Food, Music, Fun: Bringing a Brazilian Party Home

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    By Kristin Woffinden

    Just picture it: plenty of savory food, lively music and tons of fun, extroverted friends. With the celebration of the Luzo-Brazilian culture this month, why not get a little creative and throw a Brazilian party?

    “When I think of a Brazilian party, I think of a lot of commotion and loud speaking,” said Phil Amorim, 23, an information systems major from S?o Paulo, Brazil. “You can barely hear yourself talking to someone right next to you. Lots of people being friendly and the usual greeting with a kiss on the cheeks.”

    Barbara Asp, 24, a home economics education major from Carson City, Nev., served in the Campinas Brazil Mission and said Brazilian parties are a lot of fun with lots of eating, talking and dancing to Brazilian music.

    With the assurance of great food, vivacious music and many people just having a good time, why wouldn”t someone want to host or attend a Brazilian party?

    The Food

    “In a Brazilian party, you need coxinha [minced chicken and seasoning, enclosed in wheat flour batter, and deep fried], empadinhas [tiny pies filled with shrimp, chicken or hearts of palm], brigadeiro [a simple Brazilian chocolate fudge candy, similar to a chocolate truffle] and cajuzinho [a popular sweet made of peanuts, cashews and sugar],” said BYU alum Patrick Pinheiro of Campinas, Brazil, in an e-mail. “You can actually substitute [any of the meats] for tri-tip, top sirloin and linguica or churrasco [barbecued meat].”

    Asp agreed that at a Brazilian party, especially a churrasco (pronounced show-has-co), Portuguese for barbecue, there is not only a lot of meat involved, but a lot of different food in general, including farofa (fa-row-fa), which used as a dip for various meats. Not to be forgotten, a salad of tomatoes and onions with vinegar and olive oil finish the Brazilian spread.

    “Depending on the kind of Brazilian party … there will be different kinds of food,” Amorim said. “If it”s a birthday party, you”ll always find a huge cake and brigadeiro. If the party is more of a get together during lunch, you”ll have rice and beans and you might even get lucky if they offer you some churrasco.”

    Finishing on a sweet note, the popular Brazilian dessert, mousse de maracuj? (moo-sea gee ma-ra-ca-jew), a mousse pudding made with passion fruit, is a tart and tangy alternative to super sweet desserts.

    Whether the food is low-key and simple or more intricate, the staple of any Brazilian party is guaran?, a popular fizzy, sweet and fruity Brazilian soft drink, which can be found in any grocery store.

    For Brazilian cuisine recipes, justbrazil.org and allrecipes.com (which has a good recipe for Brazilian passion fruit mousse) offer a wide variety of fun food possibilities.

    If, however, the concept of a Brazilian party sounds appealing, but there is not enough time to cook, Tucano”s Brazilian Grill, 4801 N. University Ave., Provo caters parties and offers customized menus.

    The Music

    When it comes to music, the world relishes the fusion of sounds from foreign places. Brazilian music is diverse and entertaining, with genres like samba, pagode and bossa nova. A Brazilian party wouldn”t have the same feeling if it didn”t have some dance-worthy, Brazilian music to accompany the amazing food and the lively people.

    “Brazilian music is full of passion, of sentiment, of joy,” according to the justbrazil.org Web site. “It is the result of a long heritage from AmerIndian, Portuguese and African sources meeting global influences to create a magical, mystical music.”

    Whatever the chosen genre, it needs to be something fun people can dance to, like samba, ax?, funk, MPB or forr?. For top artists and the most popular Brazilian songs, go to hot100brasil.com.

    The Decorations

    Be sure to fly the Brazilian flag high and hang bright green and yellow balloons and streamers to represent the colors of Brazil. The point of the party is to enjoy the food and enjoy the people you are with.

    The Activities

    While dancing is a staple to any successful party, the most popular Brazil sport, soccer, or “futebol” in Portuguese, is a must.

    “Soccer is the biggest thing ever in Brazil,” said Nick Fotter, 22, a neuroscience major from Durango, Colo., who served his mission in Brazil.

    Show true Brazilian pride and wear green and yellow as you play. Buy big markers, find awesome Brazilian phrases and decorate T-shirts to sport the Luzo-Brazilian pride.

    No matter the activities, Brazilian bashes are all about the people.

    “You don”t need to know the host to go to a party,” said Mandy Leal, 18, a manufacturing engineering technology major from S?o Paulo, Brazil. “If you know one person [there], it is enough to go, but if you don”t know anyone but heard of it and feel like going, that”s totally OK, you”ll be welcome.”

    P?o de queijo (cheese rolls) recipe:

    Ingredients: (makes 70 cheese rolls)

    1 cup of water

    1 cup of milk

    1/2 cup of oil

    1 teaspoon of salt

    1 pack of tapioca starch (found in Asian grocery stores)

    2 eggs

    200 grams/ 8 ounces of grated Parmesan cheese

    Preparation:

    1. Bring water, milk, oil and salt to boil in a large pan.

    2. Remove from heat and add the tapioca starch. Mix well with a wooden spoon and let cool.

    3. Put mixture in a bowl, add the eggs and knead well.

    4. Add the grated cheese and knead until the dough is smooth.

    5. Roll 1 tablespoon of mixture into small balls. Tip: Grease your hands with oil before making the balls.

    6. Place the balls on a baking tray greased with oil or lined with baking paper.

    7. Bake cheese rolls in hot oven (350 degrees) for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

    8. Serve warm.

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