Hello from Goiânia, Brasil!

It occurred to me about an hour ago that I primarily experience the world through food.  I just got to Brazil with my wife earlier today.  It's my first time here.  Something like 99% of this post is going to be about what I've eaten.  I am my mother's son.

We flew into Sao Paulo.  These are some shots I took from the plane.  I didn't see the city aside from these, because we had to race to catch a connection to Goiania.  

One heck of a large city!

This is Goiania, the city in which my wife was born.  She moved to the US when she was twelve, and hasn't been back to her home town since she was fifteen.  According to her, it's much larger than it once was.

This is the view from my uncle-in-law Mucinho's apartment.  He's an ophthalmologist here in Goiania.  He also speaks English, which was a big help to me!  His daughter is getting married tomorrow.

He took us to this restaurant for lunch.  It's called Botequim Mercato.  It's basically like a really nice bistro.  It's at a local mall.  Apparently, lots of nice restaurants here are located in malls because they are safer, and come with large parking lots.

Here's the first two pages of the menu.  Mucinho was so kind as to order for us, which was great for me because I understand basically none of this!

Apparently Portuguese is very similar to Spanish to such an extent that Portuguese speakers can more or less communicate with Spanish speakers through an informal process they refer to as 'Portunol'.  Portuguese + Espanol = Portunol.  My wife describes it as an augmentation of certain words in accordance to what Spanish words tend to sound like.  I find this concept to be fascinating.  I wish English had a distinct language that was nevertheless significantly understandable.  I'd love to experience what that must be like.

This was the salad.  Palm hearts, chicken, big slabs of mango, buffalo mozzarella, and sun dried tomatoes.

Here's my portion.  Now let me tell you about this mango.  I've never had a mango like it.  The flesh was a bit firmer, and it had a distinctly-minty taste to it.  What's even better: my wife hates fruit, so I got her pieces as well!

This thing, though.  Look at that.  The Portuguese word for this translates to 'small pot', and it's basically a hot pot.  Rice, sausage, a kind of meat called Serenata.  I'm spelling that phonetically, so be warned.  Evidently it's a dried meat, and very flavorful.  The peppers are pimentos.  Until I had met my wife, I only knew of pimento peppers from their pivotal role as the centers of green olives.  Let me tell you, there is so much more to them than just that.  They are slightly sweet and briefly, yet boldly, spicy.  They have a very distinct flavor that I love to death.

Oh and all of this came topped with an egg!  Delicious.

The dirt in Goiania is very red.

Coconuts for sale.

Later on, we went to a dessert and snack place.  

These are pastries.  We ordered Cochinha (translated to 'little thighs'), which are basically breaded meat and cheese dumplings, as well as what was essentially a small shrimp pot pie.

My wife is asleep, so I am unfortunately not going to be able to give the official names for all of these.  The thing on the left, though, is a brigadeiro.  I love these.  They're made from condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter.  Many Brazilian desserts feature condensed milk.  At the top is a fairly thick dessert that consists of coconut and egg yolks.  Bottom right is the shrimp pot pie.

This is the remains of the cochinha.  This particular cochinha features a cheese that cannot be found in the US.  Oh so delicious.

A shot of the main space of Richesse, the place where all this wonderful food was eaten.

This place was right next door to Richesse, and is still blowing my mind.  It's called Beef Bistro, and my wife described it as a 'Meat Boutique'.  The building was designed entirely by my aunt-in-law!

This cow art greeted us out front.

Right about here the smell of spiced meats enveloped me.

So this place is like a charcuterie times a thousand.  Tons of cuts of all sorts of meats.

A cooking demonstration was taking place in one corner of the store.

Two kinds of farofa, which is a classic Brazilian seasoning/topping.  It consists of raw cassava flour, which gets "toasted with butter, salt, sausageolivesonionsgarlic, hard-boiled eggs, and/or bacon until golden brown" (thank you, wikipedia).  It's served with Brazilian barbeque, as well as a dish called feijoada.  Feijoada consists of black beans and meats, rice, collard greens, and something similar to pico de gallo.  It's all topped off with farofa.  If you can find a Brazilian restaurant, you have to try feijoada.  My mother-in-law makes it frequently.

This right here is a feijoada pack!  Everything you need in terms of meat to make feijoada.

My mother would love this place!

For dinner, we went to a Brazilian pizza place.  I was excited to experience Brazil's take on pizza, and I was not disappointed.  This pizza above consists of pimento-like peppers, as well as dried beef and cheese.  It looks like a mess, but it tastes like heaven.

I didn't try the salad pizza (I wound up having three slices, and didn't want to come across as *too* piggy to my in laws who I was meeting for the first time!), but I did try the pizza to the right of it.  This is essentially very fancy Hawaiian pizza.  It consists of ham, as well as caramelized pineapple.  I didn't know pineapple could be caramelized.  Delicious!

This is Portuguese pizza.  It tastes quite unlike any other pizza I've had.  There are two hard boiled egg slices on there, as well as cured salami-ish meat, and onions, peppers and a whole green olive.

Another shot of the Hawaiian-esque pizza.

It's wonderful to see my wife back in her native land, speaking Portuguese and seeing relatives that in some cases she hasn't seen in ten years.  It's also nice to meet more of her family!  And, slowly but surely, my Portuguese is improving.

Boa Noite!  (That means good night.  I'm sure there's at least one accent mark missing there, but I definitely don't know how to type those).


Everything looks exotic and yummy! Yes, your Mom would adore that meat boutique, wouldn't she?
Experiencing a place through the food is exciting for sure. Everything there looks delicious. ENJOY!
Susan said…
That Beef Bistro??? OMG! I know that Brazil is all about beef but that is truly amazing! Looks like you’ve married into a super family. Thank you for sharing your trip!
Linda said…
Everything looks wonderful. I love condensed milk and chocolate, so the dessert looked delicious.
Linda said…
I searched for the brigadeiro recipe and found lots of recipes. All had the same ingredients. There is a can of sweetened condensed milk on my shelf, so this is my project for the hurricane approaching.
Roz said…
Meat boutique! we need one in the US! thanks for showing us all of this in Brasil!