Tag Archives: Brazil

The Longest Party in the World

Although Carnival, the traditional festivities celebrated by Christians around the world before Lent begins, has already come and gone, one country has the distinction of hosting the longest Carnival celebrations of any other nation.

The people of Uruguay, a South American country located on the Atlantic coast and nestled between Brazil and Argentina, celebrates Carnival for 40 days!

Although the Carnival celebrations in Brazil gain more attention, Uruguay’s Carnival has religious, cultural, social, and political meaning.

Like most countries, Uruguay hosts parades as part of their Carnival celebrations. The Desfile de Carnaval, which means the Carnival Parade, and the Desfile de Llamadas, the “Calls Parade”, which is a re-enactment of colonial times.

In addition, Uruguay has a strong musical and comedy tradition. Street performances, called murga, mix music, acting, and comedy and are used to amuse and entertain children while offering biting political satire for grown-ups.

Judges visit the murga in different neighborhoods and award prizes for the best.

Although Carnival in Uruguay ended on Ash Wednesday, there’s plenty of time to make plans to visit Uruguay for Carnival 2013!

 

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Donut Days: Sonhos from Brazil

SonhosIf you dream of donuts in Brazil, you’re in luck. One of Brazil’s most beloved donuts is actually called sonhos – or dream.

The sonhos may have originated in Portugal – and some food writers even claim it is related to Polish donuts – but Brazilians have made them all their own.

Filled with guava jelly or dulce de leche, sonhos are a delicious treat with coffee (or milk).

They are frequently enjoyed around the Christmas holidays but we know we don’t need a holiday to enjoy dreams – or donuts!

Check out Chef Danielle’s sonhos recipe at CookingClarified.com.

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It’s Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday

Mardi Gras KidThere’s a lot going on today. In addition to Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday, today is also the 100th International Women’s Day, which I’ll be posting on later today.

But Mardi Gras deserves attention all on its own.

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the last day before the Christian season of Lent begins. In Lent, Christians make sacrifices, fast, pray, and try to prepare for Easter, the holiest time in their religious calendar.

So Mardi Gras is the last hurrah before the solemnity of the Lenten season. And some people really do make the most of it.

In Brazil, Carnivale has a world-famous reputation as an all-out extravaganza.

In the United States, New Orleans pretty much holds the title for most festive Mardi Gras destination.

The celebrations can get wild – but there are some family-friendly traditions that anyone can adopt.

King CakeOne of the most fun is King Cake. King Cake is not only eaten during Mardi Gras, but it is also a popular food during the Christmas holidays in places such as France, Belgium, Portugal, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Switzerland, and Spain.

Inside the cake is a tiny figure of a baby, meant to be the baby Jesus. Whoever finds the figure in his or her piece of cake earns the right to buy next year’s King Cake (I like this tradition!).

In addition to King Cake, parades are a common activity at Mardi Gras festivities. You can organize a mini-parade with your family either inside or outside (depending on how frigid it is where you live). Dress up in masks and pile on every piece of funny clothing, jewelry, or decoration you can find.

Mardi Gras beadsIf you’ve got beads, flaunt them! Mardi Gras beads are traditionally distributed during parades. These plastic beads, usually found in purple, green, and gold, are fun treasures for kids to collect. You can give out beads according to your own idea of a good time. Encourage your children to compliment each other or do nice things for other friends or family members in order to earn the beads. You can keep the fun going long after Mardi Gras.

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Brazilian Chicken and Rice Soup

There are few foods that go better together than chicken and rice.

In Brazil, they’ve created a fantastic soup from this combination called Canja con Arroz.

This recipe is from Cooking the South American Way. The photo is from a blog called Flavors of Brazil.

Brazilian Chicken Rice Soup

1 chicken, cut into pieces

2 stalks celery cut into 4 pieces

1 carrot

1 onion, quartered

2 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

8 c. water

Place in a stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, simmer for 1 ½ hours. Use a colander to strain broth into a bowl. Set chicken pieces aside to cool. Discard vegetables. Return liquid to pot and add the following ingredients:

2 stalks diced celery

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 medium parsnip, peeled and diced

1 medium turnip, peeled and diced

1 tomato, chopped

1/3 c rice

¼ tsp. basil

¼ c chopped parsley or chives

Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. When chicken is cool enough to handle, cut meat into bite-size pieces. Add to broth and heat thoroughly. Serve hot.

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