How to snack like a local at the Rio Olympics

If you have travelled to Brazil for the Rio Olympics you will definitely find the time to enjoy the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro. While meandering through streets, walking along Copacabana beach or visiting the pão de açucar, at some point, you will need something to snack on. The culinary delights that Brazil has to offer are endless, but what should you eat for a quick snack? And, how do you order it?

(If you are enjoyng the Rio Olympics from the comfort of your own home you can make some of these delicious snacks for everyone to enjoy!)

A common place to stop for a snack is a lanchonete, snack bar. Or, one of the many beach stands. Anywhere you go, you are likely to find the same snacks. Here are some MUST-TRY snacks.

Caipirinha
Everybody has heard of the Brazilian drink, caipirnha, probably your local bar is now serving it. But, while in Rio you HAVE to drink at least one. Grab one at Copacabana or Ipanema beaches, breathing in the salty sea air, squishing your toes in the sand and brushing off the constant bombardment of beach vendors.

The traditional capirinha is made with cachaça and lime, but nowadays there is a myriad of different caipirinha options. You can have it with vodka or cachaça, lime, passion fruit, pineapple, strawberry…the list goes on. So, how do you order the traditional caipirinha?

how to order caipirinha in portuguese

I suggest you stick to the cachaça. If you want a different fruit just substitute the limão with: abacaxi (pineapple) or morango (strawberries) or maracuja (passion fruit).

And, if one capirinha is not enough (which, it is likely not to be). Just say: “mais uma, por favor.”

CLICK HERE for the traditional recipe! And HERE for one made with blackberries!

Pão de Queijo
These are all the rave in the USA at the moment. But, you have to try the real deal. Anywhere you go in Brazil you will find pão de queijo. Any lanchonete, padaria or beach stand will serve them. Sometimes you will find large single serving pão de queijo and other times they will be small bite-sized. There is no difference between the two in flavor, just the way you order.

Brazilian Cheese Bread

If there are large pão de queijo being sold you will ask for how many you would like, um, dois, tres or quatro.

You: Eu queria um pão de queijo, por favor. (I’d like one pão de queijo, please).

OR

You: Eu queria dois/três/quatro pães de queijo, por favor. (I’d like two/three/four pães de queijo, please).

Now, if the padaria or lanchonete is serving bite-sized pão de queijo, you will need to order by weight. Remember, in Brazil we use the metric system, so you will be ordering in grams. Don’t panic, it is not that difficult. Let’s see how it is done.

You. Eu queria 100g (cem gramas) de pão de queijo, por favor. (I’d like 100g of pão de queijo, please).

Simple, right? 100g of bite-sized pão de queijo will be about 10 units. Think of each one as weighing 10g.

Now you’re ready to go onto the streets of Rio and order pão de queijo like a local.

CLICK HERE for recipe #1! And HERE for the blender recipe!

Empadinha de frango
Finally, we have a popular Brazilian snack that you may not have heard of. The empadinha is a small, cupcake sized, pie. Popular fillings are frango (chicken), palmito (hearts of palm) and queijo (cheese). You will find this common snack anywhere. Brazilians like to eat it with an expresso or cappuccino. Let’s learn how to order an empadinha and how to find out what the filling is.

Chicken Pie

How to ask what the fillings are:

You: Essas empadinhas são de quê?

And ordering:

You: Eu queria uma empadinha de frango/palmito/queijo, por favor.

Now go out, grab an empadinha and a coffee!

CLICK HERE for my delicious recipe!

Coxinha
Another popular coffee time snack: coxinha. Translated this means ‘little thigh’. You will be able to easily identify it in any display window as it is shaped like a chicken thigh. This is a deep-fried chicken and potato snack. Shredded and seasoned chicken is wrapped with pureed potato, rolled in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. What could be tastier than that? Sometimes you will find the whole drumstick wrapped in pureed potato, but I recommend going for the more common one with the shredded chicken.

How to order? Just ask for a coxinha as we have practiced with the other snacks.
Brazilian Coxinha

Pudim
If all of these savory snacks are getting a little bit too much for you, head over to the sweets section and pick out this delicious dessert. Pudim is a Brazilian staple and is a must-have. It is a flan-like dessert made from condensed milk, milk and eggs. Accompanied with a delicious caramel sauce, it is eaten cold.

condensed milk pudding

CLICK HERE for the recipe!

Pastel com caldo de cana
If you pass-by anywhere that is selling pastel STOOOOOOOOOOOP! You will want to go and get one of these popular Brazilian street foods. Commonly, pastel is sold at the neighborhood vegetable street markets or feiras.

So, what is pastel? Well, it is a light, deep-fried, pastry that is filled with any kind of filling you can imagine, cheese, ground beef, hearts of palm, escarole, pumpkin, jerked beef, just to name a few. You can even mix and match. Anything goes.

Pastel com caldo de cana

And, there you have it, some tasty snacks that you will find anywhere in Rio de Janeiro during the summer Olympics. Or snacks which you can make at home while watching the Rio Olympics on TV. And, you now know some portuguese!

Want some more snacks for all of you Rio Olympic watching? Here are some more suggestions:
Fried Manioc Balls
Feijoada (Brazilian Bean and Meat Stew)
Broa (Sweet corn breads)
Avocado ice-cream
Fried Rice Balls
Passion Fruit Mousse
Brigadeiro

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Homemade Cordials

Homemade CordialAfter a long day of working outside in the fields I like to come home, begin cooking dinner, and make myself a drink (usually caipirinha, but a cold beer is also always a good way to end the day). But, sometime ago we began making cordials at home and they have become one of my favorite things to have at the end of the day. Either I fill a shot glass and sip at it or I will fill a bit of a bigger glass with some ice and add the cordial. It is really refreshing!

I love cordials and there is nothing better than to have a full selection of homemade ones that you can pick and choose from.

Last year we had a lot of fruits on the farm and instead of just making jam with them all I decided it would be great to make some cordials. So, I made blackberry, plum and jabuticaba (this is a grape like fruit that grows on the trunk of the tree, here’s the link to the Wikipedia page about it). They all turned out really well, and although I made quite a lot, they were gone pretty quickly. Everyone’s favorite was the plum cordial, but the blackberry and jabuticaba were not far behind.

If you have some fruits on hand, or just want to make your own cordials give this recipe a try. I use this same recipe for all of my cordials because it is super easy! My alcohol of choice is cachaça as I can find it for very cheap, but you can substitute it for vodka!

SIMPLE CORDIAL RECIPE

1 kg of fruit (plum, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry or jabuticaba)
1 liter of alcohol, cachaça or vodka
2 bottles of water
1 kg white sugar

Put the fruit and alcohol together into a jar. Seal well and leave to macerate for approximately 24 days. If you would like a stronger fruit flavor you can leave sit for an additional 10 days.

After 24 days, prepare a simple syrup with the water and the sugar. In a medium pan mix the water and sugar together, bring to a light boil and let simmer until you have a very light syrup. The consistency should be a little thick! Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Filter the alcohol and fruit mix. Make sure to remove all of the fruit. Pass through a sieve several times if necessary.

Once the syrup has cooled, mix the alcohol and syrup together. Add the syrup a little at a time and taste after each addition. Add more or less syrup to the alcohol depending on your desired flavour. For more sweet, add more syrup, for less sweet, add less!

Mix well and bottle.

Blackberry Caipirinha

DSC_0070-001You can never have too many caipirinha recipes! Caipirinha is so simple and can be made with almost any fruit. A while back I had my first pineapple caipirinha and it was delicious. Another favourite of mine is passion fruit caipirinha.

But, a close second to the traditional lemon/lime caipirinha is a blackberry caipirinha. A restaurant close to my farm serves a delicious blackberry caipirinha and because I have a lot of blackberries at home I decided that it was time to make my own.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

50 ml cachaça or vodka
2/3 cups frozen or fresh blackberries
2 tsp white sugar

Place the blackberries in a glass and muddle (mash the blackberries with a muddler or wooden spoon to extract all of the juice). Add the cachaça, sugar, and ice cubes. Together with the ice cubes you can add some more whole frozen blackberries.

Christmas Stollen with some Brazilian adaptations

Brazilian StollenWhen I was a child, Christmas at home was never complete without my moms homemade christmas stollen. Breakfast during the holiday season always had stollen and it was always delicious and something that I looked forward to for the whole year. I actually have no memory of my mom baking the stollen, but I have many fond memories of eating it!

Brazilian StollenFor the past years I haven’t managed to do much for christmas. The last two christmas’s I didn’t manage to put up decorations let alone bake christmas cakes, breads or cookies. Finally, this year I have had more time to decorate the house and bake some christmasy items, the most exciting being christmas stollen.

I have never made stollen and decided to follow a recipe from a trusted english recipe book. Although you can find all of the necessary ingredients here in Brazil, I decided to make some changes and “brazilianize” my stollen. They all turned out beautifully and I ended-up giving a lot of them away as christmas presents to neighbors and family. In total I made two large stollens and 12 small ones.

Instead of using rum to macerate the fruit in, I used cachaça. And, instead of using almonds I used Brazil nuts. Just these two changes made the stollen just a bit more Brazilian. To some of my stollens I also added cristalized fig and citron as well as some cherries.

I know this is not a Brazilian recipe by any means, but as it is christmas I thought it would be nice to share a bit of what else is baking in my kitchen besides all of the delicious Brazilian dishes that I share here.

With that, I end  the year 2015 with a stollen recipe from Good Housekeeping. HAPPY NEW YEAR and enjoy the recipe!

Stollen Recipe

Brazilian adaptations:
Substitute the rum for cachaça.
Substitute the almonds for Brazil nuts.
Instead of regular cristalized fruits/peels you can use cristalized figs, cherries, papaya and pineapple.

 

Quentão – Hot Cachaça, Lemon and Ginger drink

Photo credit - http://torradatorrada.com/2014/06/09/drink-quentao-vaiterfestajuninasim/

If you want to warm-up after a day of skiing, snow shoveling or just because its cold and wintry outside, you need to make yourself a hot cup of quentão. 

Quentão is a hot alcoholic beverage traditionally served in June during, what are called, the June festivities in Brazil (Festas Juninas). In June it is already cold here in Brazil and a warm cup of quentão at an outdoor party is just the thing everyone needs to stay warm and have a good time.

The June festivities are celebrated throughout Brazil during the month of June in celebration of Saint John, Saint Anthony and Saint Paul. The parties are full of dance and games for children and adults. It is a wonderful celebration! Because it is not winter or June here in Brazil I will leave a more in-depth explanation of these festivities later (closer to June).

But, because it is winter in the northern hemisphere and a lot of you must be getting ready to brave the winter months I thought it would be nice to share a tasty hot beverage recipe so that you can try it out over christmas, new years and the long winter days to come!

This recipe is super easy, and as with a lot of drink recipes, I recommend you add or subtract ingredients based on your taste/liking.

Quentão is traditionally made with cachaça in Brazil, but if you do not have cachaça at home or if your local liquor store does not carry it, you can substitute the cachaça with rum!

Ingredients

1 cup white sugar
2 cups boiling water
2 lemons cut into thin round slices
3 cinammon sticks
1 piece of ginger cut into small cubes
1 liter of cachaça (or rum)

Put the sugar into a pan on low to medium heat until it is melted and just begins to caramalize. Add the water and allow to boil until you reach a runny caramel sauce. Add the lemon, cinammon, ginger and cachaça (or rum). Put a lid on the pan and leave to boil for approximately 5 minutes. Serve while still warm in small cups!

 

Photo Credit – http://torradatorrada.com/2014/06/09/drink-quentao-vaiterfestajuninasim/