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Matueté Blog

Archive for October de 2012

31 de October de 2012 0

:: Culture & History

Although it’s a folklore tradition in North America and Europe, it has little to do with our Brazilian traditions. Each year more and more people celebrate Halloween in Brazil due to foreign influences and the inevitable globalization. Our kids began to love wearing costumes and go trick-or-treating around their neighborhoods! They even end up learning a little bit of English, since most words and expressions for this holiday come from abroad.

This kind of cultural exchange is great but we end up not caring as much to our own folklore traditions. While kids are dressed like witches and vampires, they forget about the Brazilian myths, such as the Saci-Pererê: an annoying prankster boy with holes in his hand palms and a single leg, who has magical powers, smokes a pipe and wears a magical red cap that enables him to disappear whenever he wishes.

In some parts of the country the Brazilian folklore is much more celebrated. In the Amazon, for example, the myths surrounding the pink dolphins are remembered every day, since it´s part of the day to day life of many riverside communities. The myth says that at night pink dolphins become handsome young men who seduces girls, impregnates them, and then return to the river in the morning to become a dolphin again. Some also say that they are the guardians of the Amazonian Manatee. If you come to one of our amazon cruises you will sure see many of them.

We hope that Brazilian kids don´t forget these national myths while celebrating the Halloween, and who knows, your kids can also celebrate our myths some day!

If you wish to learn more about Brazilian folklore, please access the Brazilian Government´s official website .

Happy Halloween & Saci Pererê Day!

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23 de October de 2012 0

:: Brazil - Northeast Region | Brazil - Southeast Region | By Matueté

We always say how great Brazil is and show you amazing pictures of our country. But now is the time to read about the real Matueté experience, written by one of our clients – The Curcio family, who chose Brazil as the first stop for their round the world trip!

They have a very interesting blog, in which each member of the family writes about their personal impressions of each place, like a travel diary. Their pictures are also very inspiring and totally worth a look!

 

So far they have been to Rio, Salvador and Natal, and have just arrived in Fernando de Noronha Island. This is some of their thoughts about the places they’ve been:

 

Rio by Sheryl – “Art is everywhere in the streets with nameless graffiti artists speaking out with color and intricate designs along main thoroughfares, on neighborhood corners and on school walls. I wish we could know the stories behind each.”

 

Brian about the food: “Although it’s become apparent that Brazil has an obsession with rice and beans (most likely due to the fact that protein is simply more expensive) the one thing we can’t knock is the food.”

 

Natal, by Brian: “by far the sunniest and warmest place we’ve been yet; surprisingly, it’s quite clean too.  Located 4 degrees of the equator, Natal seems to be as close to a touristy paradise as you can get – even the girls here seem to have a certain ‘sparkle’ to them. “

 

Check out their blog to learn more about their experiences and perceptions about Brazil so far!

Have a nice reading!

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2 de October de 2012 0

:: Brazil - Northeast Region | Gastronomy | Uncategorized

Brazilian gastronomy is a mosaic of European, African and Indigenous traditions and ingredients. The country is so big, that depending on where you go, you will find completely different flavours and ingredients.

If you go to the Northeast region, in most of the cities by the coast, you will find a delicious fish stew called Moqueca (pronounced “mo-KEH-kah”). It is basically a fish and vegetable stew, with a special extra touch depending on the city you go. We will teach you how to cook a Bahian style Moqueca so you can have a special and delicious Brazilian dinner at home.

As exotic as it may sound, you probably have most of the ingredients already in your pantry. You’ll want to get fresh fish of course, and with prep, the total cooking time is less than an hour. The only special ingredient that may be hard to find is this red palm oil that we call dendê. It has a very particular taste that brings the exoticness to the dish. If you live in a European or American large city, you can look for a Brazilian store and they will have it for sure. If you don´t find it, just use a good olive oil – It will be delicious as well.

This recipe serves around 8 people and we usually eat it with white rice.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 800kg of fillets of firm white fish such as halibut, swordfish, or cod, rinsed in cold water, pin bones removed, cut into large portions
  • ½ kg of shrimp (this is optional – don´t worry if you are allergic or don´t have it)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Palm oil or olive oil (at taste)
  • 2 big onions sliced (around 1cm)
  • 2 red or green pepper, seeded and sliced (one of each will give a beautiful color to the dish)
  • 3 big tomatoes, sliced
  • Red fresh chili, finely minced, at taste
  • 1 large bunch of cilantro, chopped with some set aside for garnish
  • 300ml coconut milk
  • 500ml water

Place fish pieces and the shrimp into different bowls. Add to each the minced garlic and lime juice so that the pieces are well coated. Sprinkle generously all over with salt and pepper. Keep chilled while preparing the rest of the soup.

In a large covered pan (we like using clay pots), coat the bottom with about 2 tbsp of palm or olive oil and heat on medium heat. First, add a layer of the sliced onions, the peppers, the tomatoes then the fish, and so on, layer by layer. Then add part of the cilantro, all the coconut milk and the water. Cover the pan and let it cook.

Do not strew! After 20min, check if the fish is almost cooked. If it isn’t, leave it for a little more time. Then add the shrimps and leave it for 5 more minutes.

When the shrimps are cooked, add some palm oil (around 3 or 4 tbl spoons) and the rest of the cilantro.

If you enjoyed the recipe, contact us when coming to Brazil – we can tell you where you can find the best Moquecas and take you to a Brazilian culinary class so you can learn more about our cuisine!

Bom apetite!

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