Photo: Holy Burger
If you have a sweet tooth – you know who you are – than Brazil is going to knock you out. Some foreigners even complain that some of Brazil’s most beloved desserts are just too sweet but no self-respecting sugar addict would ever say such a blasphemous thing, now would they?
Brazilian sweets come in all shapes and sizes and are available everywhere from the streets and beaches to padarias (bakeries) to dessert specialty cafes – you are never far from a sugar coma – and owe a debt to combined influences from Portugal (anything with eggs as the main ingredient!) to West Africa (certain pastries and the like).
Here’s how to get your sugar high in Brazil!
Photo: Eileen Smith
For many years, Valdivia, together with all its rivers, was subsumed into Chile’s famous Lakes Region, leafy and splashy and beautiful, yet different. In 2007, this region got a name of its own, and Valdivia is its cultural capital, La Región de Los Ríos, or the Rivers Region of Chile.
Photo: Bridget Gleeson
A century ago, it was the place for Buenos Aires’ Italian immigrants to stock up on imported cheeses and replacement wheel spokes for their horse-drawn carriages. Today, you can still come to San Telmo’s old-fashioned market to pick up provolone—plus a vintage tango poster and a perfectly prepared cappuccino.
Photo: Peter Merholz
It may be frigid across most of the northern hemisphere, but it’s always ice cream weather in Colombia – which could explain why the locals are always hungry for ice cream. It’s possible to find delicious dairy treats on just about any street corner, though if you’re looking for something extra-special, you may want to check out one of Colombia’s several excellent chains. Rest assured, though, it’s almost impossible to go wrong with ice cream here.
São Paulo’s Liberdade neighborhood is the epicenter of what is said to be the largest Japanese population outside Japan. Brazil is home to an estimated 1.5 million Japanese-Brazilians, many of them living right here in this bustling neighborhood 1km south of Centro, with a tad bit of Chinese and Korean sprinkled in for good measure (some of the city’s best Chinese restaurants are here and South Korea’s Melona honeydew melon-flavored popsicles are wildly popular in the streets as well).
Photo: Kevin Raub
Over the last five years or so, while the global financial crisis put a stranglehold on most of the world, Brazil was soaring. Although the country has finally crashed back down to Earth these days, its’ culinary scene, especially in São Paulo, saw a burst of creativity, innovation and immigration during this stretch of perceived prosperity, helping to bring a wealth of previously unseen dining trends long established elsewhere to Brazil’s food capital.
Photo: Lee McCoy
Though not as famous as the chocolate produced in other Andean nations (looking at you, Ecuador!), Colombian-made chocolate can still hold its own. Whether you like your chocolate liquid, solid, gooey, bitter, crunchy, melted or filled with fruit, there’s a place in this dessert-loving country that’s got just what you need.
I went for a tasting at Anuva Wines in Buenos Aires last week. I liked the little-known boutique varietals and the gourmet food pairings; I liked the charming sommelier and the modern loft space in Palermo Soho. But what I really appreciated about Anuva was the chance to learn something – several things, actually – that I didn’t already know about the basics of Argentinian wine.
Love is in the air. Flower stalls overflow with red roses. The best restaurants have been booked up for weeks. And heart shaped everything – from colorful candy embossed with flirty messages to innumerable varieties of boxed chocolates – fills the shelves. That’s right, it’s Valentine’s Day again and if you’re celebrating, chances are hearts will be a part of your day.
Instead of buying another heart-shaped something, why not show your sweetie your love with an actual heart? Okay, okay, I know how that sounds, but stay with me.
On a hot summer day, few drinks replenish your body quite like an ice-cold limonada. Made from water, sugar and Peruvian limes, this tart beverage will quench your thirst and cool you off like none other. The best part about the limonada is that most restaurants make it to order, so you can get more or less sugar depending on your sweet tooth.