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What you need to know about
Food & Drink in South America
CAIPIRINHA is Brazil’s na- tional cocktail, made with Cachaça (also known locally
as Pinga or Caninha) which is
Brazil’s most common dis-
tilled alcoholic beverage.Too
much of this stuff will get you re-
ally drunk, and leave you feeling like Lee Marvin’s character, Kid Shelleen, did in the classic western comedy movie, Cat Ballou.
In Brazilian Portuguese it means somebody from the countryside, or the equivalent of what we would call a hillbilly. According to legend, it began around 1918 in the state of São Paulo with a popular recipe made with lime, garlic and honey, and was given to patients with the Spanish flu.Today, the Brazilianos still use it as a remedy for the common cold. It sounds just like the South American version of Nyquil®.
Once almost unknown outside Brazil, the drink has become much more popular and widely available in recent years, in large part due to the rising availability of first-rate brands of Cachaça in places outside Brazil.
The Caipirinha is prepared by first smashing the fruit and sugar to- gether, then adding liquor and ice.
Natives often make it in a Martini shaker, or a single glass, usually large, that can be shared amongst people, or made into an even larger jar, then pour it into individual glasses.
The ingredients are easy, and it’s simple to make:
For a single drink, use one juicy lime, two ounces of Cachaça, and a tablespoon of powdered sugar. Begin by cutting the lime into 8 wedges, then muddle (crush) the wedges in a rocks glass with the sugar. Add the Cachaça and top with ice. Stir and serve. Dress it up by garnishing the drink with lime and or a mint leaf.
Try rimming the glass with lime and powdered sugar, (like preparing a salted Margarita) and consider using fine brown sugar as a substitute for the powdered sugar once in a while.
COXINHA IS A POPULAR street and comfort food in both Brazil and Bolivia. It is made from chopped or
shredded chicken meat covered with a doughy filling which is then molded into a shape vaguely resembling a chicken
leg, then battered and fried. The Coxinha is based on a dough made with wheat flour and chicken broth, and optional mashed potato or maize. Fillings vary by region but the traditional recipe usually con- sists of chicken, onions, parsley, and scallions. Some cooks add spices to the chicken, as well as tomato sauce,
tumeric, and catupiry cheese. However it sounds, they’re great! And you can find them sold by street vendors in most small villages
and all large cities.
The story told is that Isabel,
Brazil’s Imperial Princess in the mid- 1800’s, had a son with a few mental problems who lived in seclusion. He had a favorite dish, chicken, but ate only the thigh. One day, the cook didn’t have enough drumsticks and decided to turn a whole chicken into thighs by shredding the fowl, making the filling and shaping the concoc- tion to look like a drumstick. The child liked it, and EmpressTeresa Christina, while visiting him, couldn’t resist the tasty delicacy.
She liked it so much she ordered the imperial kitchen’s master chef to learn how to prepare the snack.
No report on how the kid made out.

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