When I arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil I had been traveling for approximately 22 hours. Many of those hours I was rushing to catch a train, to catch a flight, and to catch another flight. I dropped my bags off at my hotel, the Marina All Suites in Leblon, and went straight to the Hotel Fasano’s Al Mare restaurant in Ipanema to begin my first lesson in Brazilian cachaça, which few realize is the third most consumed spirit in the world. I started off with a almost traditional caipirinha with a little bit of fresh passion fruit juice in it (with Leblon), Brazil’s signature cocktail that’s muddles cachaça with sugar and lime.
Somewhere north of the center of São Paulo, where the endless sea of skyscrapers fades into two story buildings and the population becomes decidedly less flashy, is a 30-year old restaurant called Mocotó. It’s in the middle of nowhere, sort of close (a 10 minute cab ride) to the Tucuvuri Metro station. So far that a cab ride from the center will set you back $50.
The more Brazilian food I eat and the more I visit Brazil, the more I realize how little I really know about Brazilian cooking. The country is massive, a continent of its own. By Leticia Moreinos-Schwartz’s The Brazilian Kitchen (Kyle Books, 2010) is the best all around study on Brazilian food I’ve read thus far.
Just the other day I saw an advertisement for açaí (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) vodka, so it came with great pleasure to read Seth Kugel’s write up of the fastly expanding açaí industry in the Brazilian state of Para (Açaí, a Global Super Fruit, Is Dinner in the Amazon – NYTimes.com). Kugel… Read More →
Over at the New Yorker, staff writer David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon (which we reviewed here), gives an update of some of the recent findings of Pre-Colombian mounds and earthworks in the Upper Amazon basin of Brazil –… Read More →
Rubber trees grow wild in the Amazon rainforest and at the beginning of the automobile industry the world’s rubber trade was completely reliant on the Amazon jungle. Rubber tappers, mostly indigenous families who were widely exploited, gathered rubber from vast reserves near large Amazonian cities such as Iquitos, Manaus, and Santarem. The trade brought considerable wealth to the region and the rubber barrons lived like royalty in these cities, importing Azulejo tiles and even gourmet foods from Europe.
Both are native to Brazil and inhabit similar territories. However, they rarely interact. In a zoo in Japan, however, they share the same enclosure. Recently, a zoo keeper caught some strange behavior inter-species behavior going on. The monkeys have begun to ride the capybara, even picking off fleas and grooming… Read More →
Jet Blue founder Dan Neeleman has started up a new, low cost airline in his native Brazil called Azul Airlines.Â Azul, which started flying in January of 2009, flies to Porto Alegre, SÃ£o Paolo, Manaus, Curitaba, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Campinas, Fortaleza, and several other destinations. Like Jet Blue, the… Read More →