Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Munchie time - São Paulo
For the last few days, I have been traveling in and around Boston. It seems that Boston will be my next home after our São Paulo days draw to a close sometime after the World Cup next year. I spent a few days enjoying (hahaha) the New England December weather and visiting my brother and friends from high school and college.
As an aside (sorry dad, here I go), I have to say I can anticipate fully my blog next year which will deal with "This is Not What I Expected" or an expatriate's return to her home country. All kinds of things strike me as funny now in the US--waiters who introduce themselves, staying in a converted fire house where the elevator certificate had expired, taxi drivers from Ethiopia, Morocco and Framingham, a place where there is an app for literally everything. It's good times in New England.
But back to Brazil. I had a hellish return flight here which included a delay of four hours from Toronto, as well as an hour to get our bags from the plane. I have never waited so long for luggage. I wonder if they were sorting through it for Furbys. Anyway, I am now home and have the munchies. So I ate first some Caramel DeLites (I once knew them as Samoas) sold to me by hard-core girl scouts at 9 pm at night on Harvard Square, where it was roughly 30 degrees Fahrenheit. I love cookies. And girl scouts.
Munchies continue and then I spy the yellow Bauducco panettone box behind the bread. I love panettone. It is one of my favorite traditional foods in Brazil, and I rarely get tired of it, even after being given 4000 of them during the Christmas season. It is delicious stuff. The most traditional form is a sweet bread that is filled with dried fruit, but it can also be made with chocolate or other yummies (dulce de leche being one unapproved (by me) variety).
Panettone has its origins here from the Italian immigrants in the early 20th century. There is a fun way and a boring way to how it got its name. Who wants to vote? Okay, the boring way is that "pane" is bread and "tone" is large. Boring. The fun way is that some Friar Antonio liked the stuff and he wore a hat that resembles a panettone (tall, with a puffy top) and so it was "pane di Tony" or Tony's bread. Unfortunately the fun one does not hold water.
If you don't know what to bring to a Christmastime party, bring a panettone! If you don't know what to give to the street guard who watches your house, give him a panettone! Ditto teachers, security guards, neighbors, family... And of course there are all different levels of panettone, from cheap $10 US loaves to $100 fancy chocolate store varieties. Me, my favorite is Bauducco. Brazilian since the 1950s, delicious since forever.