Sunday, 14 September 2014

From Montevideo to Sao Paulo by Land - The feijoada

Feijoada is a stew of beans with beef and pork, typically cooked in Brazil and considered a national dish, and served in lieu of a barbeque, when many people gather for a meal. It´s generally served with rice, mandioca Flour prepared as a dish called "Farofa", orange slices and Couve (Collard in English) which is a bitter green type of cabbage. The etiquette demands that you down a shot glass of Caipirinha (sugar cane eau de vie with lemon juice) to prepare the stomach for extra digestive action.      

Legend has it that the dish was invented by the slaves of the colonial era, and was made with the left over parts of pigs and cows. The stew contains pigs hoofs, ears and tails, most of the time boiled beyond recognition.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

From the Past - Colonial churches in Mexico City

Some photos from a report bout churches in Mexico City. See the pdf here

By Land from Montevideo to Sao Paulo - The Beer Garden

On the main access to the city of Joinville, S.C. you bump into an old windmill turned into beer garden. there you can sample the local beer "Opa", that is quite good for Brazilian standards. I was told that in summer time the city is quite hot and humid, so I´m sure that its packed full during the summer season.

By Land from Montevideo to Sao Paulo - The City of Joinville

The city of Joinville in the Southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, named after the Prince of Joinville in France, is a picturesque city colonised by Germans in the 19th century, that arrived there lured by a German colonising society, which promised them land in an area with German like weather, this second item being a hoax. Upon arriving the settlers promptly installed industry and built beautiful German style homes, which can still be seen in the downtown area.

Today the city has expanded enormously and is one of the fastest growing regions in Brazil, housing many huge industries like whirlpool and Randon.
Besides that, you can still buy good beer and German pastries among other European delicacies.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

From the past - Mexico city, Centro Histórico

See the Pdf with photos from Mexico City´s Centro Histórico

By Land from Montevideo to Sao Paulo - The Lanchonette

This time I decided to go from Mvd to Sao by land driving all along the Uruguayan and southern Brazilian coastline. I crossed the border into Brazil via the town of Chui, which is shared half and half in between both countries. I was really amazed at how Brazil has become a full fledged industrialised country. Immediately upon entering you fall into ample three or four lane highways and are dwarfed by hundreds of semis, that haul goods back and forth. But one thing that got me is that upon stopping for fuel and snacks at a gas station with " Lanchonete" (a Brazilian word derived from "Lanche", which means snack) and wanting a glass of fresh juice, something that in the past you could buy anywhere, they only had OJ, from some pale looking oranges that looked like they came out of a factory.
That´s progress for you.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The Café Rivas in San telmo

If you´re hooked on coffee and appreciate European style coffee, you´l be glad to hear that one of the European customs that argies have adopted is the Café shops that you commonly find in France, Italy and Spain.
These "Cafés" or "cafeterias", were places where guys hanged out to watch a soccer game, talk bout politics, etc, kinda like a Pub in the U.K.
They serve the Italian and french style coffees served in small cups called "demi tasse"opposed to the north American watered down versions.

A typical example of these coffee shops in Buenos Aires is the cafe Rivas located in San telmo neighbourhood at the corner of Estados Unidos and Balcarce streets. With its vintage looks and stategically located with a vantage view of the intersection, you can stop by for a fast espresso or"cortado" (espresso with a shot of Milk) or eat lunch or dinner. These places are opened all day long, except on Mondays.