09 November, 2011

Then there was the food

Oh God but the food in Sao Paolo rocked.  Like, really rocked.  As for the booze?  Hmmmm?  I was quite taken with the Cachaça, although I'm pretty sure the person I was doing shots with ended up with a mouthful of 'bounced' Cachaça, if you know what I mean.  At the wedding I kind've turned into scary lady who's rarely let out and really went for it.  My brother returned from the bar with two shots, one for me and one for my pal.  We drank them and I turned to my brother and said 'again'.  My drinking pal looked pained but drank it nonetheless. . . . I kind've, er, discreetly tipped most of mine into a different glass and only got a mouthful.  Sneaky.  A guest at the wedding by the name of Gutenberg (he said 'like the press' but we all thought 'like Steve, from Police Academy') and he told us that your first  Cachaça will taste good, perhaps even great, but your second one, quite possibly, could kill you!      It's fermented sugar cane and it really comes into it's own when you turn it into a Caipirinha.  My favourite was the every day Lime Caipirinha but feck it, I tried lemon, strawberry, kiwi and grave and another fruit one that I can't remember the name of.  Looked like an olive but soaked the alcohol right into it's gorgeous white heart and was boozy as hell.  
So taken with Caipirinhas was I that I think I was pretty much 80% proof for the remaining two days of my trip to Brazil.  Perhaps even 90%.  Hmmm?  Wonder if that's why I still can't sleep.  Yeah, still awake and home over 36 hours now.  Not good.   
The food is great.  We had North Eastern food (beans and rice etc.) in a fab restaurant and ordered a whole lot of stuff on the menu.  Actually, Mrs. M. did.  None of us spoke well enough to order.  Funny though, now that I think back.  We all went through the menu, flicked the pages and read it as if we understood it.  Which we didn't.  We got a rice dish, a chicken dish, something like a goat (it was goat) and a type of bacon Shepard's pie.  Twice.  Nice.
That evening, of the North East meal, we went to a bar called North Beer and well, I got quite merry.  I didn't intend to but I was having great fun and the boys were pretty and funny and it would have been rude not to have a drink with them.  The fact that margaritas were only €3 made it very easy on the pocket too.  We drank and ordered food and ended up with mandioca fries (think potato only really, really crispy), then boring potato fries.  Cheese fried in sesame seeds and chicken in something.  Oh, and a bottle of Absolute to wash it down.  I also appear to have developed a 2 day obsession with smoking in Brazil.  Never smoked before and never will again but for two days straight I smoked happily, if awkwardly.  
Back to food.  We also went to a Churrasco (Brazilian BBQ) where, for the equivalent of €24 you can eat as much as your belly will hold.  There were six of us, four fellas and another girl and myself and I swear to God we were like . . (cliche) Irish at a free bar.  We loaded up at the buffet and then sat down and turned our token to green.  You're given a wheel, one side red, the other side green. The concept is simple - green side up for more meat and red side down if you'd like to take a break.  Thing is . . . we just kept it on green and let them keep loading up our plates.  Sausage, chicken, lamb, beef, a different type of beef, pork belly.  Hell, they even wrapped meat in meat and served it up.
We were gluttons.  All I could think of was Himself and the   lads, they would have loved it.
Apparently it's a dining experience you can make last for hours. I think we last 45 minutes.
Then, it was remembered, we hadn't had the chicken hearts.  Thought 'I'll try this' and remembered how much I  hate offal when it was in my mouth.  Bleugh.  Mr. R. said his 'popped in his mouth and tasted sour'.  Not good.
What is cool is that the waiters go around, with swords (huge skewers?) filled with meat, anxiously keeping an eye out for anyone who'd left their token on green.  Like us.  Savages.
On my last day I got to go to the Liberdade.  Wow, oh wow.  Japanese food.  Gorgeous Japanese food.  I ordered a whopping dumpling and then some Takoyaki . . .  which came with live shrimp.  Not great for me.  Don't like my food trying to swim in it's sauce.
Last meal was a delicious Beef Stroganoff - a national dish of Brazil and then it was time to head for the plane. Home to babies and Himself so was happy with that.
The food rocks.  The booze is out of this world and the juices are fabulous.  I had orange and soya juice, plain orange, pineapple and the very delicious sugar cane juice.  Yeah, stuffed and happy.
Oh, and I really can't forget the utterly delicious 'pao de queijo' cheese bread balls - yum.  They were the very, very, last thing I ate before leaving the country.

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