I’ve never been to Brazil, and to be honest, it has never been all that high on my bucket list. I don’t know why. It checks all the boxes: good food, fascinating culture, natural beauty. And yet my desire to go has never been as strong as it has been to see other places, even other places in the region. Hence I have been to Colombia and Ecuador, with a Chile trip in theory in December (pending Covid drama), and no trip to Brazil on the horizon.
So maybe it’s a good thing that A and I decided on Brazil for our next travel date night. Since it may be a long time before I make it there in person, I can get a little primer ahead of time! I hope this inspires you to plan your own Brazil date night!
Brazilian-Themed Date Night
Eat: Baiao-de-Dois and Brigadeiro
This is totally my style of cooking: comfort food with layers of flavor in a single pot. Baiao-de-Dois is a traditional dish of rice and black eyed peas with meat and seasonings. I used a chicken sausage and beef bacon, cooking the bacon first to get some nice fat in which to sauté my onion and red pepper. Then the sausage and black eyed peas join the party, with some chicken stock, garlic, turmeric, allspice, and cayenne. Bring it to a boil, add long grain rice, and cook until done, then add fresh cilantro. Easy (black eyed) peas-y!
It tastes even better than it looks!
A made dessert, the Brazilian version of truffles, called brigadeiro. They are made of just butter, sweetened condensed milk, and cocoa powder, plus something to coat – in our case, chocolate sprinkles and pulverized pistachio. They were pretty rich, so we paired them with an açaí-blueberry sorbet I found at the grocery store. (Açaí is the most traditional Brazilian fruit – and maybe food – but you can’t find them raw here. They are kind of a cross between a blueberry and cranberry, though they grow on palm-looking trees. Brazil is cool.)
And yes, we also made caipirinhas, the traditional Brazilian drink of cachaca (or rum), sugar, and lime. Yum!
Learn: The Animated History of Brazil
It seems that the default dinner documentary is an animated history, and I love it! 8-15 minutes long, amusing, full of factoids and tidbits, and discussion provoking. This one was no exception. I only wish it spoke a bit more to the modern history.
Experience: National Museum and Christ the Redeemer
Google arts and culture truly is spectacular, and maybe my favorite aspect of their initiative to archive the world. There are a TON of virtual exhibits, street views, and more from Brazil, but we chose two that spoke to us. The link is to the National Museum, a narrated brief tour of some of the highlights before the museum burned down in 2018, taking an estimated 92.5% of its collection with it. It makes me want to cry thinking about all that was lost.
Our second stop was a street view of Rio’s famous landmark: Christ the Redeemer. The statue is cool. The view over the city is better.
Pretty big statue, but don’t forget to look at the views.
Watch: Amazon Documentaries
We chose two: this awesome wildlife special from National Geographic, and an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations in the Amazon. Both different, both wonderful, both make me want to visit. The region holds 10% of the species on the planet, and so many incredible unique things. Just watch.
I miss him.
Brazil may have made it higher up on my wish list after this date night. Let’s be real, the country really does have all I’m looking for in a destination, current political leader aside. I hope you are inspired to explore South America’s biggest country on a virtual date night!
If you enjoyed this, please check out all of our travel-themed date nights here!
Like it? Pin it!