Continuing my conversation with Patricia, I asked her about the lowdown on Brazilian cuisine, cultural diversity and her favorite places to hear samba in Rio.
Regis: You mentioned earlier that you travel a lot for you job. Any favorite places or memorable experiences?
Patricia: In truth, I rarely get to squeeze in any free time when I travel, but I do know restaurants, and I love traveling around Brazil discovering the different cuisines. Just recently I was in Belem, where I got to try pato no tucupi (mix of duck, garlic and manioc and jambu leaves), caldeirado (fish stew), tacaca (manioc, jambu and dried shrimp -- preferably eaten out of a gourd), and many other different types of fish there including piranha. Then there's the great fruits: cupuacu (an Amazonian fruit) ice cream is really tasty!
R: Where's the next place you'd like to go on vacation?
P: Many places -- I'd like to do more travelling in Maranhao (a state in the northeast). I'd also like to go to Fernando de Noronha.
R: Who will win the World Cup this year?
P: Listen, soccer isn't so important to me, but I do enjoy the parties -- and the more that Brazil wins, the more parties we'll have. So I hope they go all the way!
R: If you had to sum up Brazil in a word, what would it be?
P: Diversity. How totally different each region is -- even in the southeast you have vast differences between the mountains of Minas Gerais, the beautiful coastline of Rio and the totally different energy of Sao Paulo. Then when you take into consideration the Amazon, the Northeast, the Pantanal, the south, the differences get greater and greater.
R: What's your favorite food?
P: I adore bobo de camarao.
R: Where's your favorite place in Rio to eat it?
P: My mom's house. She makes incredible bobo de camarao -- better than any restaurant. She always puts loads of shrimp inside, after picking the best ones at the market, and I've never had better.
R: Do you usually spend Carnaval in Rio?
P: It depends. Sometimes I like to get out of town and escape all the crowds, but this year I decided to get really involved, and I did everything. I went to many parties and got really involved in blocos (street parties happening around town) -- so many different kinds: ones for dancing, ones for drinking, crowded ones, empty ones, ones for kids, ones on the beach, everything.
R: Where are some of your favorite places to go out in town?
P: Well, I love samba, and really enjoy the energy in Lapa (one of Rio's best nightlife districts). Carioca da Gema, Sacrilegio, Casa de Mae Joana, Circo Voador -- these are all great places to dance and listen to samba.
R: Thanks so much for agreeing to the interview.
P: You're welcome.