End of the year: this time of the year is especially hard for immigrants. All the movement around Christmas and New Year, the shopping frenzy to buy gifts for friends and families, potlucks and dinners to attend, work, everything, fill days and nights, but it is also a reminder that the loved ones that are away are still away. The homeland and all the familiar flavors and traditions of this time of the year are memories that take big proportions and bring the blues. To top it off, it is Winter; the cold weather suggesting cocooning and hot chocolate, comfort, and again the memories of somewhere else comes back. Brazilians feel the blues even more now with social media and people posting the pictures of hot, sun drenched days at the beach, barbecues, and more.
Definitely, it is not easy, but there are things we can do to try to minimize the blues and the banzo (Brazilian Portuguese word originated from the African language Quimbundo, mbanza, word meaning the melancholy felt by the slaves for their homeland and the aversion to captivity). One of them is to exercise more to release serotonin and to feel fit and strong. Another way to bring home a little close to the heart is food, always a great way to reunite Brazilians and reminisce about national and regional preferences.
See some suggestions below to plan a Brazilian food get together and minimize the holiday blues. Invite as many Brazilians as you can fit in the designated space, ask them to bring guitars and drums, if possible; buy beer (most dishes below are better accompanied by beer) and lime, sugar, and cachaça for caipirinhas. There is even a suggestion below for the health-conscious out there: açaí berry-everything, a delicious taste of sunny late afternoons in Rio.
Açaí – Brazil’s antioxidant-rich superfood, the açaí berry is processed into a frozen pulp and it can be blended with fruit, juice, soy or almond milk into a smoothie or an açaí bowl topped with popular toppings like bananas, granola, and nuts. A staple on the beaches and juice bars of Rio for decades, açaí bowls are perfect as a light meal or snack any time of day. Sambazon products to make it easy to create a bowl at home. Try this delicious recipe for a traditional Rio Bowl!
Coxinhas – These delicious balls of fried chicken and cheese are a popular Brazilian street food and perfect as appetizers or snacks! Make them at home with this recipe!
Feijoada – This black bean stew mixed with smoked and fresh meat is a classic Brazilian supper that will have your mouthwatering! Try this recipe to treat your family to this very Brazilian meal. Don’t forget the rice, oranges, farofa (recipe here ), and couve à mineira (recipe here)
Moqueca de Peixe – This fish and seafood stew with coconut milk and dendê oil is a crowd pleaser and will have you mouthwatering! Try this recipe of this one-of-a-kind meal.
Bobó de camarão – Another stew, this time with shrimp, coconut milk, dendê oil, and yucca. Delicious over white rice. Make it at home with this recipe.
Do you have a favorite Brazilian recipe? Share with us, posting in the comments below.