Thursday, February 23, 2012

Taste of Brazil - Whether it looks good or not -- Eat it! part 2

"Whether it looks good or not --eat it" is all about showcasing all the different Brazilian food I am tasting.  It has been a while since my first post on the subject but I think I have some more great foods to share with you and tempt your taste buds with.  This time I will just list the foods as there has not been a food which would take over the first (Camarao na Moranga) or second (Feijoada) or even my third favorite (broa) spots from my previous post.

Again I will look for a recipe if I can find one and if you have a great recipe for a Brazilian food listed and want to share, leave a comment with an email address (I will not post the comment) and I will create a recipe page on my blog.  Hope you enjoy.

A) Pequi - This orange fruit has found its way into a second posting on my food about Brazil.  Since it is a regional fruit and found in the Goias region of Brazil (where I am).  I have to give it the respect and mention it deserves.  Pequi has a very strong distinct flavor that is thought by many locals and non locals to be an acquired taste.  It doesn't seem like many Brazilians from other parts of the country find the flavor favorable but to locals they crave it driving several blocks to find the local grocer who has the fresh harvest of the day.  The previous post I shared about it cooked with rice and chicken and today the recipe is just straight up boiled pequi.  I actually like the flavor even though not to the extent of craving it and pequi finds its way into this post for how it is ate more then the flavor it gives.  After the fruit is boiled,  the little round fruit is picked up with your fingers and the small layer of flesh (only about 1/8 of an inch thick) is nibbled off leaving the hard but penetrable pit.   When I ventured to eat my first pequi, I was severely warned not to nibble too deep and by all means do not bite down.  Why you ask?  Well, after eating the outer edge we proceeded to cut the pit open and the answer was easy to see.  Lots of small needle like thorns laying in wait inside the core for anyone attempting to eat a little too much of the fruit and threatening the seed. These spines would not be a pleasant experience to your gums so my advice is to follow the direction of my friends.  I have read that you can dry the pits with spines and then open them up and eat the seed or roast the seeds.  Maybe someday I will be posting about that experience as well.

B) German Food - OK this is not necessarily something I would traditionally put on the Taste of Brazil post but I have to recognize a little known fact about Brazil.  Just like the United States,  many Europeans migrated here to escape persecution and the influence of those settlers is still seen today in corners of its cities and towns.  In Goiania we have found a wonderful German Restaurant "Natur Bier Haus Restaurant" that does an excellent job of mixing the flavors of Brazil with those of Germany.  Most of the ethnic food I have had in
Brazil,  seems to have lost the flavors that I would associate with its ethnicity for more flavors along the lines of Brazilian beans and rice.  This restaurant serves the most ethnically true food I have tasted here except of course for the Brazilian food. Cabbage, sauerkraut,  smoked pork loin, German potatoes and of course many different styles of sausage. Oh, and one cannot forget the good beer if you are talking German food can you.  The service is good and the buffet is all you can eat - not by weight like most places in Brazil.  I am not saying I eat a lot when it is our choice for food,  I just seem a little more adventurous when the food is not paid for by weight.  If you find yourself hungry and in Goiania,  you should check it out.

C ) Kibe - Kibej - Kebbeh - or Quibe - This confused dish, well only confused by the different variations of its name and then by the different ways it can be cooked is another dish fixed for me by Chef Ana Maria and it sure made a great impression.  That girl has got skills!  Traditionally it is balls of spiced ground meat either lamb or beef mixed with bulgar wheat (cracked, parboiled and dried  wheat / very Middle Eastern) and then the balls are stuffed with a little cheese and some more ground meat.
The meat can then be fried, baked, or served raw.  I have tried it all three ways and to my surprise I like the baked (which is the best for you calorie wise) version the best or maybe it is just Ana Maria's tender loving care.  If you ever have the chance this Arab-Brazilian creation is definitely one that will tease your taste buds.
(click here to try recipe - for the fried kind)

D) Peixe a Cubana - This delicious dish made for me by my sweet dear Ana Maria was simply wonderful and could definitely make a run for one of my top three favorite dishes here in Brazil.  This dish is traditionally a Cuban recipe and Brazilians have added their own flavors.   Made with bananas, cod, cheese and lots of cream.  When she advised me there were bananas in the fish dish,  I have to admit I was skeptical and not sure about this one.  But as the title of this blog states - "whether it looks good or not - eat it" - and this actually looked good, it just did not sound appealing.  I tell you,  once those flavors hit my taste buds it was a home run of home cooked flavors.  May I say it again? DELICIOUS!   I searched the internet but could not find a recipe anywhere - I guess I will have to ask Ana Maria for it and post it later.  I think it is a dish that everyone should try at least once in their lives since I would never put banana and fish together, but then again Brazilians love banana on pizza.

E) Spaghetti Bar - This entry makes it in because of its originality and not for anything else.  At several of the local malls there are fast food restaurants that specialize in pasta.  Not like the pasta buffets found in the United States,  these are attended by a cook who loads your pasta choice into a small kettle of boiling water as she begins to add ingredients of your choice into a sauce pan to create the sauce.  The ingredients seem endless with cheeses, onion, ham, peppers, egg, heart of palm, tomatoes, spices, all possibilities just to name a few.  After you have breezed through all the possible options,  she strains the noodles and stirs the sauce and pasta together over a low flame.  Pouring it onto a plate it become a simple but wonderful meal which is quick and always fresh. I will have to think and watch when I am back stateside if I have ever had an experience like this. 

A) QG Meal - OK - how can I talk about food in Brazil without talking about at least one of the fast food franchises that call this country home.  Yes,  QG is a fast food restaurant that from what I can tell dreams of being McDonald's someday with burgers and fries being the main attraction.  I do find it refreshing that on all the local chain restaurant's menus,  there seems to be a traditional meal with beans, rice and meat. In this case it was chicken and although the wait was a little longer then I would expect at a "fast" food restaurant, it was fresh and the flavors were spot on.  There were actually spice on the meet and so it exceeded my expectations. 

Read Part 1 - click here!

German Restaurant 

German Restaurant

No comments: