Territorio Havaianas
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HOW TO DO CHRISTMAS LIKE A BRAZILIAN

Brazil is truly a melting pot of cultures and peoples - Brazilians are specialists at gracefully gathering things from around the globe for some spontaneous innovation. It’s part of our joie de vivre, part of our nature. Being a person who is very much into food and drinks l see plenty of this world-embracing ‘Brazilianness’ materialising even in some of our simple dishes. Take for instance a laid-back Sunday afternoon with friends and family. Chances are you may find the very typical ‘Bobó de Camarão’ served at the table. ‘Bobó de Camarão’, or Shrimp Bobó (you’d pronounce it boboh), is a delicious, easy-to-prepare seafood stew thickened with mashed manioc and served with rice.
TERRITORIO HAVAIANAS_BRASILIAN CHRISTMAS MENU

BOBO DE CAMARÃO

Well, manioc was the traditional crop of the Native Indians who were also very fond of shrimps, while the Portuguese brought rice from Malaysia. The ‘Bobó de Camarão’ recipe also has a bit of palm oil - clearly an African influence - as well as a bit of coconut milk, which again is originally South East Asian. Add a bit of Mediterranean bay leaf, tomatoes and some lemon (introduced to Portugal by the Arabs) and you turn around the globe again just by sticking to this simple dish!

‘Bobó de Camarão’ probably originated as a recipe in the State of Bahia sometime in the 17th century and since then has spread throughout the country. It is a piece of culture you can appreciate from the perspective of your sunshine-colored fork.

However, as much as we love a laid-back Sunday afternoon with ‘Bobó de Camarão’, no joy would be complete without drinks! And I could hardly think of anything more typically Brazilian than our world-class Caipirinha. But Caipirinha is waaaaay more than just the mashed green lime and ice cocktail with a bit of sugar and cachaça widely known throughout the world.

In Brazil, Caipirinha is a drinking style on its own. It stands for a wide range of uplifting options that have in common the basic concept of freshly mashed fruit mixed with spirits or even Japanese sake. Truly, when five people arrive at our Bistro, MECENAS BISTRO E CULTURA, they may very well ask for five completely different types of Caipirinha!

TERRITORIO HAVAIANAS_BRASILIAN CHRISTMAS MENU

CAIPIRINHAS

The merry science of ‘Caipirology’ offers those willing to be initiated literally tens of combinations of fresh fruits to experiment with. My top three personal picks would be for instance mandarin with fresh ginger, pineapple or strawberry. For some, passion fruit or kiwi would be the way to go, sometimes with added fresh mint leaves.

The Caipirinha horizons may become even wider when you tell the spirit you want in your mix, which is when you may get a ‘Caipirissima’ (rum), a ‘Caipisake’ (sake), a ‘Capivodca’ (vodka) or simply the flag bearer Caipirinha (cachaça).

It doesn’t matter where you come from, but if you inquire about ‘Bobó de Camarão’ and the different available types of Caipirinha, you’ll be on the fast track to becoming a local!

So, with the food and drinks sorted, you’ve no excuse not to add a Brazilian-inspired day to your Christmas calendar. Fill your living room with sand, throw on a pair of Havaianas and spend an afternoon hiding from the cold outside, eating ‘Bobo de Camarão’ and supping on a Caipirinha. It’ll be just like Copa Cabana’s come to your doorstep.

OLAV SHRADER, MECENAS BISTRO E CULTURA

OLAV SCHRADER, MECENAS BISTRO E CULTURA


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