Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Comfort food. North east Brazil style.

We all have those days when we feel the need to eat junk! 

I've learnt that the best thing for me to do is to feed the urge and not fight it - which sometimes means I end up eating cake for breakfast which is badass but today I needed something a little bit "badder"

Living in a tiny fishing village in north east Brazil can be tough at times (especially at certain times of the month when you crave something naughty) my house is relatively carb free and healthy, so my search for junk food leads me to this local and very typical Brazilian style "lanchonete" called Ostra Lanches. Owned by Oswaldo in the picture and his much more smily wife.

The menu is quite literally a sign of the times! Back home trendy cafe bars are using these boards as a quirky retro chic design trend. Here in Taiba, they are pretty standard and they're certainly not chosen for their coolness!

The main junk choices consists of burgers, hotdogs and toasties.

When I first moved to brazil x-burgers (always cheese and meat) were a source baffelment. I would ask for an x burger, the person serving would correct me in portuguese and say "you mean a cheese burger" I would be confused and say, well yes a cheese burger but it says x-burger on the menu. To which I would get a withering look in return.

It wasn't until sometime later when I had grasped a little more of the portuguese language that I figured out this little mystery. X in the Brazilian alphabet is pronounced "chayz" which means that when Brazilians hear english speakers saying the word "cheese" the sound or phonetics that they hear is X. So an X Burger is a "chayz burger" or a cheese burger!

Might help you out a little if you need to buy a greasy burger during the world cup.

Another source of bafflement is that it's also pretty standard here for your burger or hotdog to come preloaded with mayo and ketchup. Although they may disguise or hide this fact under a layer of potato crisps. The whole crisps on hotdogs and in burgers is a little weird to grasp right away but trust me you soon warm to it. 

Two words that are great to learn in Portuguese are com/sem with/without. 
Com ketchup e sem mayonaise - with ketchup and without mayonnaise.

Bolo Mole - pronounced "bolo moley" another traditional Brazilian comfort food. It quite literally means "squidgy cake" and it is just that. A soft doughy squidgy cake that is great when you are lucky enough to catch it as it just comes out of the oven. 

This dude is the local Barbour, his shop is just a couple of doors down from Ostra Lanches. I will get some pictures of his set up, its pretty interesting, 1 chair, 1 mirror, that kind of thing.

Standard Brazilian lanchonete decoration. Religious artefacts, a clock and supplies.

These little gems are called Salgados which kind of translates as salty snacks. They come with either  "chayz" cheese - queijo, ham - presunto, meat - carne or a combination of the three fillings . I'm not so keen on these due to the fact they're deep fried, I find them just that little bit too greasy for my liking, even on a grease day!

One of the local fishermen stopping by for a coffee and cake fix.

Which is also another of my favourite treats, who doesn't love a good coffee and cake fix?!!

 This is bolo fofo - soft cake, a basic sponge cake which you can get pretty much in every lanchonete in Ceara along with bolo mole. Although I have to admit that the bolo fofo here in Ostra Lanches is the best I've tasted in Brazil! 

I  love dipping it in my coffee, holding out until its just about to fall apart and splash down into the glass. Which of course happens sometimes but here in this little sleepy fishing village in northern Brazil there is no one who is going to "tut tut" and shake their head when it does :D

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