here think it's not the real Rio. (jealousy). I'm sure I have more money than most of you here. But I've been traveling around Brazil several months a year since the last 2 years.

    I'm a chef. Went to school to learn the business and worked several years in restaurants around the world to get to the point I was able to start my own restaurant.

    I know what to expect on my plate. And the bottom line is... Brazil kitchen lacks quality and innovation; starting from the lack of educated and experienced chefs (most are just people from the favela who are cooking!) to the ingredients they use, to the lack of service.

    And yes, I'm surely spoiled when it comes to quality food. But both my background and my experience with food from all over the world give me the experience to judge.

    There is a simple reason why only D.O.M (great restaurant by the way) in SP made it to the Michelin guide...

  31. @ Rachel

    I am the voice in the video below.

  32. What a coincidence! I'm one of the girls in the video!

  33. Mr. Anonymous has lived in Brazil for two years and hasn't found himself yet. Poor guy. May be it's time to look for happiness somewhere else. One last try: while in São Paulo, try Bar Mocotó, in Vila Maria, famous for the heavy spiced dishes from northeastern Brazil. Google for it, go there and then let us know about the experience...

  34. Poor italian friend truly believes food is only good if it has a Michelin star. God have mercy.

    I live in Europe, have eaten in several Michelin starred establishments along the years and can honestly say I've only enjoyed my food in one of them. All the rest was pretentious muck piled artistically on top of each other, great to look at but not much to eat (also for the ridiculously small quantities). It's something to make the "chef" feel good about himself, but it's not proper hearty, nourishing food. It's culinary as a form of wankery - pardon my french. Simple, peasant food is usually the best in any known cuisine.

    What people need to realize is that food taste is a cultural thing. It's not better nor worse than what you like - it's just different. If people over here prefer their meat overdone, even charred, get over it. People in China eat insects - are they "wrong", too?

    Italians are great restaurateurs, but the best ones are the least pretentious. And I've eaten cheap, microwaved lasagne from italian restaurants as well, so no point in coming up with "we, europeans" snobbery. I wonder why someone who obviously places so much importance in eating food "their way" is doing living in a country whose food/cuisine/whatever he so obviously despises. I'd go back home in a heartbeat.

  35. Brazilian meal ..... yeah !! It is one of the most delicious countries talking about gastronomy , I have been in many countries around the world, Brazilian food is in the top 5