Friday, July 10, 2015

all about food! Brazil: Part 8

Before our trip, we met with the health department to get our vaccinations and any important health-related information.  They gave us some tips about what to eat and what not to eat, which I pretty much stuck with (except lettuce. for some reason, I just couldn't live without lettuce for those three weeks!) Jordan listened respectfully, but was just so excited to try all the things so he didn't worry too much about following any rules. (Which worked out just fine - and really I can't think of anything too risky he even tried. )

So, here's all about the fun foods of our trip:


My favorite things to try in Brazil were all of the interesting fruits. (I'm not so daring food-wise, but fruits seemed pretty safe and I loved the ones I tried.)

We visited the Mercado Municipal in São Paulo, and just inside the front entrance, this guy started handing out samples of exotic fruits we'd never seen.

Our favorites were the rambutan (a lot like a lychee, but looks like a strange sea creature!) and I also loved the golden kiwi (which I think they called a banana kiwi)

Jackfruit, just outside the market  (though we didn't try this) - "The largest tree fruit in the world... capable of reaching 100 pounds!")

I loved the produce sections at the grocery stores and markets we visited. So many interesting fun fruits to see and try!

Jordan told me in advance all about the delicious juices in Brazil. When we went to the school's international night, they had an entire table full of juices (instead of soda that you'd probably see here). And so many fun flavors (my favorite finds were maracuja (passionfruit) and pineapple + lime)

Even better though were the fresh juices and smoothies.  On our first day at Jurere beach in Florianopolis, we bought a juice from the traveling juice stand on the beach. It was delicious and even more fun was watching the man make it - a few chunks of pineapple thrown in the blender, a few passion fruits sliced and poured in, a couple more fruits, shake in the ice, blend it, strain it, serve it, done!  I just loved it.

Jordan went out that evening and brought home an entire grocery bag full of tropical fruits (for about $7 total!) and we experimented with our own juices. (This made us appreciate the juice stand worker's talent even more! What took us 10 or 15 minutes (or more!) to do, he did in probably 30 seconds.

Jordan was our official juice and smoothie maker and with a few more return trips to the market, he made some super delicious drinks! Passionfruit, guava, banana, pineapple, lime, papaya... yum!

some too, please?!?

We didn't end up trying these (we ran out of time and left them behind in Florianopolis). But these are cashew fruits! (caju) Each fruit has one cashew nut inside that top brown stem part. (This definitely makes me appreciate a handful of cashew nuts more!)

Our hotel breakfast the last morning in São Paulo was just so fun to see all the unique things in their buffet. I loved this "assorted fruit" and the fruit platter to the side with papaya, fresh pineapple and watermelon :)


We generally ate one meal out and one meal at home (plus breakfast at home), so we spent a bit of time in the nearby grocery stores and markets. (Which I loved!) In São Paulo, we'd been stopping by a little market around the corner from our hotel until  about halfway through our stay when we realized that there was an actual grocery store just about the same distance away but around the other corner. (silly us!)

A few of the stores we visited had these moving sidewalk ramps where you took your cart right up to get to the upstairs level. 

Lettuce! The one food I couldn't do without (which is so funny, because I didn't realize I was so crazy about salads!) An interesting thing - the lettuce there was packaged up roots and all!

Katie bought a few packages of quail eggs, and the kids especially liked this for a snack. (Though our main snack for the trip I think was some awesome Brazil nut granola we found there)

(And notice the glass top -- open on Kathie's stove :)

We found very few boxed cereals in Brazil. Most stores had Cocoa puffs and frosted flakes, and then sometimes a few variety's of this Nesfit.  (And that's it!) This cereal definitely grew on us. The first time we thought we'd toss the rest of the box, but then we tried it again and decided it was okay... By the time we left, we almost bought a few extra boxes to bring home!

What they lacked in cereal variety, they made up for in yogurts! One store had an entire full height freezer aisle full one side and half way down the other side - all yogurt! We stocked up and ate lots :) (Their yogurts were thinner than ours - almost soupy. They also had lots of yogurt milks (though I think they were about the same consistency as the yogurts :)

The director of the school we visited told us we could bring some finger foods to share at the school's international night, and running low on time we'd just grabbed some packaged cookies that looked fun. Then we got to the event, and saw all of these amazing foods and treats (like the birds nest treats above!) And we decided not to contribute our little cookies.

A few days later though (when we discovered the around-the-corner grocery store) I walked through the bakery, and realized that Pueri Domus parents were very much like Hillcrest parents, and many of the treats that I thought were so painstakingly made were also last minute purchases from a local market :)

Jordan was excited to try again and share his favorite peanut -buttery treats

I packed oatmeal to bring with us, but we ran out a little early and had to replenish our supply. I thought this serving suggestion was so interesting, and at the hotel breakfast our last day this was just how the oatmeal was being served. 

These little tubes and packages of cookies were always at the magazine stands and snack stands around town, and they were fun to try :)

And a note about treats:

I was amazed to realize how our treat plan of the past 6 months had changed my habits. I ate some cookies and ice cream cones and tried a few little treats and happily enjoyed all of them. But any other time, I would have picked out a new fun dessert to go with every meal!  And it wasn't any kind of will power at all, it just rarely crossed my mind to pick out a treat. Just a surprising change!

And I didn't realize how much I had to say about food, so I suppose we'll have to have a Part 8 1/2 tomorrow :)