Jan 16, 2011

Tibau do Sul, a place to call your own

by Antonella Kann

As I told you before New Year´s Eve, I was going to hide myself in one of those special hubs of the northeast, a place called Tibau do Sul.
Since the last decade, I´ve been coming to this hidden gem where you are bound to find deserted beaches even during high season and holidays.

Considering that I wanted to break my city-style routine, Tibau do Sul has a clutch of luxurious attributes, such as no routine, to begin with. And no internet around, too.
Next, you become an early bird even if this doesn´t appetize you. The breeze crossing leisurely across the coconut leaves sounds like a wake up call - and music along the day.

Breakfast with an overview – the sea, the skyline of sandy beaches in the horizon, the blue sea, the mood of the tide…Then a stroll in the village, with a shopping list – what are we having for lunch??? Check with the fisherman´s stock, right across the bakery.

When the tide starts to get lower, natural small swimming pools form all along the shore. The water is translucid. You just have to dip in it, with a book in your hand, tons of sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat and soak in the warmth of the rays.

If you´re the sportive kind of guy, then get ready to surf among dolphins in the Praia do Madeiro, test your skills with a paddle on stand-up boards on the lagoon, go for a horseriding adventure on the beach, challenge your fear by being a passenger on a parapente experience – the professional who will be piloting is an expert, so don’t worry….Or just hire a buggy and explore the surrounding beaches, either by going north or south on the dunes and sand. No toll road in these itineraries.

And as far as food is concerned, you shall spoil yourself rotten on fresh produce from the sea, plus coconut water, capirinhas, cold beer and fusion food in many restaurants of nearby Pipa. This fishermen´s village was once what Tibau used to be, but lost its tranquility to fancy hotels, fashionable tourism and rock´n roll.

On the other hand, expect to eat well and choose from Thai to tapas, including French, Italian, Peruvian, and, naturally, regional potiguar (originally from Rio do Grande do Norte state) specialities.

But if you´re too lazy to turn on the engine of the car and drive 6 kilometers, then you can still relish on the fresh oysters which can be ordered in some of the unsophisticated restaurants of Tibau. Or typical dishes such as bobó de camarão ( a recipe blending shrimps, coconut milk, turnip and fresh herbs), washed down with a chope – beer from the tap.

Then, as you are in the northeast, there are hammocks in every corner of the house, including on the terrace, in which you feel obliged to take a nap every afternoon, after (late) lunch.

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Jan 10, 2011

The taste of caipifrutas, a national drink

by Antonella Kann

I am pretty sure that anyone who sets foot in Brazil is immediately aware that there is a certain drink that cannot be ignored once in the country – anywhere. And this is about ridiculously delicious caipirinhas, or for those more experienced, the caipifrutas, which blend in with every single fresh fruit you may imagine. Those drinks are manipulated following the barman´s wits, and are also decorated, so you appreciate it with your eyes. And easily fall in love at first sight.

The word caipi will sound familiar as soon as you enter a bar, be it on the sidewalk of the beach or any restaurant. Caipirinha will then become familiar in a split second, and from this point you´ll become addicted. The mix between lemon, sugar, ice and either cachaça ( the alcoholic beverage made from sugar cane) or vodka will remain forever in you palate and also in your vocabulary, even if caipirinha is the only word which you´ll memorize.

Any fresh fruit, tropical or not, can represent the main ingredient for this amazing drink, like kiwi, cashew, grapes, lichia ( absolutely divine!), strawberries, lime, passion fruit, pineapple, and many others. Moreover, imagination is the limit, so you can even invent some fusions, like the perfect combination of lemon with passion fruit, and also add ginger, for instance. Let´s say, whatever crosses your mind, just give it a try.

Also, this recipe is no secret. Many restaurants around the world, as in Paris or even small Californian town like Laguna Beach has somehow adopted it. The making-off is so simple that anyone can give it a try at home. And amaze your friends with a little Brazilian touch during a happy hour!

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