Today Brazilians are celebrating “Dia das Crianças” which means Children’s day. I find this rather amusing as Brazilian children are the center of everything here. (I have yet to publish a post about the birthday parties which are totally outrageous. I will get to it though). Dia das Crianças is a holiday so the kids are home from school and Peter is home from work. Weather has been very wet and windy lately but today apparently the sun decided to show up. We were made aware of this by James, lo and behold, who woke us all up saying it was time for breakfast. James is NEVER the first to get up in the morning. Olivia is the early bird and James the sleepy head. However he got us up and we had a nice brunch outside followed by some play in the pool as well as some reading by the pool.
I was scouring the fridge for lunch ideas when Mini texted asking if we wanted to join them for lunch at “Coxinhas Douradas” in a neighboring village called Bueno de Andrada. Thought that was a no-brainer so we got in the car and drove 12km for a culinary experience.
Bueno de Andradas is a very small village located just 15km outside Araraquara. The town is populated by about 90 families with another 320 families in the settlements around it summing up to around 2000 people. The village consists of a main street, ten blocks of housing, a train station, a chapel and its main attraction, “Coxinhas Douradas” (which means Golden Coxinhas). Coxinhas Douradas has received many awards and is considered to have the best coxinhas in Brasil. I am so lucky to have this place so close!
Bueno de Andrada (Brazilian for relaxed atmosphere?)
The spread of orange plastic tables and chairs as well as the long line of people told us were in the right place. It was bustling with flip flopped people. Some eagerly walking out of the restaurant with their coxinha ladden plate, some relaxing satisfied in the shade of the trees. Bikes and motorcycles were parked all along the street, their riders stopping for a bite. Music played from parked cars creating a very relaxed, social, Brazilian atmosphere.
After parking the car we went to find Mini, Gustav, Nisse, Lucas and Noa in the throng of Brazilians. I spotted Mini and Nisse in the long line so I did what Brazilians do and cut the line without protest from those behind us. Though the line was long the staff are quick and the wait was only about 10min.
After ordering our food we stood aside and waited for our order to be called out.
After 2 min my number was called and I picked up my plate of Coxinhas with ham and cheese, broccoli and bacon and a 1L bottle of orange juice to wash them down. (After I had placed my order I saw a poster with their limited addition coxinha, the hamburger, so had to ask Nisse to order that for me. Turned out to be a good call as it was the best of the bunch.)
Gustav and Peter had put together some tables and chairs at which we comfortably relaxed and enjoyed our impromptu lunch on a street in this little village of Buenos de Andrada. A place I would never have known existed had it not been for our move to Brazil, obviously. It just reminds me that there are so many places out there in the world that we will never see if we don’t take chances and opportunities and say “Yes! Let’s go” when they are presented to us. That has been our standpoint since we moved here. We say “Yes, let’s go” to almost everything and in doing so we have made new friends, experienced new things and widening our understanding of the Brazilian culture.
What are Coxinhas?
Coxinha means “little chicken thigh” and is a very popular food in Brazil. It is based on dough made with wheat flour and chicken broth and sometimes mashed potato. The dough is then filled traditionally with shredded spiced chicken meat, or a whole chicken thigh. It is shaped to resemble a chicken thigh and then coated in batter, breadcrumbs and finally deep fried.
Why is it shaped to resemble a chicken thigh you might wonder…well, there is a story about the son of Princess Isabel (Imperial Princess of Brazil 1846-1921) who had mental problems and was forced to live in seclusion. The boy had a favourite dish, chicken, but he only ate the thigh. One day, not having enough thigh, the cook was forced to improvise and took the chicken meat he/she had and shredded it and then stuffed it into a flour dough shaping it into a drumstick. The boy approved of the results wether he new it wasn’t a real thigh or not. When Empress Teresa Cristina visited the boy she couldn’t resist the tasty delicacy and she demanded that the imperial cook learn how to make it. Empress Teresa Cristina was nicknamed “Mother of the Brazilians” so it is no surprise that the “Little chicken thigh” became a national food.
Today coxinhas are found everywhere you look and with various fillings though chicken is still most common. If you have a hankering for a coxinha it is most likely within arms reach whether you are at a gasstation, supermarket, soccer field or even on the street. However the taste varies. I am not a coxinha lover but Coxinhas Douradas are quite tasty. Especially with that hot sauce that comes with them.
Hot days call for Acaí
After our Coxinhas we rounded off our lunch at a new açaí place nearby before going home for a siesta before tonights birthday party that James and I are going to to celebrate his friend Dani.
While writing this post the rest of the family fell asleep in the couch for a, apparently, much needed nap giving me time to do one or more of all the things on my to do list like workout, study, blog, bake gluten free bread or make vegan snickers bites.