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Jan 27

Friday Beach Quiz

I know what suckers you guys are for quizzes, puzzles and other chances to prove how clever you are (don’t even bother denying it). Well, it’s Friday, so I will indulge you. See if you can spot what the following three images have in common (there are many correct answers, but I can only accept the answer I have written down on my answer cards):

Ipanema last weekend...

 

Hmmmm - compare all three photos before you make your decision...

 

The final quiz image. Commit to an answer in your head and then read on to see if you win any Eat Rio respect points...

 

 

 

 

 

So, what links all 3 images? If your answer was related to bottoms then please go to the back of the class – that was just a coincidence (honest!). No, today we are looking at the beach vendor’s favourite product, Biscoito Globo. The word biscoito generally means the same as English ‘biscuit’ (‘cookie’ for the Americans) but can also mean cracker.

[Aside: I don't know if this is true, but a little while back someone told me that the "coito" part of biscoito is related to the word coitus and the fact that biscuits often come as two halves sandwiched together in a union, à la custard cream - I find it credible but perhaps I just want to believe...]

Anyway, back to Globo! First let me tell what these things are. They are ring shaped snacks made from polvilho, mandioca (cassava) starch, that has been deep fried in oil baked in an oven (thanks Eri!). They look a bit like the things that are sold alongside potato chips (UK: crisps!) but described as “Corn snacks” – Cheese Puffs, Wotsits, you know the kind of thing…

 

 

 

Nice Wotsit-work from WackoCatho there: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wackocatho/

 

However, Globo come in large, chunky rings and have a far more open texture. They come in two varieties, salty (green pack) and sweet (red pack) and although they don’t have a great deal of flavour and are basically just fried foam, they’re pretty good at staving off hunger for 20 minutes or so.

The iconic packaging, inextricably linked to the beaches of Rio, has never been changed.

 

The story behind this snack is pretty interesting. Although Globo is seen as an icon of the Rio beach scene, it was first made in 1953 by three brothers and a cousin who were working in a bakery in São Paulo.  A year later they decided to check out Rio and found that the beaches and large tourist crowds made this the perfect location.

Essentially, very little has changed since then. Biscoito Globo breaks all the modern day marketing rules. The packaging has never been changed. They have never advertised. They basically have no post-production supply chain. The independent vendors simply queue up at the factory each day and purchase a sack or two, each containing 50 individual packets. Then off they go to sell to the public. They purchase at R$0.35 per packet and sell on to the people lounging on the beach (or stuck in traffic jams) for between R$2-3 – that’s a tasty markup!

I should point out that other brands of biscoito de polvilho are available, but none have achieved the iconic status of Globo.

These ones are so addictive...

 

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17 comments

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  1. Rebecca Brandon

    oi!

    too easy…!
    what do I win?

    R

    1. tomlemes

      Ha ha! I guess you’re not so easily distracted by as bundas das mulheres Rebecca! I really must stop expecting others to have minds as seedy as my own…

      Tell you what, I’ll treat you to a packet of Globo and a caipirinha to wash it down! :)

      1. Rebecca Brandon

        Done.

        I don’t look out of jealousy! I asked this of a trainer in Rio once – eu quero uma bunda brasiliera! and he laughed! And not in a ‘ok – we can do that kind of way…’!!

        going to LHR now!

        bjs R

  2. Eri

    Oi,

    Biscoitos de povilho são assados e não fritos. :)

    1. tomlemes

      E portanto, são muito saudavel, né? ;)

      Oops! Obrigado Eri – corrigido!

  3. vim

    Damnnnnn!!! without checking the answer i was checking out bundas if there was any common thing on bundas, all i could come up with was word cute!! you have to say they all look cute! :P

    1. tomlemes

      Phew! Finally someone as bunda-obsessed as me! :D

      Thanks Vim, I was starting to think I should seek treatment…

      1. Rose

        Oi Tom, tudo bem?
        Fiquei curiosa lendo o seu site, e me veio algumas dúvidas à mente.

        E no carnaval, com toda aquela super exposição de belas bundas, como você fará para controlar tal obsessão?
        Existe algum preparo especial para disfarçar o interesse?

        Ah Homens! Um dia vou entender a fascinação por bunda que existe nesse país( ou no mundo (?) talvez ), é quase uma doença endêmica! A bunda realmente parece ter um poder hipnótico nos homens.

        Ficarei atenta as suas respostas.
        Abraços.

        1. tomlemes

          Ha ha ha! :D

          Oi Rose! Obrigado pela sua visita! É verdade, quase todos nós temos este problema estranho – é um mistério para mim também! rs

          Minha estratégia no carnaval vai ser ficar perto à minha esposa! Quando ela está perto, eu não noto qualquer outros bundas ;)

          Abraços.

  4. Alex

    OMG I freaking love biscoito de povilho. It almost tastes like there is cheese in them, plus the little bit of acidity that you encounter while chewing them is great.

    I want some now!!

    PS; Nice bundas on display. I know I’m a perv, and its ok with me.

    Abracos,
    Alex

    1. tomlemes

      They’re great aren’t they? Good point about the acidity when you get to the chewing stage – I prefer it to the glowing orange cheese powder that is caked all over the Wotsit Stonehenge!

      Alex, I’m a perv too – I just attempt to disguise it by pretending I’m interested in beach snacks! ;)

  5. The Gritty Poet

    It must take some industrial sized ovens to bake all those Biscoitos. I wonder if mustard would go well with the salty ones, and honey with sweet globos.
    I’n glad you punned the second brand with drug addiction, and not with what Vim and Alex were observing in the pics.

    1. tomlemes

      I can’t stand the sweet ones! I say that without every having tried them, but I feel very confident that I hate them.

      I actually made the drug-pun connection because of something you said some time back about the price-weight ratio making Globo more expensive weight for weight than cocaine! Now you make me realise I missed the crac-da-bunda pun that was, ahem, staring me in the face… ;)

      1. The Gritty Poet

        A wise Chinese man (actually Peter Griffin dressed in Chinese attire) once said: “beware of the crac-de-bunda pun for it is a slippery one whose double meaning often lies behind an Adam’s apple

        Thought I’d add some philosophy to the thread.

  6. Rachel

    I was going to cheat and guess both ;)

    1. tomlemes

      Bundas e Biscoito Globo – it’s a sweet combination! :D

  7. Carolina

    In Sergipe 40 years ago, my neighbors used to make a snack from cassava starch. It was white and each piece was shaped somewhat like a shallow canoe, about 5 inches long. I tried to find its name in a Portuguese online dictionary, but couldn’t. The name is similar to beijo, maybe beijú. I am not a picky eater, but that stuff looked like styrofoam —and tasted like it, too. I dreaded neighbors offering some to me because I knew they would be offended if I refused. Usually I said I wasn’t hungry and ask I could take a piece home to eat later. They would give me a half dozen pieces. An old beggar woman would come around often. Everyone told me not to give her money because her husband would take it from her to buy cachaça. So I always placed fruit, bread, or eggs in her opaque cloth sack and slip in that styrofoam snack too. If she didn’t show up, I would bury it in the bottom of my trash so visitors wouldn’t see that I had thrown it away. It was really quite awful. That Globo stuff sounds like a version of the same thing. Yuck!

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