Summer is ending in Brazil, and for those who spent it on a Brazilian beach, we might need a post-summer diet. The best street food in Brazil is not found on the streets, but instead on the beaches. Brazilian beaches are a festival of delicious, fattening food, sold by friendly vendors who walk along the beach for uncountable kilometers each day. These vendors get a lot of exercise, and come right up to your beach chair or cangas to sell their wares, and sometimes even to prepare your snack. But the beach-goers don’t get as much exercise as the vendors, in part because their bathing attire is so minuscule that it discourages many kinds of exercise. Which is why many of us need post-beach diets in order to prepare for Carnival.
My favorite beach food is queijo coalho, a kind of cheese that is roasted on a makeshift grill, right in front of you. Sometimes they serve it with the Brazilian version of molasses, which makes it sweet and salty at the same time, and more fattening.
Coxinhas are my second favorite beach food, although you can also buy them in any bread or snack shop. They are made from well-seasoned shredded or chopped chicken meat, covered in dough and shaped to resemble a fat drumstick, then breaded and fried. The good ones also have catupiry in them, which is a savory Brazilian cream cheese.
Nobody can go to a Brazilian beach without eating a few pastels. They are very thin-crusted half-circle pies, deep fried and filled with all kinds of tasty filings such as shrimp, crab, melted cheese, ground meat or palm hearts. The crunchy crust is actually blistered from being fried so fast in dangerously hot oil.
It would also be hard to go to a Brazilian beach without eating at least one empada, but you’ll probably eat more. They are small, savory pies which take between 3 to 4 bites to finish off. Empadas are made with very light, buttery dough and have fillings made from palm hearts, shrimp, sun-dried beef or shredded chicken. The best chicken and beef ones have some soft, melted catupiry cheese in the filling.
Tapioca is also a typical beach food, made from manioc in the form of pleasantly chewy crepes. The fattening part is the filling, which might be anything from a cream-based shrimp concoction to sweetened condensed milk.
Corn on the cob is a cheap, filling snack, and a beach outing is not complete without this high-carb vegetable.
And, of course, those of us who like to sit on a beach to watch the tide people coming and going need the protein of cashew nuts and peanuts, which are sold on every beach in Brazil. In excess, they can be a very fattening source of protein.
To wash this all down, we drink beer, sugarcane juice or caipirinhas, which are Brazil’s national cocktail. Caipirinhas are made from fermented sugarcane juice which has been distilled, and mixed with sugar, lime and lots of ice to make the cocktail. Brazilians also drink a lot of coconut water straight from the chilled fruit while on the beach. Coconut water is a lot like a sports drink because it contains so many minerals and so much potassium. It also contains fat, but coconut water is the least fattening thing on this list of beach food.
In order to lose some beach weight in a non-aggressive way, here is a guide to an alternative way to burn off calories and learn some new idiomatic expressions in English.
IDIOMATIC EXPRESSION: Add fuel to the fire
CALORIES BURNT: 360 calories p/ hour
IDIOMATIC EXPRESSION: Beat around the bush
CALORIES BURNT: 79 calories p/ hour
IDIOMATIC EXPRESSION: Bend over backwards
CALORIES BURNT: 500 calories p/ hour
IDIOMATIC EXPRESSION: Drag your heels
CALORIES BURNT: 27 calories p/ hour
IDIOMATIC EXPRESSION: Hit the nail on the head
CALORIES BURNT: 540 calories p/ hour
IDIOMATIC EXPRESSION: Jump the gun
CALORIES BURNT: 56 calories p/ hour
IDIOMATIC EXPRESSION: Open a can of worms
CALORIES BURNT: 96 calories p/ hour
IDIOMATIC EXPRESSION: Put your foot in your mouth
CALORIES BURNT: 35 calories p/ hour
IDIOMATIC EXPRESSION: Start the ball rolling
CALORIES BURNT: 580 calories p/ hour
IDIOMATIC EXPRESSION: Toot your own horn
CALORIES BURNT: 5 calories p/ hour
The word cliffhanger comes from cliffs. Duh. Cliffs are vertical, or nearly vertical, rocks that have been formed by erosion and weathering. There are lots of famous cliffs, but the first ones that come to my mind are the White Cliffs of Dover, probably because there was a popular World War II song about them that was part of my childhood, and also because they are on the historical English coastline.
When one thinks of cliffhangers, England and its gothic novels always come to mind. Cliffhangers are the kind of story, book or movie that uses suspense either at the end of an episode or a scene. A good example was the way the final episode of Game of Thrones, season 5, was done. Jon Snow was dead. Or was he? Those of us who sweated it out until season 6 was aired were never really sure. The writers used old-fashioned melodrama, suspense and uncertainty, and the audience was left as if hanging from a cliff in a state of tension and apprehension. And that’s a true cliffhanger.
This part of the blog will not be able to offer any nail-biting cliffhangers, but it will have classes in series, and I hope they will be interesting enough that you will want to come back and read what happens next, even if you don’t lose sleep anticipating the next chapter. Enjoy.
Betsy and I worked together as teachers in an English School many years ago. The need of keeping my English fluent and updated inspired me to have classes with her, so, 3 other teachers and I formed a group for these classes. Betsy’s classes were always fun, full of new, challenging and interesting vocabulary, focusing on what was happening in the world and many times, with suggestions for our own classes. I still keep the material she prepared for us at that time and, surprisingly they are still fitted for my students. The environment where she teaches is so cozy that we believed we were abroad; this also contributed to the charm of the classes. Apart from that, Betsy and I have developed a strong friendship that has been kept alive up to now. I still turn to her whenever I need something and she never lets me down.
Betsy was the my English teacher in Uberaba, a long time ago…. An excellent teacher, a wonderful human-being. She gave me the nickname I gladly adopted ever since. We became close friends and we are still close – in our hearts.
Taking English classes with Betsy is a great pleasure.
She enriches her classes with her wonderful life story, which she happily shares with her students.
Classes are carefully and diligently prepared by Betsy according to the individual needs of each of her students, and always accompany reading material on fresh, new subjects.
She is a very enthusiastic and up-beat teacher, who imparts knowledge to her students through engaging and interesting discussions.
All in all, taking classes with Betsy is a very pleasant, enriching and memorable experience.
Aprender inglês com Betsy é um privilégio! Com aulas dinâmicas, inteligentes, divertidas, sempre tratando de assuntos atuais, consegue ensinar e cativar! Tenho aulas com ela há muitos anos! Não pretendo parar, pois além de aprender a língua, Betsy coloca assuntos muito interessantes em pauta. Nestes muitos anos, nunca repetiu uma só aula! Grande professora!