Out and About Brazil by Corinne Marian
Let’s drink to it!
Brazil is a vast country, and each region has its own typical drinks. Many of them I tried, some I loved, others not so much. Chances are you heard or even tasted a few of them:
Lately a very popular drink all over the world, the acai berry comes from a palm tree very common in the state of Para. The fruit is dark violet, almost black. It’s taken with or without sugar, flour with water or tapioca flour. It is thick and rich enough to be taken instead of a meal.
The guarana, an Amazonian fruit, its known as an energy booster, as it has twice the caffeine amount than coffee beans. To take advantage of all its benefits, it should be taken as a powder mixed with water. The different brands of guarana soft drinks, sold country wide, have very small amounts of the fruit.
Known in other parts as yerba mate, it has a symbolic and social quality to it, as it is commonly shared among a group of friends, where everyone drinks from the cuia – special cup – through the same metal straw, known as bomba. The mate leaves are dried, chopped and ground into a powder and steeped in hot water.
It is the juice extracted from the sugar cane, and very, very sweet. It is sold in street markets practically everywhere in the country. Despite being very sweet, the drink has a low glycemic index and it recommended for diabetics.
Brazilians like their coffee as strong as devil, as hot as hell and as sweet as love. It is a breakfast staple – even for children! – to drink it in the morning with milk. During the day, many cafezinhos are consumed, everywhere, either as an expresso-sized cup or a regular sized drinking glass and often pre-sweetened. It is sold everywhere from stand-up bars to restaurants, theatres, offices, homes, clubs, hotels, you name it, there is always a cafezinho waiting for you.
Don’t leave the country before drinking coconut water or fruit juices. The fruit variety in Brazil is enormous and includes exotic names as Jabuticaba, Capuacu, Graviola, Carambola and among the most popular, papaya, passion-fruit and guava.
Enjoy and cheers!