Saturday, June 2, 2012

Rio II: Feijoada and Friends

I just returned from my second trip to Brazil this year, again to speak at a conference on research integrity, an area in which the growing Brazilian research community is making an admirable commitment.  To be able to spend several days with like-minded people is treat enough, but to do so in a beautiful and friendly city like Rio is doubly satisfying.
My colleague Sonia, the energetic powerhouse behind the organization of this multi-city, multi-venue conference, invited all of us presenters into her home for a welcome lunch of traditional Brazilian food. It was a family affair. Her mother (pictured) made the food; her daughter helped serve; and her husband, god bless him, took photos and washed all the dishes by hand in their small kitchen.  

We began with what Sonia described as her “famous ginger caipirinha,” made with honey instead of sugar, and it was both very good and had less cacha├ža  than the ones I had last year in bars—that’s a good thing, as a caipirinha is a potentially dangerous drink.  After some raw veggies and dips we were served the national Brazilian dish, feijoada.  Feijoada is a complete meal; here, ours consisted of white rice; farofa (manioc flour toasted with bacon); fresh pork shoulder; smoked sausage; finely shredded, lightly cooked collard greens; black beans; and pimiento, a hot sauce of onion, parsley, and green chile. For dessert we had a fresh fruit salad and ice cream. All very good, eaten in the open air on Sonia’s balcony.

Here are some photos. We were fed—quite well—at the conference, so I didn’t get out much this time, although did shoot a few photos on the street: the ubiquitous suco stands—Brazil is famous for their fresh juices of papya, coconut, guava, pineapple, mango, and other tropical fruits--; the churro stands with their ingenious needle-like pumps for injecting your fresh-fried churro with dulce de leite or chocolate; a family enjoying a seafood stew served in a roasted pumpkin at Dark Blue (Azul Marine), a favorite Copacabana spot to watch the surfers at sunset. Obrigada, Brazil, for another great visit.

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