Posts Tagged ‘south america’

Savory South American Cuisine

February 26, 2010

Visits to South America provide travelers with the opportunity to sample a wide choice of delicious cuisine. It is important to make every meal throughout your journey culinary event in itself.

The entertainment capital of Brazil, Rio is home to several distinctive cooking styles for which Brazil is probably best known. In the cultural melting pot that is Rio, one can taste the influence of not only Amerindian and Portuguese foods, but the cooking styles of immigrants from many other parts of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. For more information on Brazilian cuisine visit one of our most popular sites, indeed, one of the most popular sites for South American food on the Internet, by clicking this link.

If you desire a real Brazilian meal with the masses we recommend “comida a quilo” restaurants (literally “food by the kilo”). These are inexpensive dining options commonplace in most cities. Food is paid for by weight and customers usually assemble the dishes of their choice from a large buffet. If you desire a slightly higher class, but nevertheless authentic, palate pleaser we suggest dining at a churrascaria, a Brazilian or Portuguese steak house. Churrasco is a distinctly South American style rotisserie, a sort of Latin American barbecue. It owes its origins to the fireside roasts of the gauchos (natives to southern Brazil traditionally from the Pampa region). Passadors (meat waiters) come to your table with knives and a skewer, on which are speared various kinds of local meat.

The cuisine of Uruguay has its own version of churrasco known as asado. This Uruguayan barbecue is one of the most exquisite and famous in the world. The national obsession of Uruguay is dulce de leche, a sweet paste which is used to fill cookies, cakes, pancakes, and other South American pastries such as milhojas (a puff pastry), and alfajores (a filled layer cake). Our friends in other cities of call such as Buenos Aires tell us not to miss out on the tantalizing traditional drink, mate, an herbal tea commonly known as the “drink of friendship,” made with the infusion of the dried leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant. So with a drink of friendship in hand, soak up the beautiful sites, enchanting sounds, aromatic smells, and delicious tastes as you travel through South America.

-Jennifer Bunin

Hot Spots: Santarem, Brazil

October 8, 2009

SantaremA wonderful and unique place, Santarém is most definitely a must on your list of Brazilian cities to visit. Santarem is located in the state of Pará in Brazil where the Tapajós River joins the Amazon River. Situated right along Amazon, Santarem is the home of a visually stunning and interesting natural phenomenon. Both rivers run along the front of the city, side by side, without mixing. The Amazon’s milky colored water carries sediment from the Andes in the East, while the Tapajós’s water is somewhat warmer and has a deep-blue tone. It is a feast for the eyes! It is know by the locals and savvy travelers as “the meeting of the waters” by the locals. Being less populated than neighboring ports, it is easy to visit and explore the forest and there is a greater possibility of experiencing the wonders of Amazonian fauna. Santarém is not considered a tourist centre, so you may be able to make authentic contact with the local people and even expand your social network to include Brazilian natives!

By Jennifer Bunin

Experience South American Cuisine

October 8, 2009

CopacabanaThose visiting South America are presented with a wide choice of delicious cuisine. From our own experiences as well as those of clients, we can tell you that every city in South America is a culinary event in itself. The entertainment capital of Brazil, Rio is home to several distinctive cooking styles for which Brazil is probably best known. In the cultural melting pot that is Rio, one can taste the influence of not only Amerindian and Portuguese foods, but the cooking styles of immigrants from many other parts of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. For more information on Brazilian cuisine visit one of our most popular sites, indeed, one of the most popular sites for South American food on the Internet, by clicking here.

If you desire a real Brazilian meal with the masses we recommend “comida a quilo” restaurants (literally “food by the kilo”). These are inexpensive dining options commonplace in most ports. Food is paid for by weight and customers usually assemble the dishes of their choice from a large buffet. If you desire a slightly higher class, but nevertheless authentic, palate pleaser we suggest dining at a churrascaria, a Brazilian or Portuguese steak house. Churrasco is a distinctly South American style rotisserie, a sort of Latin American barbecue. It owes its origins to the fireside roasts of the gauchos (natives to southern Brazil traditionally from the Pampa region). Passadors (meat waiters) come to your table with knives and a skewer, on which are speared various kinds of local meat.

South American ports such as Montevideo and Punta del Este, Uruguay are equally as unique as Brazil in terms of fare. The cuisine of Uruguay has its own version of churrasco known as asado. This Uruguayan barbecue is one of the most exquisite and famous in the world. The national obsession of Uruguay is dulce de leche, a sweet paste which is used to fill cookies, cakes, pancakes, and other South American pastries such as milhojas (a puff pastry), and alfajores (a filled layer cake). Our friends in other ports of call such as Buenos Aires tell us not to miss out on the tantalizing traditional drink, mate, an herbal tea commonly known as the “drink of friendship,” made with the infusion of the dried leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant. So with a drink of friendship in hand, soak up the beautiful sites, enchanting sounds, aromatic smells, and delicious tastes as you travel through South America.

By Jennifer Bunin

Rio de Janeiro to Host 2016 Olympics

October 2, 2009

Rio Olympics 2016Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee announced Friday.

Thousands upon thousands of elated locals clad in Brazil’s green and yellow colors crowded on to Copacabana beach to celebrate what local authorities were calling a historic victory. Residents cheered on the beaches of Rio early Friday as it was announced that Rio won out over Madrid in the final round of eliminations. Chicago and Tokyo were eliminated in earlier rounds. This will be the first time the Olympics will be hosted by a South American country.

Residents of Rio, or “Cariocas” as they are better known, have had their fingers crossed for months about the decision, viewing the Olympics and the 2014 World Cup as a chance to revive their city.

For those who live in Rio, one of the most beautiful cities on earth, the prospect of watching Brazilian athletes performing before a home crowd has had sports lovers here salivating. Among those who fans will hope to see at Rio 2016 are Mayra Aguiar, an 18-year-old judo champion who was the youngest member of the Brazilian Olympic squad two years ago in China, Manchester United’s young Brazilian twins Fábio and Rafael da Silva, and Marta, currently the world’s top female footballer, who at 23 says she hopes to make an appearance in seven years’ time.

Part of the appeal of Rio is that more than half of the venues required for the Olympic Games are already build. These state-of-the-art facilities were constructed for the 2007 Pan and Parapan American Games and include: the Joao Havelange Stadium (the proposed 2016 venue for athletics), the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center, the Rio Olympic Arena (which will host gymnastics and wheelchair basketball), the Rio Olympic Velodrome, the National Equestrian Center and its close neighbor, the National Shooting Center.

The Olympic Games are scheduled to occur from August 5th through the 21st and the theme will be “Live your passion.”

The Games will be held in four zones:

  • Barra, the heart of the Games, will house the Olympic and media villages and some venues.
  • Copacabana, a world-famous beach and major tourist attraction, will host outdoor sports in temporary venues.
  • Maracana, the most densely populated of the zones, will contain an athletic stadium and the Maracana Stadium, which will host the opening and closing ceremonies.
  • Deodoro, with little infrastructure but the highest proportion of young people, will require construction of Olympic venues.

The city’s bid was helped by a strong economy and guaranteed funding. Brazil’s economy is now the 10th largest in the world — and predicted to be fifth by 2016.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was expected to be joined by soccer legend and Brazilian native Pele as they advertise the benefits of a Rio Games.

For those hoping to attend the games, booking a place to stay two years in advance is advisable. For the top luxury apartments, it may be best to book even earlier.  Contact Rent in Rio, one of our favorite brokers for vacation rentals in Rio de Janeiro.