Tuesday 11 September 2012

Brazil's gastronomic highlights

Vegetables at the street market in Rio de Janeiro

The end of a great holiday always comes with a bit of blues but, thank goodness,  the weather in London has been nice to me this time around. Every time I go to Brazil to visit my family and friends I return missing them, but also with lots of energy and full of ideas.

It was my mum’s 80th birthday, so she had the whole family around. I am very lucky because I come from a family with lots of talented cooks who just love hanging out in the kitchen preparing delicious meals whilst reminiscing.

One of the highlights of the meals at my mum’s this time was my aunt’s Zeca’s lobster moqueca, a healthy and light stew rooted in the tradition of indigenous tribes from the Brazilian coast. It’s the dish my mother greets me with every time I visit her in Brazil, as I wrote in my website

As nothing goes to waste, my friend Betina later on prepared another delicious meal with the leftovers from the stew: lentil and egg moqueca. My mouth is still watering.

Anyway, this was just the beginning of my travels. After staying at my mum’s, Dean, Nina and I went to Salvador-Bahia, further North on the Brazilian coast. It was the first capital of Brazil and the local culture has a very strong African influence. There we were blessed with amazing meals, especially at the restaurant Paraíso Tropical, owned by the genius chef Beto Pimentel. 

From there we went to Rio de Janeiro where we were welcomed by an amazing lunch at my lovely and adorable friend and chef Teresa Corção’s restaurant O Navegador. Teresa is known as the "Manioc queen" and as one of the founders of Slow Food in Rio de Janeiro she uses mainly Brazilian produce. 

From the first day till the last, we had weeks of pure indulgence and delight.

I have just arrived, dear readers, so I need at least one week to put my feet on the ground and get  things going again. In the meantime, the pictures below are to open your appetites for the next blog.

I am happy to be back and cooking again in my kitchen!

The fresh lobster...
turning into a delicious "Moqueca" at my mum's kitchen

Aunt "Zeca" exhibiting her lobster and Sea bream "Moquecas"
My friend Betina used the leftovers...
to make lentils and egg "Moqueca". Yum!

"Moqueca Bahiana" at Donana's restaurant in Salvador - Bahia 
Exotic Brazilian fruits grilled  on their own nectar at
Pimentel's Paraiso Tropical   
The tastiest soft shell crab with lime and Biribiri (a Brazilian fruit) 
"Tropical Misto" - Lobster, octopus, king prawns with grilled tropical
fruits and aromatic herbs  from Beto's herb garden.
This was the most sensational meal I've had in years
Beto gave me a Cocoa fruit from his own orchard to take home
It's thumbs up to the genious Beto Pimentel
In Rio, the famous cheese bread from "O Navegador"
Amazonian couscous with Tucupi sauce and edible flower. Delish!!!
"Galinha com pirão de parida" -  Organic chicken with pirao, chilli sauce 
 and tucupi. It was well thought and so flavoursome!
"Poréu" (porridge) com baba de moça (egg, coconut, custard cream),
green papaya sweet and Pitanga liquor. 
The lovely and talented chef Teresa Corção and us. The real 
Slow Food restaurant in Rio.
The beach in Vila Velha - Espirito Santo

Till next year Brazil! Till next week, dear readers!



  1. The food and the place look amazing, but we missed your posts and your inspiring recipes. Welcome back.

  2. Wow the
    place is not only amazing
    as well as the foodies...wish to visit this place in the future.


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