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Posts Tagged ‘street food’



The princess and I have been on a search for all things açai — do you know açai? It’s one of the wonder wünder marvy trendy hoopla’d foods that costs a Candian fortune to add to smoothies, salads, sorbets, however you want it. It’s an Amazonian berry crushed, mashed, puréed and eaten sweet or savoury, one of those recently rediscovered ancients that if consumed with regularity, should have us both living well to the time when our Bowen house-with-an-ocean-view becomes waterfront property.

So here’s how it’s sold in the grocery stores.  Pre-crushed, pre-portioned, pre-packaged into plastic bags about half the length and twice the width of a freezie (those summertime soccer field treats). In addition to being a healthy antioxidant addition to morning smoothies,  I understand açai can be mixed with onions and herbs to be used as a sauce with fish or beef.

A tigela is a bowl and here, anyways, the cups and bowls of creamy frozen açai are topped with fruit and granola. Bananas are best, according to the ladies at the stalls (we assume that’s what they’re indicating when after pointing to every other fruit they frown and shake their heads, proffering only sliced bananas with a big thumbs-up). 


We always go with the advice of the locals. And as my personal experience has proven time and time again, the nearer I am to the country in which they were grown, the more bananas taste like something I’d like to eat.

** It wasn’t until a mid-80s trip to India that I discovered what bananas were supposed to taste like, and learned I didn’t hate them after all. If you’re not a banana lover, you might try those teeny ones from Chinatown or another Asian market. There really is no comparison.

So this little 400ml cup was prepared in some back room and also, I understand, mixed with guarana,  another magical energy producing Amazonian elixir.

Pushed along in little Revel and Fudgcicle-type carts are the purveyors of Açai-in-a-cup, all real, all natural, only a couple of dollars for a container and a lot more life-affirming that a plain old cup of HagenDaz. Or maybe not. But at least you can pretend to be healthier.

Included with this little pot was a spoon and a granola topping which, along with fruit, is the other preferred manner of enjoying frozen açai. 

But you knew there had to be an adult version, didn’t you? And this looks meek enough, doesn’t it? 

Not. 

There’s some extremely harsh liquor floating around these parts that reminds me a lot of something brewed in the basement by a certain first degree relative of mine, called cachaça (ka-SHA-sa). Mixed with the tart and medicinal-tasting crushed açai berries, it’s a potent reminder of why sky-high Jimmy Choos should not be worn to formal functions. 

I sipped mine slowly. There was no other way that was wise.

Them ain’t raspberries.

And then, because it just had to be done, the most adult version of all.

The taste of this one is pretty much like the orange cloud on the bottle.

Next up: Northern country food that’s frighteningly slimey but startlingly good!

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