Sooooo, today is my last full day in Brazil for 2 months. Such mixed feelings – it’s going to be great to see my family and friends, start my new job, eat proper cheese and drink proper beer again (in that order). But I’m leaving Brazil! For 2 months! There are so many things I’ll miss that I’m trying not to think about it too much right now. Instead I’m throwing myself into last minute preparations
One of the things I need to do is harvest my beloved chillis and turn them into hot chilli sauce! This time round I’m going for a genuine Trinidadian hot pepper sauce recipe and I’m also going to experiment with a chilli infused oil in the style found in many of Rio’s snack bars and Pé Sujos.
Yesterday, in preparation for all this peppery-cookery, I took a trip over to my favourite food shop in Rio – Hortifruti.
Hortifruti (sounds like ORtchee-FROOtchee) was such a revelation to me the first time wandered in. The displays of fruit and vegetables are amazing – it’s like they have some kind of beauty contest for fresh produce and only the really sexy ones get through.
A word of warning: you may get a shock when you come to pay – it is way too expensive for me to shop there regularly. All those blemish-free bananas and perfect peaches come at a price. On the whole I prefer to shop at the local street market but it’s not open every day and sometimes I just feel like treating myself.
One of the perks I particularly enjoy is their bag packing – in most places they either let you do it yourself or someone will do it in a fairly casual manner whilst talking to the cashier. But at Hortifruti I suspect they have a week-long training course – it’s really pretty amazing to watch.
Yesterday my packer took a couple of microseconds to glance over the items waiting to be scanned – the next minute her hands were a blur as she setup 5 sets of bags (each one double-bagged). Then, as the items were scanned, she would whisk each item into its designated bag, occasionally putting a delicate item to one side as she had noted that a heavier item in that category was still to come. The whole process was incredibly fast and efficient – really it was a joy to watch!
And not only do they have great produce, great variety and great bag-packers, but they also have great adverts! Check out this series of ads based on films, but starring their most excellent produce:
OK, I’m sure you didn’t need me to explain the puns/wordplay, but just in case… That’s it for today. Enjoy your Friday – I’ll be packing and trying not to cry.