Posts Tagged ‘rainforest’

Hot Spots: Belém, Brazil

October 22, 2009

BelémWhat often surprises tourists about the city of Belém is the unique way in which nature is integrated into modern urban life. Everyone I know who visits Belem is completely taken aback at the small enclosures of gardens resembling the nature of the Amazonian forest and the surprising manner in which they merge with the unceasing movement of the city. You will never forget the backstreet scenes that go on in that city. Belém also offers visitors with an interest in the culinary arts the chance to sample traditional cuisine, which happens to be some of the most authentically Brazilian or Amazonian you will find on your vacation to Brazil. Dishes such as duck dressed with tucupi, maniçoba, tacaca, crab shellfish, fish soup and turtle sarapatel are some of the delicious dishes that illustrate a regional culinary art rich in flavors.

At the picturesque marketplace of Ver-o-Peso in Belem the fascinating mixture of colours, fragrances, flavours and exotic dishes are just as feverishly devoured by the eyes as they are by the mouth. A spacious, open, free market, Ver-o-Peso is a place where thousands of people visit daily to both shop and indulge in enriching social interactions. In the numerous huts you will find all the delicious fruits of the region (pineapple, papaw, bacuri, cupuaçu, uxi, tapereba, açai, pupunha, etc.), as well as a wide variety of fish, meat, vegetables and plants used in traditional medicine from the forest. You will also find a mystical and magical touch to the list of possible purchases, all sorts of potions and remedies from infusions to cures for a mere toothache, to flasks (garrafadas) containing concoctions of plants and animals’ parts destined to tame “free-spirited” husbands.

By Jennifer Bunin