Sunday, July 7, 2013

Brazilian food

Vegetarian dining by TheTurducken
Vegetarian dining, a photo by TheTurducken on Flickr.
When I planned the trip to Brazil, I was worried about being a vegetarian in the land of churrascarias and on an island renowned for its fish. As it turns out, being a vegetarian in Florianopolis is about the same as being veggie in Nashville - you'll find fewer choices, and a few restaurants are off-limits, but it's doable. (Foz do Iguacu was a different story - it was more like being a vegetarian in New Orelans.)

I'm been surprised by some things, though. I really miss American-style breakfast, even though five days a week at home I have a protein shake. Brazilians don't do hot food at breakfast.

However, there are some things Brazil doesn't do so well at:
  • Cheese: To be fair, it is possible to find good cheese. It's not that the technology isn't there. However, the vast majority of cheese in grocery stories is pre-sliced and tastes processed.
  • Juice: Ironic, given how much fruit grows here, and that you can get fresh juices in many restaurants. But everything at the grocery store is what in America would be labelled "juice drink." Lots of sugar, and it tastes watery.
  • Yogurt: They like it more liquid here. I don't mind liquid if it's unsweet (like raita), but I can't handle this stuff.
Not that Brazil doesn't have its strong spots:
  • Coffee: Brazil has a reputation for good coffee, and it's deserved. It's very strong, and the Brazilians are genius enough to serve it with hot milk.
  • Por kilos: These buffet-style lunch spots vary in quality, but the better ones are far better than any American buffet.

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