Bandeira do Brasil

Bandeira do Brasil

Monday, May 6, 2013

PIRANHAS: EAT THEM BEFORE THEY EAT YOU

The Rio Negro River runs south by southwest through the Amazon watershed and eventually flows into the Amazon River itself. It is a dark-water river with high levels of acidity. The good news about the pH levels is that mosquitoes don't like the water. The acidity also limits aquatic diversity to only 600 species of fish (as if that's not enough) The piranha has the potential to eat any of them. 
One interesting fact about the Amazon and Rio Negro rivers is that they sustain a large amount of fish that were once saltwater species. Apparently the Amazon connected the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The eruption of the Andes Mountains closed the gates on the Pacific, and all those fish were trapped in the rivers. Some evolved into freshwater species. The black piranha can grow up to 16 pounds, and a pack of them can rip a man to shreds in seconds. 

Piranha flesh is flaky and delicate, almost like a fluke. The soup is easy, quick, and done in one pot.
In the Amazon and in the Pantanal it is a flavorful dish and is appreciated for its aphrodisiac quality. The soup is usually served in a bowl or cup, adding a healthy dollop of hot sauce. Some people prefer to thicken the soup with manioc flour.It is usually served as an appetizer with a side of crackers, before a fish meal or barbeque.

Want to give it a try? Here´s an easy recipe: 

Ingredients:

1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Basil, chopped
Celery, chopped
Parsley, chopped
2.5 kilos of medium sized piranha fish
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
Malagueta pepper, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 cup of coconut milk
Salt
1 teaspoon of saffron

How to prepare:
Scrub the skin of the piranhas to remove the scales, clean the insides and remove the eyes.
Cut them open lengthwise and boil them with the heads in two liters of water with no other ingredients.
Boil until the meat comes off the bones.
Strain the broth to remove the fish bones that are quite small and sharp. Reserve the broth.
Chop the onion, pepper, garlic, salt to taste, olive oil and saffron in a blender. Sautee the mixture in another pan.
Add the piranha broth and let it boil. After a while, add two bay leaves, the coconut milk, basil and malagueta pepper and boil a little bit longer.
The soup is ready when all the flavors and ingredients have blended well. Add the parsley just before serving.





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