I never know quite how to feel when I see this scene in Lapa. Part of me is happy that the little fellow survived, another part of me feels sad that these huge, ugly blocks were put here in the first place.
Did I ever tell you how much I love bolinhos? When I was first introduced to these little balls of joy, I assumed the word meant just that: little balls. In fact bolinho is the diminutive of bolo, the Portuguese word for cake, so really these are ‘little cakes’, but a better translation would be ‘fritter’ or ‘croquette’. Whatever you call them, bolinhos are hugely popular in Brazil. There are quite a few bars in Rio that owe pretty much all their popularity to their bolinhos.
The photo above shows bolinhos de feijoada from Aconchego Carioca. This is a bolinho version of Brazil’s best-loved dish, feijoada: black bean purée on the outside, shredded couve and bacon in the middle, all encased in a delightfully crispy shell. Along with a helping hand from Claude Troisgros, these bolinhos really put this restaurant on the map. Other bars and restaurants in Rio for bolinho lovers to visit include Bracarense in Leblon and Bar do Gomez in Santa Teresa:
Ah, good old Hortifruti adverts. Whether they’re making excellent fruit-based movie puns or
racist controversial accent-based puns, they always give me something to think about. Their latest offering covers relatively safe ground – speaking for myself, I know I’m often guilty of being a cabeça dura (literally ‘hard head’, though ‘stubborn’ would be a better translation) when it comes to asking for directions.
But people with cabeça dura living in Rio should really take Mrs Drinking Coconut’s advice – Cariocas still amaze me with their willingness to help out when someone asks for directions. It’s not so much that they’re prepared to help that I find surprising; it’s the lengths to which they’ll go. Imagine yourself in the following scenarios in whichever city you happen to call home:
Well it’s Friday, and in days gone past that would have meant a guaranteed post here at Eat Rio. Then along came the World Cup and a deluge of food tours and my whole writing/posting routine got messed up.
So now that the World Cup is over, things should be getting back to normal, right?
Well, not quite yet. Mrs Eat Rio and I have been working 7 days/week for the last 3 months, so we are both completely exhausted. A few weeks ago we decided to book ourselves a holiday to Mexico so we can get away from everything and fully unwind.
I visited Mexico back in 2010 and absolutely loved it. For Mrs Eat Rio it will be her first time in the land of tequila, mole and chilaquiles (we plan to indulge in all 3 of those items, plus much, much more).
Of course I’ll be indulging in some serious relaxation, but I will also be taking my camera with a view to record my experiences and perhaps draw some parallels and contrasts between Mexico and Brazil. And when I get back, things will get back to normal (promise!).
Well, that’s that then. The World Cup 2014 is over. All the worries and concerns about whether the tournament would be a success can be laid to rest because this thing is over.
How do you think it went? Sadly, through an overabundance of work, I didn’t get to attend any of the matches in any of the stadiums, but I was out and about on the streets of Rio throughout the tournament and also met a huge number of tourists who were in town specifically for the World Cup. Here’s my take on the tournament:
Well, Brazil have played 2 games now and I think it’s fair to say that most people have been pretty underwhelmed. So far there have been no dominant displays and no goleadas – just a feeling that something isn’t quite clicking when the team get out on the field.
I have a few Mexican friends living here in Rio, and they had all decided to watch the game at Casa Alto Vidigal, a hostel/bar at the very top of Vidigal favela. The journey would normally take a little over an hour, so I gave myself a little over 2 hours and set off on my journey. Within minutes I received messages from other friends who were also trying to get to Vidigal – everyone was telling me that the traffic was the worst they’d ever seen in Rio.
Well, things didn’t quite go as scripted for Brazil: an underwhelming performance, an own goal, a very dubious penalty decision and many people saying that Neymar should have received a red card. However, the score finished 3-1 and Brazil have the expected 3 points.
I was planning to watch the game at the FIFA Fanfest on the beach in Copacabana, so I hopped on the bus. I decided to stop off in Ipanema first to see what the World Cup atmosphere was like. With just a couple of hours to kick off, the beaches were eerily empty.
In case you missed it, Brazil is currently hosting one of the biggest competitions in the world. With the help of my friends at Skype (I’m their Food Ambassador, remember?), I’m starting up a new competition and you’re all invited to take part.
The challenge is simple – tell us about a fun, unusual or inventive way you use Skype. Do you carry out training sessions with your band mates when you can’t all be in the same place at once? Are you one of those people who can tell an entire story using emoticons?
Here’s one of my tricks. When friends are working late in the office, I’ve been known to tempt them out to play by hanging around the vicinity of their office and Skyping them a photo of something tasty…