Duck stew & Tucupi

Pato no tucupi (duck in tucupi stew) is a traditional Brazilian dish; it is mostly found in the area around the city of Belém in the state of Pará.

The dish consists of a boiled pato (duck) in tucupi (a yellow-colored broth made of scalded cassava) with manioc leaves. Appearance-wise, it resembles the famous tacacá, made different only by its use of shrimp rather than duck. Tupuci itself, when extracted in liquid form from the cassava is actually venomous thus why it has to be boiled for hours before being ready to consume (in the jungle, they just leave it out in the sun for about 4 days).

One of the more typical restaurants where it can be found is the “Círculo Militar” in Belém, in a historical palace near the harbour of the city. As for the tucupi on its own, if you wish to try something really unique, ask around town for sorvete de tucupi (Tucupi ice cream).

Indigenous Tucupi Myth

Jacy (the Moon) e Iassytatassú (the Morning Star) decided to visit Ibiapité (the center of the earth). In the early hours of the morning, they left Ibacapuranga (the Beautiful Sky) and floated down to Earth. There they stopped and rested on the enormous Iupê-jaçanã (Waterlily) and later continued on their way to the center of the Earth. On the path, when they both were preparing to decend into the Ibibira (Abyss), Jacy was stung in the face by Caninana Tyiiba (a type of cobra). Upon being stung, Jacy shed bitter tears and they fell on a manioc plant. Jacy remained with the marks on her face forever because of the Tyiiba bites. But, when the tears fell on the manioc, what came as a result was the otycupy (Tucupi).

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