Monday, February 14, 2011


As we all know by now, food in Brazil is bland. We love onions, garlic, bay leaves, parsley and even sometimes coriander and cumin, but that's it. As my SIL put it: "But these are not spices!!" Well, you get the idea about our spiciness (granted that there are a few states that have African influences that make food spicier... but not much). So when A. first came to visit my Mom, who had been forewarned about his preference for spicy food, first thing she recommended was to go to the market and get some hot sauce.

A chilli stand in Barcelona... with spicier chillies than in Brazil.

Off A. and I went... and quickly found the stand full of red hotness in the form of chillies. I asked for the hottest. The vendor showed me some bottles... I asked which of them was the hottest and he asked if I really wanted THE hottest. I replied yes and he gave me a bottle of PQP (short for a curse word in Portuguese) recommending that I be extremely careful with it. I nodded and walked off.

During lunch there were some guests and my mom served some home grown chillies (cured in oil) along with the PQP sauce we got. And while her friends were complaining about how hot her home sauce was, A. was spooning PQP into his plate, mumbling that it was still not spicy enough.

Next day A. and I would have lunch later and my mom left some batter for manioc fritters ready to fry. Knowing that as it was A. would not like them much I put about 1/4 of the PQP sauce into the batter and then fried them. I did not tell A. at the time that the PQP sauce was my addition and did not tell my mom that I tampered her batter, but since then A. always says that this was the best dish my Mom made while he was there. I just have to come up with excuses why she did not make them the same ever again...


  1. This makes me happy on several levels...including the fact that there's a hot sauce named for a curse word. Your talks about Brazil always make me wish Mom had talked about her time there more, or I had asked her more. :)

  2. I love it! I just wrote something sort of about this regarding casserole. I think Indians are a bit touchy about their title as spiciest country. It makes me laugh a little bit when I read the introductions of cookbooks and see long rants about how Indian food will put any Mexican or Thai dish to shame. I'm like, "Really? Do you have to be so weird and defensive about it?"

    I'm coming to terms with the fact that I am not normal when it comes to spiciness and trying to be less offended when Indians are shocked and stunned by my tolerance levels. Sometimes I feel like my party trick is just sitting on the couch and eating the same food as everyone else. So ridiculous!

  3. Thanks girls!

    @ BBBB: My tolerance has gone up remarkably since meeting A. Now I even put his sister to shame! :P