Curitiba, November 11, 2016
Santa Felicidade is an Italian neighborhood in Curitiba famous for its Italian restaurants. Eliane’s mother wanted to treat us to lunch there.
The restaurant we went to was called Madalosso and it was huge – in its various dining rooms, it could seat 5,000 people! As we entered, an empty dining room called Salão Roma was on the left and we were to dine in the already crowded Salão Verona.
But first, in the vestibule, we tried “free” samples of batidas* – Dale and I each had a miniature batida de maracujá* and I also had a batidinha de côco*. Besides these mini cachaça* drinks, there were platters of appetizers: French fried polenta and coxinhas – small, breaded chicken thighs.
But we were not finished with cachaça cocktails – we all had caipirinhas* with our meal! The meal was served by various waiters who appeared regularly with dishes of diverse Italian food – lasagna, ravioli, gnocchi (my favorite was spinach gnocchi with sun-dried tomatoes!), risotto, potato salad that Brazilians call maionese, fried polenta sticks, and others. We were soon stuffed!
By the time we left the restaurant, I felt bloated with the liquor and rich Italian food causing havoc in my stomach!
*Glossary of Brazilian drink terms:
batida – blended drink with fresh fruit juice and cachaça
batida de maracujá – passion fruit batida
batida (or its diminutive batidinha) de côco – coconut batida
cachaça – Brazilian sugar cane liquor (very strong)
caipirinha – literally “little hillbilly” – this is a very strong drink made with cachaça, lime, sugar & plenty of ice cubes! This term has been expanded to include any drink made with cachaça, basically interchangeable with the word batida.
Another type of blended fruit & alcohol drink is a version of the caipirinha, called caipiroska or caipivodka, which substitutes vodka for cachaça, much more to my liking.