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  • Beth Adams

Who's Hungry for the Holidays?

A message from your Communications Manager

Hi, everyone! My name is Beth Adams, and since January 2019, I’ve been the writer behind these newsletters. I hope you’ve been enjoying them as much as I’ve been enjoying writing them. My goal is to help bring you more stories about some of the things Partners and Partners members are doing that link Indiana and Rio Grande do Sul (and more broadly, Brazil).

If there’s one thing to know about me is that I enjoy cooking and food traditions. I could talk about food, culture, and language all day. (In fact, I’ve had a food blog called Worldly Rise where I’ve been baking and cooking my way around the world since 2012.) So, given the fact that Christmas and New Years are right around the corner, I reached out to a few of my Brazilian friends to find out some of their Christmas and New Year’s food

traditions they share in Rio Grande do Sul (and I’ll definitely be trying my hand at some of these later on). Because what are the holidays without the food, right?

People typically get together for dinner with friends and family, and some of the foods are similar to what we have in the US during this time of year as well. Common main dishes for Christmas often include churrasco for lunch, and many families choose poultry, like a chester (kind of like a giant chicken) for dinner. Turkey is often harder to find and more expensive if you do find it, but some people have it for Christmas instead. A variety of salads, like potato salad (salada de batata) or pasta salad (salada de massa) are often made with mayonnaise, and many use raisins and apples in it. There’s also a white rice dish made with raisins and vegetables in it called arroz à grega that is pretty common on the holiday table. Beer is often drank during the meal and throughout the day.

Lentils and grapes are traditions for New Year’s Eve. The grapes are eaten at the stroke of midnight. On New Year’s, people often eat pork (compared with eating poultry for Christmas) because pigs are an animal that generally only moves forward. There are a lot of fruits served during the holidays since it’s summer there, and sparkling wine is often reserved for the New Year’s toast.

Desserts often include sagu, which is tapioca pearls baked in sweet wine and often served with vanilla cream (and is so absolutely delicious). They also have small baked pumpkins called doce de abóbora (like a pumpkin compote). Figs are also super popular to cook with. Panettone, a tall bread filled with various dried fruits is also often eaten during the holidays, but there’s an even better one called Chocottone that uses chocolate instead of the fruit. Another popular dessert served at this time of year is pavê: a type of layered dessert of lady finger cookies, cream, and sometimes fruits like strawberries or bananas.

So, please enjoy a couple Brazilian recipes to help with your holiday cooking!

Hope everyone has a great Christmas and a safe New Year!

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