Travelling around South America I’d heard so many things about Brazil before I visited. By all reports it was a country passionately consumed by soccer, music, dance, carnavale, beauty and beach culture.
As a photographer I definitely wanted to capture a slice of all of this, but of the food I had heard near on scant.
What little I had heard held the common thread that is was everything the rest of Brazil’s dynamic colourful culture was not; a drab and stodgy affair of beans and barbecue. So their food I thought would not be something worth writing home about right?
There are many delicious reasons worth visiting Brazil, king amongst them is the magic of ‘moqueca’ (pronounced mo–ke–ka). I found this gem within a week of flying into Brazil’s sundrenched afro-american state, Bahia. On a sleepy island called Boipeba our waiter walked barefoot through the sand carefully carrying a ceramic pot to our table.
What arrived was a positive culinary match for Brazil’s exuberant yet relaxed culture.
To my ravenous glee I found moqueca to be more reminiscent of a Southeast Asian curry (also a huge fan) than any South American dish I know of. It was a fish stew loaded with tomato, chilli, garlic, onion, coriander (aka cilantro), black pepper, dendê oil (palm oil), lime juice, capsicum (aka peppers), fish, crab and prawns (shrimp for all ye of North American origin) and smoothed out with coconut milk.
MUST READ: Our easy moqueca de camaro recipe aka Brazilian shrimp soup.
It was slow cooked in a clay pot (kind of like a Moroccan tajine except without the conical lid) and served on rice.
Need I say more? Oh yes, friggin delicious!
Of course apart from kicking back in beach restaurants and feasting I was on a constant hunt for images. It was quickly confirmed to me that Brazil most definitely does reign as a world superpower in music, dance, soccer and perhaps above all, partying.
Whilst not nearly as delicious as my mouth-watering moqueca, I hope these shots from Morro de Sao Paulo and Boipeba give you a small visual taste.Cam Cope has roamed the earth making awesome travel images and documentary projects since leaving his consulting desk job in Melbourne, Australia, in 2009. You can check out his latest work on his blog, view galleries on his website and stay posted via Facebook.