Some of the best meals I ever had in Brazil (or anywhere) were cooked at someone’s home. My first meal in Joao Pessoa was cooked by my girlfriend’s mother in their home. It might have been Tuesday but it definitely felt like a Sunday. All her family were there, there was good wine and great home cooked food.
The first dish was pasta with shrimp in a cream sauce with kalamata olives, tomatoes, a little bit of spicy pepper (so they said but I could not taste it) and the green herbs you see is perhaps parsley, still not sure of the variety. I have to confirm that. IN any case, the dish worked, and tasted great.
Next we had fish baked with more shrimp, tomatoes, butter, kalamata olives and it was fantastic. The fish was a fillet, though I don’t know what type of fish. Perhaps Dorado which is similar to Mahi Mahi? All delicious.
The best part was this ultra-hot hot peppers preserved in Cachaca, very harsh Brazilian rum. It has a lot of kick to it, its similar to Tabasco but a mere drop of it will give any hot sauce a run for its money.
I don’t know the process of how they preserved it. I will get those recipes later. I bet the cachaca from these peppers would make a kick-ass Bloody Mary, certainly one you would never forget!
The wine was quite interesting. You can never know enough about wine and this one has quite a history.
The Camenere grape was originally from the Medoc region of Bordeaux in France. Its a member of the Cabernet family and produces a deep red wine. It is considered part of the original six red grapes of Bordeaux. Today its rarely found in France and the world’s largest planted area of this vine is in Chile.
In many ways I consider South America the “new” Europe. By this I mean, its thriving with food, culture, has plenty of agricultural resources and is an emerging travel destination for many reasons. The food is great, the wine is great, the prices are cheap, and they all speak the same language. Granted, that if you are in Europe, you can speak English nearly anywhere, but if you can speak Spanish, even the Brazilians can pick up on it. There is a lot of unexplored food and territory here. Argentina, Chile, of course Brazil, and while some might shy away from Venezuela, South America that has no nearly gotten the attention it deserves.
Finally we are on to “Jantar” which is dinner. Dinner is more of a late night snack. Like the Europeans, the biggest meal is eaten at lunch time with an hour rest. So for dinner, we had heart of palm soup made with cream and it was delicious…
Its served with parmesan cheese, and melba toast (as best as I can describe it), its delicious like all the rest of the food. Its palm from a jar, put into the blender, heated on the stove with cream and served. again, a great meal.