We woke up Saturday with a cloud of doom over our heads because it was our last day in Brazil!
Our flight left Saturday night, so we had to cram in lots of fun stuff for the day.
Tuna’s parents took us to a local favorite for lunch called Academia de Cachaça. Let’s back up a hot sec and explain the importance of cachaça.
Cachaça (basically Brazilian rum) is the type of liquor in a caipirinha, the national cocktail of Brazil. As someone who only likes alcoholic drinks that you can’t taste the alcohol in, I wholeheartedly endorse caipirinhas.
Just add ice, sugar, and limes to cachaça and you’ll be good to go. Meaning – one caipirinha will have you tripping down the curb back from Plataforma.
Now you understand that the Academia de Cachaça would naturally have the best caipirinhas in Rio. Which was good because I needed a slight buzz in order to muster enough courage to try, “the one dish you have to try while you’re Brazil.”
When Tuna found out we were having feijoada, the national meal, he immediately turned to me in terror.
Feijoada is a stew of beans made of pork and beef.
His parents asked me, “do you like soup (stew)?” No.
Ok….“do you like beans?”
Hmm…well…“do you like pork?”
I do like bacon though. I prayed pork translated to a few bacon bits sprinkled on top of the feijoada.
Alas, that was not the case.
Yes, I ate that.
Luckily, you get to mix feijoada with cooked greens, orange slices, and farofa. I knew I liked farofa from the night before at the churrascaria. Farofa is manioc (yucca) flour cooked in butter and olive oil. It kind of tastes like nothing. Perfect.
Oh, and white rice. The item that my Chinese order for ten years of my life solely consisted of.
Tuna’s dad took pity on me and scooped me out a conservative portion of feijoada with just the beef tenderloin.
I ate it all.
I cleaned my plate. And it was even pretty good! It wasn’t my favorite meal I’ve ever eaten, but I did like it and I’d eat it again.
Even I was impressed with me.
After we rolled ourselves home from lunch, it was time to pack up and
cry head out to our last vacation activity.
We had the national cocktail, the national dish, and now it was time for “the national passion,” according to our driver, Tomás.
A football game!
Er… as we Americans call it – soccer.
The game was the best rivalry in Rio: Flamengo vs. Vasco.
Flamengo has the largest fan base in Rio and their club is in Tuna’s parents’ neighborhood, so they had our allegiance!
The only time I was scared during our stay in Brazil was on our way into the stadium. The fans get really crazy and police with giant shotguns were running towards crowds of people. There was a lot of shouting and shoving going on.
But as soon as we got to our seats, the friendly rivalry resumed with the sound of Brazilian drumming in the Flamengo section.
Though we had to leave after the first half to catch our plane, it was a pretty great way to end our amazing Brazilian adventure.
Thanks as always to Jenn for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!