About this blog
Thrill of Brazil is a travel blog all about Brazil written by Moon Brazil author Michael Sommers. Michael blogs about Brazil travel, culture, and more. He welcomes questions, comments, and story ideas.
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- Brazil’s Homegrown Tourism Boom
- Brazil's Best and Write-est
- Making House Calls in Rio (Part II)
- Making House Calls in Rio (Part I)
- The Dawning of Brazil's B&B Age
- Rio's Alternative Points of View
- Taxi Trouble in Santa Teresa
- Obamas Take to the Campaign Trail in Brazil
- Plans and Punctuality
- Reliving Tropicalismo - On and Off Screen
- Food and Lodging that Make the Grade
- The Making of Moon Living Abroad in Brazil
- U.S. is Number One Source of Immigrants to Brazil
- Best English-Language Blogs about Brazil
Da Boca do Brasileiro
Da Boca do Brasileiro means “Out of the Mouth of a Brazilian” and it's the title I’ve chosen for a regular monthly feature of this blog. The idea is to let Brazilians do the talking by recommending their favorite things to see, eat, and do while also providing some insider dicas (tips) they think might be useful for gringos.
For the debut of Da Boca do Brasileiro I talked to Ayrson Heráclito, a contemporary artist from the Sertão of Bahia who draws on Afro-Bahian traditions and materials – notably sugar, sun-dried beef, and dendê (palm oil) – to create works that are intensely local and, at the same time, universal in their rich meaning and aesthetic daring. Heráclito chose to talk about favorite things to see and do in Salvador:
Name: Ayrson Heráclito
Birth Place: Macaúbas, Bahia
Current Address: Splits his time between and the colonial town of Salvador and Cachoeira, Bahia.
Profession:: Artist and Professor of Art at UFRB (Universidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia) in Cachoeira.
What to Do: Visit Casa Branca, a terreiro de Candomblé, during one of the casa’s many festas in honor of orixás; you’ll see the most beautiful display of the spectacular expressiveness of Brazil's African religious roots.
What to Eat: Acarajé (crunchy deep-fried bean fritters, traditionally stuffed with shrimp, pimenta, and vatapá (a thick purée of bread, coconut milk, dried shrimp, cashews, and ginger) My own favorite is Acarajé da Neinha, whose stand is on Avenida Sete de Setembro, at the corner of Rua Politeama, in Centro.
Place You Can’t Miss: The Solar do Unhão, an architectural monument from the colonial period that shelters the MAM (Museu de Arte Moderno). From the courtyard overlooking the Bay of All Saints, you’re treated to the best sunset in all of Bahia.
Insider Hint: Be as “simple” as possible (especially from a material point-of-view) and don’t be afraid to interact with local people who are extremely welcoming.
Insider Warning: Be careful with the sun and don’t go overboard (in terms of food, alcohol, and sex).
Recommended Sound Track: Without a doubt, Hermeto Pascoal, who is both the most regional and international of Brazilian musical artists.