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Saturday, March 26th 2005

10:12 PM

Traditional Brasilian Easter - Boa Páscoa!

Happy Easter to everyone!  I suppose you're curious about what a traditional Easter is like in Brasil.  This Easter is going to be a combination of Brasilian traditions - we're going to the futebol stadium in Goiania to watch the Brasilian National Soccer Team play against Peru!  This is one of those one chance in a lifetime events.  I'm hoping to see a formation of the "Fantastic Four" with Robinho, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Kaka.   We're all going to have a cultural experience tomorrow because it will be Angela's first soccer game too.  The last time I watched this team play was during the 2002 World Cup finals when I got up at 3 AM to watch the match between Brazil and Germany on TV.  It will be amazing to see these players in person, and we have some of the best seats in the stadium! 

Good Friday was a national holiday in Brasil.  I watched and helped Angela make a one pot meal called bacalhãoda, based on codfish with potatoes, tomatoes, green pepper, kale, onions, olives, and bay leaves.  This is traditionally a religious holiday, but for many families it's now more of an opportunity for the family to be together.  Fish-based meals are the most traditional foods for Easter, but it's the family togetherness rather than the food that's most important here. 

Brasil has an Easter Bunny, and he delivers candy with the help of all large grocery stores.  For weeks, they have displayed awnings formed of chocolate produced by all of the major candy companies.  In most cases there's a shell of chocolate or plastic wrapped in colored foil with smaller candy eggs inside.  I decided not to go with the commercial products, but to make my own.  I made brigadeiros, a traditional Brasilian chocolate candy made with sweetened condensed milk and cocoa.  It's cooked, cooled, and rolled into balls and decorated with chocolate sprinkles.  Most of the brigadeiros didn't even make it to Good Friday!  We ate them at different times during Thursday night!  There was only one candy left for each of us after dinner on Good Friday, so I guess they were good. 

Happy Easter, and if you watch the game on TV, I'll be one of the people in the area with chairs wearing a yellow shirt with green trim designed especially for this game! 

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