Brazil’s ‘cachaca’ the world’s fourth most-produced distilled spirit, but little known abroad, except as an ingredient in popular cocktails like caipirinhas is about to change when the US recognizes the sugar cane liquor as a distinctive Brazilian product.
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – While a caipirinha is more likely to spring to mind when thinking of a Brazilian drink, do not rule out a glass of Brazilian produced wine, especially a sparkling one. Wine importers around the world are discovering Brazilian wines and exports from Brazil are rising rapidly, with sales of sparkling wines achieving a 12 percent growth in 2010.
|An American Icon is now Brazilian. It was bought by the same group that bought Anheuser Busch(Bud).Two Icons down…how many to go?
Now your Burger and Beer may well be all Brazilian. Also, JBS, another Brazilian company, bought Swift Meats sometime back.
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|This Brazilian lady has lots of good info about where to go and what to do in Brazil. If you are planning a trip to Brazil, you need to visit as many Brazil Travel Resource sites as possible to get a balanced and realistic view of the country and what it offers from a tourism standpoint.
Comida di Buteco is now a bar food contest with branches in several Brazil cities. The original contest is the one in Belo Horizonte, aka Belô or BH (be-a-GAH), and which starts tonight (April 9 to May 9, with a closing party on May 16).
CLICK HERE to go to her site
Cachaça is the drink of the poor in Brazil. Throughout the vast interior of the country and in the small bars of the favelas in the cities, cachaça – straight up – is “the drink”. This is mostly due to economics as cachaça is inexpensive compared to cerveja (beer).
It is made from sugarcane and is very strong. Throw some on the bar floor and set a match to it and you will see a nice blue, flame. Only the hardcore, machco types drink it straight. Most folks will have their cachaça in Caipirinhas (see link below).
However, over the last few years, quality cachaça has been coming on the market and is now being exported.
Beer is the primary drink of most Brazilians. They drink about 50 liters a year. This is not an impressive number when compared to the Czechs who drink 158 liters per year. But, the Czechs live in a cold climate, no tropical beaches and for sure no sexy beer commercials that can compete with Brazil. As the purchasing power of Brazilians increase, so will beer consumption. Brazil, I expect, will dominate beer drinking worldwide in a few decades. :-)
From the little hooches along the jungle rivers in the Amazon to the big, fancy nightclubs in São Paulo and Rio, beer is always available. However, one of the drawbacks is that the beer distribution system is controled by the beer companies, who lock in the bar to serve only their brand. Thus, the reason you see botecos with only “Brahama, Schin, or Skol plastic chairs and tables”. If you are a brand-loyal beer drinker, you are forced to drink only where that brand is offered.
Brazilians like their beer cold. They give the waiters hell if they are served anything less. Botecos (bars) won’t be in business long if they don’t serve beer “estupidamente gelada”, which in English means “stupidly ice cold”.
You are asked if you are 18 or over. click “Sim”.
Countries usually have a traditional dish or special meal for which they are known. In Brazil this is the Churrasco (barbecue) and the restaurants are Churrascarias (steak houses), where all-you-can-eat meat is served at your table by a team of waiters (garcons) carrying skewers, each of which will a have a specific type of meat. Combine this with very, very cold and very, very good Brazilian beer and you must have what many would call an “eating event” or perhaps a Brazilian “Shock and Awe” of eating.
HOW IT WORKS:
You select your table. You will be asked what you wish to drink. If there are a couple of serious beer drinkers, then I suggest ordering a 600ml bottle. It will either come in a Styrofoam holder or perhaps you will get a ice bucket with two or three bottles. I won’t go into the different beers now. As far as I am concerned they are all very good, but others differ and are loyal consumers of a particular brand.
Some churrascarias will have plates on the table. If so, grab your plate and head to the salad bar. Other churrascarias have the plates near the salad bar.
Eating utensils are almost always on the table. Notice the pincher with teeth!
The salad bars have a wide variety of offerings..potato salad, cheery or sliced tomatoes, heart of palm, peas, carrots, etc. and presented in a variety of styles.
THE MEAT RUNS:
The waiters (garcons) will start passing by your table almost immediately with long skewers of a specific type of meat. Don’t worry about understanding them…if it looks good nod your head yes. The waiter will slice off a small portion. When you sat down at your table perhaps you noticed a small utensil like a pincher with teeth…that is what you use to secure the meat while the waiter is cutting.
Out of the large urban areas, will run around US$13.00 per person at lunch time; in the evening for a couple US$ 17.00. In the big cities and fancy churrascarias more like US$23.00. Drinks not included. Exchange rate of US$ 1.00 = R$1.77
- Some churrascarias (upscale) will offer fixed-plate meals in the American steak house style.