The first rule of English Club is you do not talk about English Club. The second rule of… Hang on – I’m thinking of something else. It’s actually totally fine to talk about English Club – it is comprised of 4 kids (aged 6-10) who live in Rio and like to get together from time to time to hang out and work on their English skills.
I met Alice, Lena, Nayana and Raoul last month when they invited me to join them for an afternoon of food tasting and discussion.
Before I arrived the kids had already been talking about their favourite foods and thinking of different ways to describe them. For me this is one of the great challenges of food writing – how do you get beyond “it’s delicious” or “it tastes bad” to find a more meaningful way to describe food and drink?
We all love to laugh at experts describing wine with ridiculously floral language (“I’m getting pencil shavings and a hint of cat pee”) but I started to sympathise the first time I tried to describe the flavour of Cupuaçú. One of our Eat Rio Food Tour guests once described this weird-tasting fruit as “like eating all the Skittles at once” which I thought was a pretty good effort!
Before we actually tasted anything, I happened to mention a tasting tip I was given by my Venezuelan friend, María Luisa Ríos Lares. María is the brains behind Mil Sabores (an essential site for anyone heading to Caracas). She is also a great expert on the delicious subject of chocolate. She told me that the first thing she eats every day is some chocolate and she keeps her eyes closed while she tastes it. The kids and I found this a really useful tip to help us concentrate as we tasted their chosen foods.
Anyway, that’s enough waffle from me! What follows is the work of Alice, Lena and Nayana [text in square brackets is from me]. And before you worry, the parents of the kids have given their permission for me to include names and photos. Enjoy!