In our little host city Priscilla and I ate very well.… We started with a nice little buffet at the hotel then just about everywhere we visited we had Pon de Queijo of course, juice and coffee. It is a nice way to be welcomed! We also ate a Brazilian staple called pastels often. Pastels are made up of various meats, sometimes vegetables, and cheeses wrapped in a thin pastry. I think this is where somebody got the idea about making Hot Pockets. However, these are way better. I think we ate 10 different variations of these pastels. Of course the meat ones were great but the one with hearts of palm in them were a close second.
Maura also made us homemade feijoada- a stew with black beans, sausage, and meat over rice. It is served with a small salad of greens, hot sauce, and orange slices. It was our first homemade meal and it was nothing short of incredible. Maura prided herself on how she made her feijoada and it became a running joke that the thing we liked best about Brazil was her feijoada. Joking aside, it probably was the best thing we ate.
Most of our lunches were at local all-you-can-eat places that had a little buffet and various meats on swords grilled over open flames… none of these restaurants disappointed.
We also had lunch one afternoon at the famous Modern bakery/deli in Ibitinga. It didn’t disappoint- especially the fried balls/pockets buffet. Perfect food after a long night.
Dinner was very similar to lunch. We did go to a pizza place for dinner one night for all-you-can-eat slices. They have some very interesting types of pizza there. Some were great…some…not. The hot dog pizza with the ketchup sauce and fried potato sticks… well…not so awesome. But it was fun trying it.
We did have a family style lunch at Teco’s house (one of Maura’s best friends and a teacher from Ibitinga). The meal was great- salads, an enchilada style entrée and plenty of interesting side dishes. It was nice to have another home cooked meal. One of the dishes was made by Grandma- it seems there is a universal, worldwide law when it comes to grandma’s cooking- it’s going to be awesome!
The weekend BBQ or churrasco was one of my favorite all time meals. If I could do that every weekend I would be a happy, happy person. There is nothing in the world like meat cooked over an open flame for hours and hours. Maybe it just rings that primal bell deep inside. Every slice was a little slice of heaven! They just kept feeding us and feeding us… It didn’t suck.
I have to say, with all confidence, Brazilian food is wonderful… down to the last heart of palm, fried pastry pocket of meat and cheese, and definitely every slab, hunk, and slice of meat grilled on a sword or over an open fire!
Next- The Final Wrap-Up