One of the greatest joys of traveling is eating the local foods of each country. I was so used to having my bacalhau (codfish) in Portugal, that I miss it, especially bacalhau com broa, codfish baked with breadcrumbs and in my case, lots of onions and olives.
In Brazil it's a totally different experience. There's gelado com milho or corn ice cream. It takes like very ripe corn in ice cream form and worth a try because of it's unique flavour. Ernest always told me that avocado was treated like a fruit in Brazil when he was growing up. Today I understood what he meant. We were served avocado suco, or juice. It's blended with condensed milk. If you love condensed milk. cheese and dairy overall, Brazil is the country for you. There are sweets everywhere. In the picture below is brigaderios. It's a ball of cooked condensed milk, like a soft fudge ball. Even the cakes have condensed milk which gives it a different texture and it enhances the flavour of the cake. My favourite cakes are now Trinidad's sponge cake first, Jamaica's Christmas pudding second and Brazil's orange cake, called bolo de laranja. It is moist and delicious! Add some dark chocolate chunks and it's a little taste of heaven.
Spices and herbs vary in each country. Here the black pepper grinder is not readily available because they don't cook with it as often as other countries. I purchased a small pack of ground black pepper to carry around with me especially to sprinkle on my eggs and avocados during breakfast. There is a very wide variety of hot peppers. I love the biquinho peppers, meaning little beak. They're not very hot, but boy, they are addictive.
I'm very grateful that there's a lot of cassava also known as yuca or mandioca and the red skinned, yellow flesh sweet potatoes which I love. We also noticed that the meats are more organic and not as plump and fatty as in North America. Even the rice is delicious. Right now my hotel room smells of guavas because I bought a few of them and they are as big as oranges and oh so sweet! If you desire to travel here, I would recommend staying in a place where you can do some of your own cooking if you enjoy that. The variety of fruits and vegetables will make you want to discover what you can do with them in your own kitchen.