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!
If 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.
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 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.