Círio for little ones

(photo from Diário do Pará)

Three-hundred thousand people took to the streets of the Nazaré neighborhood last week to take part in the Círio for little ones, formally known as the Círio das Crianças. Looks like a nice event but I must admit, a bit silly as kids often can’t tell their head from their foot so they shouldn’t be expected to understand the meaning of such a religious procession. I would probably opt for a change in the title to make it more true to what it really is, Círio for families.

Maniçoba – Green is good for you, right?

Maniçoba is a festive dish in Brazilian cuisine, especially from the Amazonian region. It is of indigenous origin (from the Tupi mani, godess of Mandioca), and is made with leaves of the Mandioc / Cassava plant that have been finely ground and boiled for a week. To these boiled leaves (called “maniva” in Portuguese), salted pork, dried meat, and smoked ingredients, such as bacon and sausage, are added. The dish is served with rice and cassava meal (called “farinha”). The dish is most found in Belém. People usually eat “maniçoba” during the Círio de Nazaré, the city’s largest religious festival that takes place in October.

The ‘maniva’ actually contains hydrogen cyanide and therefore is cooked for at least 4 days before being okay to consume. After hearing that and seeing that it looks like grass stew, I’m a little taken aback by it but if presented with the chance, I’d have to have a taste because it’s a favorite dish in Belém.