Bandeira do Brasil

Bandeira do Brasil

Friday, June 29, 2012


Moqueca (IPA: [moˈkɛkɐ] or IPA: [muˈkɛkɐ] depending on the dialect, also spelled muqueca) is a Brazilian seafood stew based on fish, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and coriander. It is cooked slowly, with no water added.
Its two variants are moqueca capixaba from Espírito Santo state in the Southeast, and moqueca baiana from Bahia state in the Northeast.
One of the secrets of this dish lies in the mud pot used to prepare it.  The “panela de barro” as it is called by the locals, is the most important handicraft in the state of Espirito Santo. If you don’t have one, the taste of the moqueca will never be the same. The pot making technique dates back 300 years ago, by the seashore indigenous people, and this tradition has been maintained so far.

Moqueca Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4.
Traditional moqueca uses palm oil. If you can find it (I checked three stores here and was not able to locate any) add just a tablespoon to the stew along with the coconut milk.


  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs of fillets of firm white fish such as halibut, swordfish, or cod, rinsed in cold water, pin bones removed, cut into large portions
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped spring onion, or 1 medium yellow onion, chopped or sliced
  • 1/4 cup green onion greens, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow and 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, de-stemmed, chopped (or sliced)
  • 2 cups chopped (or sliced) tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp paprika (Hungarian sweet)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 large bunch of cilantro, chopped with some set aside for garnish
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water (check your rice package for the appropriate ratio of liquid to rice for the type of rice you are using)
  • 1 teaspoon salt


1 Place fish pieces in a bowl, add the minced garlic and lime juice so that the pieces are well coated. Sprinkle generously all over with salt and pepper. Keep chilled while preparing the rest of the soup.
2 If you are planning on serving the soup with rice, start on the rice. Bring a couple cups of water to a boil. Heat one Tbsp of olive oil in a medium saucepan on medium high heat. Add the chopped 1/2 onion and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the raw white rice and stir to coat completely with the oil, onions, and garlic. Add the boiling water. (The amount depends on your brand of rice, check the package. If no amounts are given, add 1 3/4 cup of water for every cup of rice.) Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes, after which, remove from heat until ready to serve with the soup.
3 Back to the soup. In a large covered pan (such as a Dutch oven), coat the bottom with about 2 Tbsp of olive oil and heat on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook a few minutes until softened. Add the bell pepper, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. (At least a teaspoon of salt.) Cook for a few minutes longer, until the bell pepper begins to soften. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and onion greens. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, uncovered. Stir in the chopped cilantro.
3 Use a large spoon to remove about half of the vegetables (you'll put them right back in). Spread the remaining vegetables over the bottom of the pan to create a bed for the fish. Arrange the fish pieces on the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then add back the previously removed vegetables, covering the fish. Pour coconut milk over the fish and vegetables.
4 Bring soup to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. You may need to add more salt (likely), lime or lemon juice, paprika, pepper, or chili flakes to get the soup to the desired seasoning for your taste.
Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice or with crusty bread.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


The first International Literary Festival of Paraty (a.k.a. FLIP) in 2003 put Brazil, and Paraty, on the map of international literary festivals. That festival included world-renowned authors as Julian Barnes, Eric Hobsbawm, Don DeLillo  and Hanif Kureishi. Over the years Flip has become one of the main events of its type, characterized by the importance of its guest authors, the enthusiasm of the public and the hospitality of the colonial village of Paraty. For five days, Flip holds some 200 events, which include debates, shows, exhibitions, workshops, film screenings and school presentations.
Every year, the festival pays tribute to one Brazilian writer. On previous editions of FLIP the homage has been for Gilberto Freyre, Manuel Bandeira, Machado de Assis, Nelson Rodrigues, Jorge Amado, Vinicius de Moraes, Guimarães Rosa, Oswald de Andrade and Clarice Lispector. This year is the turn of the poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade.

 Listed as a National Heritage Site, Paraty is the seaside end of the Royal Road, which connected the gold and diamond mines in Minas Gerais to the Paraty port during the colonial period in Brazil.
Paraty beaches and islands are among the most beautiful in Brazil and the city has applied for listing as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

The official web site:

Saturday, June 23, 2012


The Pampas (from Quechua pampa, meaning "plain") are fertile South American lowlands, covering more than 750,000 km2 (289,577 sq mi). These plains contain unique wildlife because of the different terrains around it. Some of this wildlife includes the rhea, the pampas deer, several species of armadillos, the pampas fox, the White-eared opossum, the Elegant Crested Tinamou, and several other species.
Frequent wildfires ensure that only small plants such as grasses flourish, and trees are rare. The dominant vegetation types are grassy prairie and grass steppe in which numerous species of the grass genus Stipa are particularly conspicuous. "Pampas Grass" (Cortaderia selloana) is an iconic species of the Pampas. Vegetation typically includes perennial grasses and herbs, which constitute unique foder for the grazing cattle. Different strata of grasses occur because of gradients of water availability. 
The gaúchos, or inhabitants of Rio Grande do Sul state, strongly cultivate the traditions of the Pampas, such as drinking mate (known as chimarrão drunk in special gourd cups), eating the typical barbecue, known as churrasco.
When it came time for a harvest dinner on the area’s ranches during the state’s pioneering era, meat was first and foremost. Big slabs of beef would be roasted over open fires, and swords heavy with chunks of pork, lamb and poultry would be turned over the coals. Seasoned by salt and smoke, the meats were sliced onto plates and enjoyed by the gathered group. Today, waiters at steak houses throughout Brazil serve huge skewers of meat, with knives at the ready that would do well in any Zorro remake, and they slice meat until you moan, “nao mais” (no more).

The Gaucho from Bruno Maestrini on Vimeo.

Want to learn how to make a true gaucho barbecue?

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Pierre Edouard Leopold Verger, alias Fatumbi or Fátúmbí (Paris, November 4, 1902; Salvador, Brazil, February 11, 1996) was a photographer, self-taught ethnographer, and babalawo (Yoruba priest of Ifa) who devoted most of his life to the study of the African diaspora — the slave trade, the African-based religions of the new world, and the resulting cultural and economical flows from and to Africa.
At the age of 30, after losing his family, Pierre Verger took up the career of journalistic photographer. Over the next 15 years, he traveled the four continents, documenting many civilizations that would soon be effaced by progress.

In the city of Salvador, Brazil he fell in love with the place and people, and decided to stay for good. Having become interested in the local history and culture, he turned from errant photographer to a researcher of the African diaspora in the Americas.
Verger's contributions to ethnography are embodied                                                 in dozens of conference papers, journal articles and books, and were recognized by Sorbonne University, which conferred upon him a doctoral degree (Docteur 3eme Cycle) in 1966 — quite a feat for someone who dropped out of high school at 17.

Just check this out:

O Olhar de Verger from rsguitar on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


 Francisco Brennand, or Francisco de Paula de Almeida Brennand, (born June 11, 1927) is a contemporary Brazilian sculptor and visual artist. He works in several different media, and is best known for his work in ceramic sculpture. He displays around 2,000 pieces in enormous open halls, between monuments, gardens, and in the midst of an Atlantic forest reserve in the Varzea borough of Recife. Many of his works elaborate on abstract beings that are sensuous symbols. Several anatomic parts are in his studies, mainly from the female body.

He also uses ceramic to create floor and wall tiles for construction. His studio is set in an old roofing ceramic tile factory that belonged to the sculptor's father Ricardo.

Some of his works can be seen at the Parque das esculturas (Sculptures Park), located in Recife Antigo district in Recife. The city commissioned this park in 2000 in celebration of the 500 years since the discovery of Brazil.

Some interesting links:

Official site with maps and visiting hours:

Recife - Pernambuco from Leonardo Rivello on Vimeo.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Participative Urban Art Interventions

Boa Mistura is an urban art group formed at the end of 2001 in Madrid, Spain. The term "Boa Mistura", from the portuguese for "good mixture", refers to the diversity of perspectives of each member. The group works mainly on the public space, and have developed projects in South Africa, Norway, Berlin, Sao Paulo or Río de Janeiro. 

Boa Mistura’s project "Luz Nas Vielas" (Light in the Alleyways) has been carried out in Vila Brasilândia, São Paulo, during January 2012. The project is part of the "Crossroads" series: Boa Mistura´s Participative Urban Art Interventions to modify rundown communities
 using art as a tool for change and inspiration. Boa Mistura had the chance to live in Brasilândia, hosted by the Gonçalves family, having this way direct contact with the community. The defined framework are the narrow and winding streets that connects the urban net, known as "vielas". The active participation of the neighbors has been decisive for the Project. “BELEZA”, “FIRMEZA”, “AMOR”, “DOÇURA” and “ORGULHO” are the concepts chosen by the collective. 


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


The Indigenous peoples in Brazil (Portuguese: povos indígenas no Brasil) comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country prior to the European invasion around 1500. Unlike Christopher Columbus, who thought he had reached the East Indies, the Portuguese, most notably Vasco da Gama, had already reached India via the Indian Ocean route when they reached Brazil.
Nevertheless the word índios ("Indians") was by then established to designate the people of the New World and stuck being used today in the Portuguese language to designate these peoples, while the people of India, Asia are called indianos in order to distinguish the two people.

On the eve of the Portuguese arrival in 1500, Brazil's coastal areas had two major mega-groups - the Tupi (speakers of Tupi–Guarani languages), who inhabited practically the entire Brazilian coast, and the Tapuia (a catch-all term for non-Tupis, usually Jê language peoples), who resided in the interior. The Portuguese arrived in the final days of a long struggle between the Tupis and Tapuias, which had resulted in the defeat and expulsion of the Tapuias from the coastal areas.
The names by which the different Tupi tribes were called and recorded by Portuguese and French authors of the 16th C. are poorly understood. Most do not seem to be proper names, but descriptions of relationship, usually familial - e.g. tupi means "first father", tupinambá means "relatives of the ancestors", tupiniquim means "side-neighbors", tamoio means "grandfather", temiminó means "grandson", "tabajara" means "in-laws" and so on.

 These are the major ethnic groups:

  • Amanyé
  • Awá-Guajá
  • Baniwa
  • Botocudo
  • Caingang
  • Dowlut
  • Enawene Nawe
  • Guaraní
  • Kadiwéu (Caduveo, Cadioeos, Gaicuru)
  • Kamayurá (Kamaiurá)
  • Karajá
  • Kayapo
  • Kubeo
  • Kalia
  • Korubo
  • Marinaha
  • Matsés
  • Mayoruna
  • Munduruku
  • Nambikwara
  • Ofayé
  • Panará
  • Pataxó
  • Pirahã
  • Paiter
  • Quilombolo
  • Suruí do Pará
  • Tapirape
  • Terena
  • Ticuna
  • Tremembé
  • Tupi
  • Tupiniquim (Tupinikim)
  • Waorani
  • Xavante
  • Xokó
  • Xucuru
  • Yanomami
  • Yawanawa
  • Zuruaha
  • Zemborya

Saturday, June 9, 2012


The word naturism was used for the first time in 1778 by a French-speaking Belgian, Jean Baptiste Luc Planchon (1734–1781), and was advocated as a means of improving the 'l’hygiène de vie' (natural style of life) and health. The definition of naturism is: "a lifestyle in harmony with nature, expressed through social nudity, and characterised by self-respect of people with different opinions and of the environment.".
Therefore, textile or textilist is a non-naturist person, non-naturist behaviour or non-naturist facilities. e.g. the textile beach starts at the flag, they are a mixed couple - he is naturist, she is textile.  Textile is the predominant term used in the UK.  Clothing optional and nude optional (US specific) describe a policy or a venue that allows or encourages nudity but tolerates the wearing of clothes.

The official Brazilian site and others can be found in the links below: (a list of beaches)

Friday, June 8, 2012


Brazilian cooking, while it has many similarities with that of its South American neighbors, is distinct. Stretching from the Amazon in the north, through the fertile plantations of the central coast and on to the southern pampas, the food of Brazil spans a unique mix of cultures and cuisines. The original population contributed popular ingredients like cassava and guaraná. African slaves influenced the cuisine of the coastal states, especially Bahia. And around the country, a Portuguese heritage is reflected in a variety of dishes.
Root vegetables such as cassava (locally known as mandioca, aipim, or macaxeira), yams, and peanuts and fruit like açaí, cupuaçu, mango, papaya, guava, orange, passionfruit, pineapple, and hog plum are among the local ingredients used in cooking. Brazilian pine nuts (pinhão) grown in a tree (Araucaria angustifolia) that is abundant in the southern part of Brazil, and are a popular national snack, as well as a lucrative export. Rice and beans are an extremely common dish, as are fish, beef and pork.
Some typical dishes are caruru, which consists of okra, onion, dried shrimp, and toasted nuts (peanuts and/or cashews), cooked with palm oil until a spread-like consistency is reached; feijoada, a simmered bean-and-meat dish; tutu de feijão, a paste of beans and cassava flour; moqueca capixaba, consisting of slow-cooked fish, tomato, onion and garlic, topped with cilantro; and chouriço, a mildly spicy sausage. Salgadinhos, cheese buns, pastéis and coxinha are common finger food items, while cuscuz branco, milled tapioca, is a popular dessert. Brazil is also known for cachaça, a popular native liquor used in the caipirinha.
The European immigrants (primarily from Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and Portugal) were accustomed to a wheat-based diet, and introduced wine, leaf vegetables, and dairy products into Brazilian cuisine. When potatoes were not available they discovered how to use the native sweet manioc as a replacement. Lasagna, gnocchi, yakisoba, and other pasta dishes are also very popular.


Traditional desserts

 Fig, papaya, mango, orange, citron, pear, peach, pumpkin, sweet potato (among others) sweets and preserves, often eaten with solid fresh cheese and/or dulce de leche.

  • Quindim
  • Brigadeiro or negrinho
  • Biscoitos de maizena (cornstarch cookies)
  • Beijinho (coconut "truffles" with clove)
  • Cajuzinho (peanut and cashew "truffles")
  • Cocada (coconut sweet)
  • Pudim de pão (literally "bread pudding", a pie made with bread "from yesterday" immersed in milk instead of flour (plus the other typical pie ingredients like eggs, sugar etc.) with dried orange slices and clove)
  • Manjar (coconut pudding with caramel cover and dried plums)
  • Doce de leite
  • Arroz-doce or rice pudding
  • Canjica (similar to rice pudding, made with white corn)
  • Romeu e Julieta: Goiabada (Guava sweet) with white cheese (most often minas cheese or requeijão)
  • Lemon pie (shortcrust pastry with creamy lemon-flavored filling)
  • Pé-de-moleque (made with peanuts and sugar caramel)
  • Paçoca (similar to Spanish polvorones, but made with peanuts instead of almonds and without addition of fats)
  • Pudim de leite (similar to a flan, but done with condensed milk)
  • Brigadeirão (a pudim de leite with chocolate or a chocolate cake)
  • Rapadura
  • Doce de banana (different types of banana sweets, solid or creamy)
  • Maria-mole
  • Pamonha (a traditional Brazilian food made from fresh corn and milk wrapped in corn husks and boiled). It can be savoury or sweet.
  • Papo-de-anjo
  • "Açaí na tigela" (usually consists of an açaí (Brazilian fruit) mixture with bananas and cereal or strawberries and cereal (usually granola or muslix)
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