Kiwi…?

Hi everyone, how was your holidays? I hope you’re all having a terrific new year! And if you’re looking for a good anime series to start watching in 2016 I recommend “Erased“, currently being streamed by Crunchyroll (Yeah, I know. Felipe is turning me into an anime person).

This is how a Kiwi usually looks like when cutted in half

This is how a Kiwi usually looks like when cutted in half

As for me, right now I’m trying to get rid of the few pounds I gained during Christmas, New Year and birthday (it was last week, January 3) celebrations. You see I have this genetic tendency to obesity so I gotta keep my weight in track all the time. However, it’s harder than usual during holidays because of delicious food (specially cakes).

Lucky me, I can lose weight almost as fast as I gain it. I usually cut my calories intake, avoid certain types of food and keep doing my daily exercises. But since I’m a huge sweet tooth I can’t live happily without sugar. That’s why yesterday I went to the supermarket to buy sweet fruits and guess what? I realized I am totally retarded (lol)! Why, you ask? Well, I simply adore Kiwis, but I never saw it for sale anywhere. I thought maybe it was because some fruits are hard to find around here in Manaus and Kiwi was one of them but last night I found out that I had no clue how a Kiwi looked like inside its shell… -_-

Fortunately, this time I read the small tags under the shelves and discovered I could have always bought so many Kiwis before (if only I had read the tags), it has always been there, in my face! And it’s not even as expensive as many other fruits that aren’t regularly farmed here (like strawberries, strawberries are really expensive in Manaus).

...And this is how it looks inside its shell. Who would have known, right?

…And this is how it looks inside its shell. Who would have known, right?

So I bought some Kiwis and other fruits and discovered I’m a professional Kiwi peeler! All you have to do is cut it in two halves and, with the help of a spoon, gently separate the pulp from the shell.

Kiwis are wonderful berries. They have a monstrous amount of vitamin C, taste bittersweetly delicious and are really light in calories: Around 50 kcal per 100g. If you’re trying to lose weight like me, you should definitely add kiwis to your diet. There are many recipes around the web, but I personally like to eat it raw or juiced. It goes marvelously with pineapples and bananas.

Kakigoria Shu

Japanese shaved ice (also known as Kakigori or “Raladinha japonesa” in Brazil) is a very popular dessert made of ice and syrup (although toppings such as red beans, condensed sweetened milk and ice cream can be added). With around 80kcal per average size portion (without toppings) and a deliciously sweet taste, it’s very popular in Japan, specially during summer.

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Mr. Shiuchi Shioda at Kakigoria Shu’s entrance

In Manaus, a Kakigoria (the place where Kakigori is sold) was recently opened: The Kakigoria Shu (owned by Shiuchi Shioda, a Japanese man who’s lived in Manaus for the past 20 years). “Mr. Shu” brought both the shaved ice machine and the syrup straight from Japan and since Manaus is a reaaaaally hot place, it’s growing in popularity at the speed of light!

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My first Kakigori ever: Blue Hawaii flavored

The prices range from BRR$8-12 (around USD$2-4) which I found reasonable. I hadn’t taste Kakigori before and I must say that I’m completely addicted.

 They offer many different flavours, my friends and I have tried them all already and my currently favorites are Green Apple, Melon, Blue Hawaii and Matcha. But you can also choose from peach, orange, lime, green lemon, watermelon, cola, strawberry, grape, cherry and gooseberry. I suggested them to also provide Kiwii flavor, I hope they make it available eventually.

The standard Kakigori served there has condensed milk as topping, but if you are on dairy free diet you can choose to have syrup only.

Kakigoria Shu is open from 2 PM to 11 PM everyday and is located at “Av. Paraiba, Adrianopolis – Manaus, AM – Brazil” next to “Manauara Shopping Center”. More information at their Facebook page: Kakigoria Shu 


PS: I’d like to say thanks to my friend Mônica for letting me know about this place!

 

Amazonian typical dish: Tacacá

Tacacá” is a northern Brazilian kind of soup and although its recipe can have some variations, it’s usually made of Tucupi (a yellow sauce extracted from cassava), Goma (a sticky cream, also made out of cassava), Jambu leaves (a kind of herb with a very singular taste that makes your mouth feel a little numb) and shrimp. It was originally created by native-brazilian people and even nowadays its traditionally served inside a native recipient called “Cuia” (you can see it at picture below).

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My “shrimp-free” Tacacá, inside a “Cuia”. That chocolate tablet on the table is also made of a typical northern brazilian fruit called Cupuaçu (and it tastes amazingly good).

It’s a very hot dish, a little spicy (and can get even spicer if you wish), sour and bittersweet at the same time. As you can imagine, It’s not easy to describe how it tastes like, it’s something you gotta try by yourself. It’s also low-calorie, around 123 kcal per serving (1 Cuia). It resembles a Japanese Ramen (without the noodles), you even eat it using a kind of chopsticks.

The ingredients are usually stored in separated recipients and only mixed together when it’s time to serve, so you can choose the ones you want and the ones you don’t. Mine’s obviously without shrimp and I like to add some onions and parsley into it.

Felipe and I wearing our best dumb-faces at the “Tacacá da Tia Socorro”! ;D

It’s a typical and really popular dish in Manaus and can be found in many different places, from street vending tents to fancy restaurants. The one I usually go is the “Tacacá da Tia Socorro” (Aunt Socorro’s Tacacá), it’s located in the “Shopping dos carros mall” at Av. Djalma Batista 2010, Chapada. If you are going to visit Manaus, make sure to try it 😀

"Tacacá da tia Socorro" entrance, one of the many places where you try Tacacá in Manaus.

“Tacacá da tia Socorro” entrance, one of the many places where you try Tacacá in Manaus.

June Festivals in Brazil – Part II (Folklore Festival of Parintins)

I mentioned the Folkloric Festival of Parintins (or simply “Boi Bumbá“) on our Facebook page a while ago. It’s a big event in the Island of Parintins in the State of Amazonas. It’s a bit far from Manaus so you must get there by plane or endure a few days long boat trip.

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The Bumbódromo arena (Picture: BoiBumba.com)

It was created in 1965 and It’s related to another festival called “Bumba meu boi” (and because of this name it’s not unusual for people to mistake them, but they are very different in fact). And it’s not an easy task to describe how it looks and feels like – Closest attempt would be saying it’s a mix between an open air musical and the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro, but it would still not be 100% accurate.

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Caprichoso is represented by a star and its signature colors are blue and white, that’s why you can see a blue coke can on the background. (Picture: BoiBumba.com)  

It presents myths, tales and legends using characters, parade carts, songs, choreography and giant puppets, followed by the words of a master of ceremonies who describes the action. Each of them counting as an asset to be judged by a comite. The two main stars of the festival are the representation of two bulls called Garantido and Caprichoso who are alleged to be rivals. Every year Caprichoso and Garantido “teams” choose a different theme and compete against each other in an arena called the Bumbódromo. The Festival lasts for three days and attracts thousands of people to the island, from common folks to brazilian national idols.

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Garantido is represented by the colors red and white and its symbol is a heart. And well, coke can keep its red for this one. (Picture: BoiBumba.com)

If you have the chance to come to Brazil in June, you should definitely set the Folklore Festival of Parintins on your cultural agenda, it’s certainly a worthy marvelous experience.

Caprichoso - The 2015 winner

Caprichoso – The 2015 winner

PS: This year’s winner was Caprichoso.


Me, with the stars representing Caprichoso and the hearts representing Garantido

Me, with the stars representing Caprichoso and the hearts representing Garantido. I wish I had a proper costume but oh well..

See more:

Parintins Folklore Festival Official Page

June Festivals in Brazil – Part I (Festa Junina)

Dungeons & Burgers

Although the numbers are increasing day after day, there aren’t many vegetarians in Brazil and these numbers are even shorter here in Manaus. You can see barbecue restaurants on every corner and vegetarian people are forced to have homemade meals for most of the times, which is pretty much healthier by the way. However, sometimes you just get tired of it, specially if you have non vegetarian friends who enjoy going out to chat and have meals together.

After I became vegetarian I experienced an isolated time from those friendly conventions since I didn’t have many options but simple salads. Luckily this picture is starting to change and nowadays there are much more options for vegetarian people to eat outside their homes. A good example is a restaurant called Dungeons & Burgers, which is one of my favorite places to go at this moment.

The super awesome

The super awesome “Elven” burger (soy burger, tofu, beam sprouts, shitaki and shimeji mushrroms) and some cool games

They present an approach that’s getting really popular, which is joining food and games together. Do you hate having to wait so long for you meals? Well, you won’t even notice the time if you’re having a really good time with your friends playing some board games. And that’s what “D&B” is betting on.

The entire place is very cozy. Large tables, nice decoration, neat and clean. As soon as you enter there you can choose from a great variety of games to play while you’re waiting for your order to come. Genius, huh? And more important: Dungeons & Burgers is one of the few places to offer vegetarian options around (and they are so delicious that even non vegetarian people will enjoy them) like the “Elven” Burger (soy burger, beam sprouts, tofu, shitaki and shimeji mushrooms) and the “Veggie Dice” (special bread, eggplants, tomatoes and lettuce).

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Dungeons & Burgers Strawberry Milk Shake and the Love Letter game

Along with your burgers and sandwiches you’re allowed to choose from a great variety of sauces, natural juices, shakes and sodas. They also have some good deserts like the Fruit Sundae and even some alcoholic drinks like whisky, beer and the famous Brazilian caipirinha.

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The “Veggie Dice” (special bread, eggplants, tomatoes and lettuce)

From the games list, I’d like to highlight King of Tokyo (2-5 players), Coup (a fun card game, something between a “detective style” game and poker) and Mice and Mystics (a traditional board RPG game).

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Desserts: The Fruit Sundae

If you are planing to visit Manaus, Dungeons & Burgers is a place you definitely must go. You can make a reservation through the phone number +55 92 994770407 (Brazil, Amazonas)

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Feeling like having a happy hour? They offer some good drinks like the tradicional brazilian caipirinha

Dungeons & Burgers opens from 6PM to 11PM (Wed-Sat) and is located at Av. Via Lactea, 100, Adrianópolis. If you need more information, this is their Facebook page.

Me, Felipe and some friends of ours playing King of Tokyo at Dungeons &Burgers

Me, Felipe and our friends Asami-chan and “AKC” playing King of Tokyo at Dungeons & Burgers

 


IMG_1420 PS: Dungeons & Burgers shared my post on their official page. Thanks “D&B”! 😀
All pictures taken by Dungeons & Burgers staff and friends.