Sunday, 1 April 2012

A Vegan in Brazil

Turns out you can be a super happy vegan in Brazil. While the others eat deep-fried prawns, you eat this:

Pastels: deep-fried envelopes of yum. These were 'pizza' flavour originally, until my lovely Portuguese-ish-speaking colleague asked for them without the mozzarella. So pockets of tomato and oregano it was:

vegan pastels

First Brazilian meal. You know how the word 'buffet' has horrible connotations? Turns out it can be done well, and they do it super well in Brazil. Brown rice, beetroot/carrot/lettuce salad with vegan feijao, okra, and soya mince doo-dah:

vegan brazil

 And it turns out that caipirinhas don't really exist. You get caipiras instead. Size isn't everything, but it does help:
caipirinha

 Most of our meals came from a couple of buffet places nearby. This is my plate the day I went to pick the buffet lunch up. Rice and feijao, chickpeas, broccoli, salad with basil dressing, grated carrots, slightly odd bulgour and gherkin salad, lime from the tree above our heads. Hot sauce not pictured.

brazil vegan

The worst thing I've ever half-eaten. I do hate to criticise, sarky sod that I am, but this was genuinely bad. Super-sweet hotdog bun filled with mash, sweetcorn, peas, and raw onions. Topped with crisps. You're shitting me, right?


 Another good buffet lunch: rice, feijao, crazy peppery rocket salad, veg:

vegan in brazil

 When we ate out, my meals looked a lot like this. With chips or aipim frito (fried cassava/yuca) on the side. Eating salad feels right in the sunshine, though. Especially when you get hearts of palm and crazy hairy leaves into the bargain:

vegan salad brazil

And here comes the point when I realised that maybe, just maybe, those things on that papaya tree in the garden were green papayas. And maybe, just maybe, they could be turned into a green papaya salad.

1: Choose your fruit:


2: Chop it the fuck up, Thai-stylee (peel, slice in half, slice finely length-wise, shave off the top in a shreddy manner):

vegan green papaya salad
3: Make it (no recipe, sorry. Soya sauce, sugar, chili, lime, peanuts - that kind of thing to taste). Feel a bit proud about the board of pedagogical material you created in the foreground. Think that maybe you should go to a proper hairdresser one of these days instead of DIYing it, given that long tendril there:
4. Present it to your lovely colleague, with a smile: 


Et basta. Foetus lime included for size comparison:

green papaya salad


And something sweet: banana pastels. Sprinkled with sugar. I want more, right now:

sweet vegan pastels