Today we were taken out to a little town called Embu das Artes, about a 40 minute drive SW of Sao Paulo. It was a nice little surprise as I thought we were being taken to see an art exhibition in Centro (the center of the city) and ended up in in the centre of Sao Paulo state instead.
There is a market of food, toys, clothes and all sorts of handicrafts every weekend. There were a few other tourists but mainly local 'tourists'. The streets are covered in paralelepípedos (still one of my favourite words) but they were much more manageable than the roads in Paritay and were able to push Sophie around in a buggy. First stop off was food. They had a range of things - pastels, sandwiches, yakisoba noodles, hot dogs... i had acarajé which is a fried ball of mashed beans and filled with shrimps and onion. It's very popular in Salvador, Bahia and I hadn't had one since our trip there 5 years ago. Our friends were saying how much they dislike the palm oil which is used in most of Bahia cooking which I had forgotten I didn't like either. Funny how hunger can distort a memory!
The market runs over 5-6 blocks and there were lots of different shops. Both shops and stalls sold home made toys, clothes, leather bags, carpets, mirrors, art, furniture and more. We were very controlled and got away with a few wooden toys for Sophie and a couple of beers for us. Apparently there is another road nearby which is famous for beautiful wooden furniture so we might have to go back when we move into a bigger apartment.
I saw some restaurants that were serving food that really reminded me of Fernando's* in Macao. It then it occurred to me that both Brasil and Macao were both portuguese colonies, duh!
The real reason for this blog is really to describe my introduction to churros. WHY have I never seen or tasted one before!??!?!? They are a spanish doughnut that is fried, covered in cinnamon and then dulce de creme (caramel) or chocolate is piped through the middle. I usually find most of the deserts here too sweet but I think I might have to introduce churros into my daily diet...
* If you are ever in Macao and need a break from losing all your money at the blackjack table you have to go to Fernando's - can't go wrong with chicken and chips! I've made the trip to Macao especially.