Thursday, February 19, 2009

Brazilian Food Journey in London ...that I missed

I've been feeling sad (actually quite distraught) that I'm missing the carnival in Rio and Salvador, but was looking forward to the little ray of sunshine that was the MediaPlace 'Brazilian Food Journey' event at Favela Chic, in London. Embratur, the Brazilian tourist board, were sponsoring the event. So, I eagerly bought my train ticket and planned my journey so that I could get there right from the beginning. Unfortunately, someone jumped in front of a train, so a series of delays, lost conductors and cancellations ensued over the next few hours. When I finally arrived at Favela Chic, the event was over and all the food and drink was gone!! :'( All that was left was the remnants of this table of fruit, which looks like it had been a fabulous replica of a Bahian cocktail stand.

I tried my best to have a Brazilian night anyway, and enjoyed the live Brazilian band, authentic Brazileiro atmosphere, and one or two or three caiparinhas. I was still gutted, though!

Meanwhile, I am currently uploading the story of my own real-life Brazilian food journey to this blog, below. I was away for 3 months, and have so far completed the 1st week of blogs, so keep checking back - more is being added every day.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Fragrant Pomegranate

I was inspired by the scents and flavours of the Arabic pastries, and by having pomegranates in the larder. The consequential imaginings of North African/ Tunisian fruit salad made my mouth water, but I did not have all the ingredients necessary (pomegranate, dried dates, banana and other suitable fruits that you might have in stock, with rose water, orange flower water), and wasn't in the mood to chop fruit. So, I just cut a pomegranate in half, and sprinkled the cut edge of one half with orange flower water and rose water, then tucked in with a teaspoon. Delightful! It worked a treat, was fresh and fragrant, and evoked the flavours of the Orient. Makes a refreshing snack.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Arabian Mornings

Pirran (brother, fellow food adventurer) arrived back from Qatar this morning, and had brought my requested merchandise - Arabic coffee and dozens of pastries. The coffee is made with unroasted, ground coffee and a variety of spices and other items, such as lichen (!) and cardamon. Pirran bought it from the souk, where they mix the coffee to order, from the various sacks of aromatic ingredients. I knew he had come up with the goods before he gave them to me, because the amazing smell of the coffee fills the room in an instant, despite it being in sealed plastic bags.

It is drunk in a glass, without milk or sugar, and it is addictive. Especially when used to wash down the sweet, buttery, fragrant pastries and sweetmeats, which are flavoured with rose water, pistachios, almonds and pinenuts.

The coffee and pastries together are an ideal breakfast combination, and are a taste of dusty, sunny, mysterious places.

I'm also grateful to Pirran for transporting the coffee though customs, because it just looks so dodgy...