Monthly Archive: April 2012

Apr 22

British Breakfast with Broccoli

It’s hard to believe, but my 2 months are very nearly up. This time next week I’ll be back in Brazil! As a treat this morning, my Mum and I decided to have a fry-up. For non-English readers, a fry-up is the rather unappealing name commonly used for the traditional English breakfast.

There are plenty of variations, but I would say that what we had this morning is pretty much the classic. Toast, bacon, fried eggs, fried mushrooms and grilled tomatoes. Aficionados will be screaming “What about the sausages?!” – well yes, I suppose a sausage or two should have been included, but we didn’t have any and I was very happy with what we came up with:

 

It's not something you'd want to eat every morning if you had plans to live past 55, but once in a while it's not going to do any harm is it? If you added a couple of sausages and a slice or two of black pudding you would have what is known as a "Full English".

 

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Apr 18

These spices are nices!

With less than two weeks left in England, I’ve been starting to get a little panicky about all the outstanding items on my England to-do list. I spent most of last weekend traipsing all over London on a mammoth shopping trip, picking items that are either unavailable in Rio (Colman’s mustard, PG Tips and of course delicious Marmite) or massively expensive (electrical goods general).

One of the food things I miss most when I’m in Rio is Indian food and I had been meaning to go for a curry ever since I got back to London. With time running out I was starting to think I’d missed my chance until last Sunday when I had a stroke of luck. It happened to be a particularly freezing day and I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and then I stumbled upon this rather amazing Indian food market!

 

There must have been around 30 stalls, clustered together close to the Southbank Centre, next to the Thames. The majority of them were selling food from various parts of India.

 

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Apr 14

Do try this at home

One of the major changes in my life since moving to Rio back in 2010 has been a slow-down in my social life. I know everyone assumes that life in Rio is one long party in which we share our time equally between the beach and various bars and clubs, occasionally stopping to refill our caipirinhas or play some beach volleyball, but reality is somewhat different.

Moving to a new city presents quite a few challenges and when you don’t speak the language, those challenges are amplified. But I’m not complaining – it was probably about time that my social life calmed down a bit! And when you aren’t spending so much time socialising in bars (or being hungover the next day), you have more time for other things, like writing, photography, learning a new language. You know, all those things you’ve been meaning to do for years but were always too busy for.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed most during my enforced social hiatus, has been learning about Brazilian food (did I mention that I’ve written an Amazonian food tour app for the iPhone? ;) ). In general, I wouldn’t describe Brazilian food as sophisticated. That’s not to take anything away from it (I think it’s delicious) I just mean that there is an uncomplicated goodness that belies its country roots.

And what could exemplify that uncomplicated goodness better than pão de quejio?

 

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Apr 10

Eat the Amazon

A little while back someone contacted me through my blog and asked if I’d be interested in doing a little writing work. “What kind of writing work?” I asked suspiciously. Oh, it would involve you having to recommend and review restaurants around Rio, they replied. “Hmmm” I said (in my best suspicious voice), “I’ll think about it…”.

Anyone who knows me will know that I love food. I love eating it, I love cooking it, I love discovering new ingredients, new dishes and new styles of cooking. So the thought of getting to pretend that I’m a food critic, swanning around Rio and (hopefully) getting special treatment from deferential waiters and managers was way too tempting!

Now, several months later, my first ‘proper’ writing assignment has been released! May I present: Flavors of the Amazon

Hmmm, there seems to be a typo there – surely that should be FlavoUrs of the Amazon? Ho ho, just my little (British) joke.

 

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Apr 08

Moqueca Capixaba: world’s best fish dish?

I’m going to do something a little different today – a guest post. My guest is Shaun from the blog Sometime Brazilian. Shaun has lived in Brazil twice and (like me!) is married to a brasileira. Shaun is also a great inspiration as he shows that it’s possible to write an interesting, informative blog about Brazil whilst not actually being in the country. 

After my claim yesterday that St Pancras is the world’s most wonderful train station, today Shaun is going to put forward the case for Moqueca Capixaba being the world’s best fish dish (now that’s some claim!). I’ve only tried the other version of Moqueca (the one of Bahia) and I’m a huge fan, so this had better be good! There’ll be more from me soon, but for now, enjoy Shaun’s wise words, sumptuous photos and why not check out his site – he’s a journalist don’t you know!  http://sometimebrazilian.blogspot.co.uk/

TL

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Without a doubt, one of the things that makes Brazil special is its food. Boiled rice and beans are served with almost every dish. But Brazil’s boiled rice is anything but plain; it is prepared in such a way (fried first with rock salt and garlic) that it is bursting with flavour.

 

And for fish lovers like me, Moqueca Capixaba (pronounced mokeka capishaba), is one of the tastiest dishes you can find anywhere in the world. Brazilians have been making moquecas for hundreds of years, but capixaba, meaning people from the coastal state of Espirito Santo, where the dish originates, is made with varieties of fish.

Vivid red, green, and orange colours of Moqueca Capixaba

Apr 07

The World’s most wonderful train station?

I’m a big fan of travel, be it across town or around the world. I’ve always known I liked travelling in the ‘around-the-world’ sense, but I only really discovered that I was interested in how people get around town when I started blogging. After a while I noticed that I was amassing more and more Rio transport related posts – how to hail a bus (no mean feat in Rio), priority seats for the obese, metro travel tips, the sexy voiced announcer at the airport.

So I guess it’s only natural that I would find myself continuing this trend during my 2 months back in England. One of the many pleasures of being back has been catching up with old friends and, through a twist of fate, a friend and I recently found ourselves in what was recently described as “the world’s most wonderful railway station”: St Pancras.

 

Victorian Neo-Gothic architecture. Splendiferous! Photo: © Nick Weall

 

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Apr 06

Hungry? Eat a knee!

If you ever find yourself feeling a little peckish in Rio, there is a whole range of delicious lanches (snacks) to choose from – ultra cheesy pão de queijo, juicy chickeny coxinha, salty crispy bolinhos de bacalhau to name a few of my favourites (ooh, how could I forget bolinhos de aipim?).

But one I haven’t mentioned until now is the joelho (sounds like ZHWELL-yo). Now then, if you go to Google Translate you’ll find that joelho is the Portuguese word for knee. Strange name for a snack you might think. But take a look:

 

Cheese and ham with savoury pastry folded around the outside. They do look a bit 'knee-ish' don't they?

 

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