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10 Can’t-Miss Snacks in Rio de Janeiro

10 Can’t-Miss Snacks in Rio de Janeiro
Posted on Fodor’s, July 11, 2012 at 5:02:08 PM EST

Bar food, street food, snack food, beach food—Rio de Janeiro thrives on snacks. And so will you, if you can find your way around the hundreds of the, at times, baffling options. Some foods will be easily recognizable, like empanadas (in Brazil called empadas) and churros. Others won’t resemble anything familiar, and will be made of things you cannot guess at. But that (and the fact that they’re delicious) is what makes them so much fun to hunt down and eat. Find your favorites and sample them at many, many locations city-wide. Trust us, every street corner has options.

Pão de Queijo

Literally “cheese bread,” these little balls of cheesy goodness are highly addictive. Made from yucca flour and several cheeses, they are best sampled hot from the oven, such as at the cafe Cultivar (locally known as Organico) in the neighborhood of Santa Teresa where they are made in several batches throughout the day so they are always fresh and incredibly delicious. They’re also vegetarian.

Insider’s Tip: Snacks sold in the subway are low quality—expect hard, dry, and flavorless foods. Purchase these only in moments of desperation!

Açai

Ah, yes the super-fruit. Made of a very bitter palm berry, sweetened to dessert-levels, açai has become popular in the US recently in everything from ice cream to moisturizers. In Rio, it comes in a heaping bowl or cup with granola sprinkled on top, either for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. Rich in protein, fiber and vitamin E, it’s served thick and cold (and is also gluten-free and vegetarian), to be eaten with a spoon.

Insider’s Tip: Cariocas (natives of Rio) add lots of sugar to their fruits so ask for less if you don’t have a sweet tooth: “pouco açucar” (po-co ass-soo-car) means “just a little sugar.”

Pipoca

Brazilians have made an art out of popcorn. Vendors will usually have two options: salty (salgado) and sweet (doce). The salty can come with the surprisingly delicious additions of cheese or bacon depending on the vendor, so ask for options, or look for the strips of bacon in the popcorn itself. The sweet has caramelized sugar darkening the kernels, and some vendors have condensed milk available to pour on top.

Insider’s Tip: For a portion of both sweet and salty popcorn, ask for “meia meia” (may-ah may-ah), or half and half.

Pastel

A large envelope of pastry enfolds hot fillings like cheese, meat, shrimp, or a combination. Pasteis (the plural of “pastel”) can sometimes also come in smaller sizes, deep fried, with about 6 or 7 to a portion, especially in bars. Locals rave about the large fresh ones available at the weekend markets in the Gloria or Laranjeiras neighborhoods.

Insider’s Tip: Pair your pastel with sugar cane juice (caldo de cana) for a perfect hangover cure.

Coxinhas

Translated as “little drumsticks,” these salgados (savory snacks) feature a thick, tear-shaped crust surrounding shredded, spiced chicken. Done well, these snacks are deeply satisfying and highly habit forming. Eat them as is, or with ketchup or pimenta (hot oil or salsa). Great with cold chope (draft beer) or as an afternoon snack.

Kibe

Of Arabic origins, this savory finger food has a dark and crusty whole wheat outside and spicy ground beef inside. Darker than a coxinha, which is more golden brown, kibes make a nice variation in the afternoon snack rotation, and are much beloved by Cariocas.

Tapioca

Found at street vendors and in cafes, tapiocas are cooked right in front of you on a hot griddle come in sweet or savory flavors. Tapioca are poured onto a hot griddle and form a crust during cooking, that is then filled with such things as chocolate and banana or cheese and tomato. Flip it over into an omelette shape, and you have yourself a substantial snack. Can be vegetarian and gluten-free.

Insider’s Tip: Street food carts are everywhere in Rio but are especially concentrated around Carioca metro station in Centro (downtown).

Biscoitos Globo

These puffed mandioc chips, sold on the beach and at street vendors, are a tasty variation on potato chips. The mandioc, also a starchy tuber like the potato (and yucca), is light as popcorn, puffed into the shape of an innertube, and seasoned to be sweet or savory, as you like. Sold by the package, they don’t look at first like snacks, but you’ll soon recognise the yellow packages with either green or red lettering.

Caldinho de Feijão

It’s as easy as a cup of black bean soup. When you’re out late drinking chope (draft beer) or caipirinhas, or need an afternoon pick me up after sight-seeing, a warming caldinho does the trick. Thick and simple, it’s related to the much more elaborate feijoada, the national dish with a black bean stew at the center. This smaller version is often served at bars and will come in a coffee mug. It’s inexpensive, nutritious, and tasty.

Insider’s Tip: Vegetarians be warned: unless otherwise stated, soups will contain meat, even a simple bean soup.

Kebabs

Served on street corners near bars and at street sambas (impromptu samba gatherings), street kebabs usually consist of skewers of pork, beef, or chunks of sausage or chicken, grilled street-side and rolled in farofa (toasted manioc flour). Pratos, or small plates, will come with one or two skewers, a salad of chopped tomatoes and onions, and a mound of toasted farofa.

Insider’s Tip: Kebabs can become dinner, especially if you order a couple of plates. Order some and share them around with friends, old and new, as is the local custom.

For full photo credits see original article here.

Field Notes

Developing Educational Standards for Yoga Therapists

What is a yoga therapist versus a yoga teacher? Is yoga therapy clinical or relational or both? Should training standards start low (200 hours) to be more accessible, or start high (1,000 hours) so that they are rigorous and safe?

These are some of the hard questions that the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) has been debating since the fall of 2009 in an effort to establish minimum standards for yoga therapists-in-training.
Continue reading ‘Field Notes’

Continuing Education: Yoga Philosophy

Look down any yoga class schedule and usually you won’t find many offerings for yoga philosophy. Mostly reserved for teacher training programs—and then crammed into a weekend or two—philosophy is usually dwarfed by the popularity of asana, which is just one of yoga’s eight “limbs.” I went on a search to find who is offering philosophy classes in New York this year and was pleasantly surprised. It’s not just reserved for the hard-core student practicing svadyiya—self study—anymore. Yes, it can seem mysterious, but yoga’s deeper ideas offer inspiration for teaching and practicing, and – perhaps most importantly – for life. Continue reading ‘Continuing Education: Yoga Philosophy’

Mala Yoga: Small is Beautiful

Mala Yoga sits on the second floor above a corner real estate office in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, at arguably one of the cutest intersections in the neighborhood. With coffee shops, restaurants, a Montessori school and a small independent bookstore nearby, this could be Main Street, USA. The church spire rising in the distance completes the picture.

But it’s Court Street, a bustling, residential part of Brooklyn. Run by three yoginis, two who left white-collar careers for yoga, Mala has only a sandwich board outside to mark its presence. It gets most of its students from walk-ins and word of mouth.

Opened in November 2007, Mala bucks current trends of expansion and franchising as one of the smallest studios in the city, at just 700 square feet–including the bathroom. Continue reading ‘Mala Yoga: Small is Beautiful’

Studio Spotlight: Om Factory NYC

AcroYoga Finds a Home in New York

It’s surprising to get off on the 17th floor of a pre-war factory building, high above the crowded, semi-seedy streets between the Port Authority bus terminal and Penn Station, and walk into the bright colors and clean lines of Om Factory NYC. With a garment factory staffed by Cantonese-speaking women across the hall, Om Factory is an oasis of positive vibes, smiling faces, and good old-fashioned hard work.

The Friday night of my first AcroYoga class at Om Factory, I was exhausted. The staff at reception, and the space itself, was immediately soothing. From the glittering sliver clothes hooks, to the marigold-orange and avocado-green walls, to the gold-edged sun yantra in the Yantra studio, Om Factory was clearly constructed with love and enthusiasm (and maybe a little bit of obsessive planning). Continue reading ‘Studio Spotlight: Om Factory NYC’

Yoga Mat Mania

Yoga mats used to come in two colors—purple or blue. But today, color choices abound…as do a wide range of textures (for traction), thicknesses (for more cushion), and materials (for sweaty or not-so-sweaty practices).

As an extra plus, mats are now more health- and eco-friendly and less likely to be made with toxic materials such as latex, chloride, and PVC (polyvinylchloride).

With all these options, which is right for you? Check out our handy chart for the newest and brightest, as well as some traditional favorites. Yoga Mat Review Chart PDFFit Yoga April 2007

Fancy Pants: LuluLemon Arrives in NYC

At last, the wildly popular Canadian yoga-clothing company, Lululemon Athletica, brings its innovative and high-quality gear to New York.

Already in L.A. and Chicago, the company’s designers use fabrics such as Silverescent (which draws on the anti-bacterial qualities of silver) and Luon (which wicks away moisture), to create sexy clothes for yogis and non-yogis alike. Lululemon also has a soul: In 2005 its stores gave $300,000 back to local communities through their Charitable Giving Program. Look good, do good: sounds good. 1928 Broadway at 64th St (212-496-1546, lululemon.com).

Time Out New York / Issue 585 : December 14, 2006 – December 27, 2006

Goal Mate: Yoga for… Running, Golfing, Dating, Public Speaking

Whether to improve your game or give you game, these inventive classes use yoga to enhance other pursuits.

For Going the Distance (running, golfing, cycling).Pros on the Nets, the Mets and the Giants have all done yoga. Now savvy amateur athletes can benefit from asana guidance, too. This winter, Yoga Works (212-769-9642, yogaworks.com) offers a variety of two-hour yoga workshops that help runners, cyclists, skiers, golfers, dancers and marathoners train smart and stay focused.

Eschewing the smorgasbord approach, the Running Center (therunningcenter.com, 212-362-3779) holds ongoing yoga classes specifically for runners’ needs—knee and leg health, breath control, and mental endurance.

Yogi J.Brown (917-446-8871, yogijbrown.com) works with golfers on precision and flexibility to improve their swings and their scores.

Continue reading ‘Goal Mate: Yoga for… Running, Golfing, Dating, Public Speaking’

Lady Matters: the Power of Women in Yoga

Critics’ pick

A yoga class in which only men can chant “om” seems silly today, but that restriction was once one of many imposed on female practitioners. Janice Gates, founding director of Yoga Garden Studio in San Anselmo, California, illuminates the yogic role of the fairer sex in her new book, Yogini: The Power of Women in Yoga (Mandala Press, $20). Gates begins with a compelling overview—including the story of how women’s role in the practice diminished once the Brahmin culture took hold in India in 1500 B.C.E.—before profiling 17 contemporary yogini pioneers, including Sharon Gannon, the director of megastudio Jivamukti, and Gurumayi, Siddha Yoga’s beloved leader. With handsome reproductions of yoginis in Indian art, the book uncovers a story that’s rarely told: Women were once valuable teachers and spiritual guides in yoga—and now finally are again.

Time Out New York / Issue 583 : November 30, 2006 – December 6, 2006

Class Menagerie: the IntenSati Workout at Equinox

Three city gyms have launched new workout series to entice you into their ranks.

Intensati Class

IntenSati at Equinox –Joelle Hann

Patricia Moreno’s class at Equinox Gyms won’t just sculpt biceps and buttocks. It also aims to turn unhappiness into positive expectations. Moreno, a former kickboxing teacher, developed IntenSati by blending cardio, dance, yoga and aerobics with life coaching. Sati is the Buddhist concept of intention, so students repeat affirmations such as “Every day, in a very true way, I cocreate my reality,” while following Moreno through a butt-kicking workout. The class concludes with a meditation session, during which Moreno assures us that we can live the life we want and look great, too. We just need the right intention and enthusiasm—and a membership at Equinox. At four Equinox locations throughout the city. Call 212-774-6363, or visit www.intensati.com or www.equinoxfitness.com for information.

Time Out New York / Issue 580 : November 9, 2006 – November 15, 2006

Om Sweet OM

What’s new

According to Cyndi Lee, director of OM Yoga, the perfect date includes a restorative yoga class, deep tissue massage and a movie. You may not want to do that on a first date, but you certainly could at OM’s new Wellness Sanctuary—all but the movie. “People come here to feel good about themselves; bodywork is an extension of that,” Lee says of her decision to expand services. Mix and match your treatments on a ten-visit card ($850): get a Swedish massage, relax with reflexology, be stretched Thai-yoga–style and consult with a nutritionist. Or try sample of them all for free at Om’s Wellness Week, Mon 18 through Sept 22 . There’s no push to sign up for yoga classes or buy OM products—the only pressure will come from the bodyworkers’ talented hands.
826 Broadway at 12th St, sixth floor (212 254-YOGA, omyoga.com).

Time Out New York / Issue 572 : September 14, 2006 – September 20, 2006

Cosmic Con: Path of Yoga Conference

Calibrate yourself with the universe at the Path of Yoga conference.

In India, millions gather at kumbha melas, or spiritual festivals, to cleanse body and spirit in sacred rivers like the Ganges. The Omega Institute, the upstate center for holistic studies, will host its own form of kumbha mela in Manhattan September 15–18 with the seventh annual Path of Yoga conference. This year’s pose-a-thon, which alternates each year between New York and Miami, welcomes 28 established instructors—some of them full-blown yogic celebrities—who’ll lead more than 85 workshops. We checked in with a few standouts, each of whom has several sessions; here’s what to expect. Sheraton New York, 811 Seventh Ave at 53rd St (800-944-1001, eomega.org). $445, individual workshop price TBD. Pre- and postconference intensives $125, non–conference attendees $175. Continue reading ‘Cosmic Con: Path of Yoga Conference’

Wellness: Trends of the Season

Fall Preview 2006

The world of yoga will stretch in several new ways this season.

Yoga day spas: Area Yoga and Namaste Yoga were among the first to offer extras such as bodywork, nutrition counseling and even psychotherapy. Before you know it, you could be using your class card for a facial.

The slipping of savasana: When centers cram the content of a 90-minute session into 60 minutes of “express” yoga, savasana—the meditative relaxation that concludes each practice—is sometimes shortchanged, and is in danger of disappearing altogether.
Continue reading ‘Wellness: Trends of the Season’

Peace Keeper: Pema Chodron

Critic’s Pick

To end wars, some march on Washington or analyze foreign diplomacy. According to Buddhist nun and best-selling author Pema Chödrön, we need to meditate, too. Chödrön, 70, discusses ways to de-escalate violence—on ourselves, others and the world—among other topics on the season finale of PBS’s Bill Moyers on “Faith & Reason” on Friday 4 at 9pm and Sunday 6 at 7pm. It will be a rare appearance for Chödrön who, in failing health, recently embarked on a yearlong retreat. Her new book, Practicing Peace in Times of War (Shambhala, $16), lands in bookstores this September, and, like her other tomes, makes complex Buddhist ideas appealing and accessible to the average joe. “War and peace begin in the hearts of individuals,” she says. And when she says it, you believe her.

Time Out New York / Issue 566 : August 3, 2006 – August 9, 2006