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Central Market Celebrates Brazil with Food & Drink & More

O South American country of many flavors, welcome to the ATX
Wayne Alan Brenner, 10:30am, Mon. Apr. 22, 2013
Mmmm, ahhh, mangosteen …
Remember how the 1985 movie Brazil by Terry Gilliam takes place in a dystopia?

And remember how the idea behind the title is that the protagonist dreams of escaping his miserable life and going to the paradise of "Brazil" – as promised in the old song of that same name?

Coming up this week via foodie wonderland Central Market, Brazil (the actual country) – which is in many aspects relatively paradisical even now – is brought here, to Austin, in the form of food and drink and cooking classes and sundry other items comprising a wealth of culinary goodness you may be unfamiliar with. Or, if you are familiar with it, you'll be like, "OK, finally, thank you, I've been trying to find this stuff in the States for the longest time."

This celebration is called "Passaporte Brasil" and it kicks off with parties on Wednesday, April 24, at both of Central Market's ever-lively outposts. The party at Westgate starts at 5pm; the North Lamar shindig gets underway at 6pm; there'll be samples of food and drink, live music (Bossa Nova, anyone?), and, oh, the usual fun and sensual vigor associated with events you're later really glad you went to.

Oh, that food! Pão de queijo, which is a sort of puffy cheese bread you could happily snack on forever? Lombo com Farofa, made from milk-braised pork loin with onions, parsley, raisins, hardboiled egg, onions, and more? The uncommon fresh-produce delights of sapote, rambutan, pitaya fruit, mangosteen, and breadfruit? The chocolate brigadeiros and the eggy, coconutty sumptuousness of the custard called quindim?

Yes, and more.

And who can think of Brazil without thinking of coffee? So of course there'll also be a variety of –

Listen: word to the wise: The parties will be fun, sure, and what's being celebrated in the ensuing two weeks can expand and enlighten your eating and drinking habits … but we'd particularly like to suggest, for anyone who cares anything about coffee, make sure not to miss the coffee tasting and demonstration from 11am-1pm at the North Lamar location that same Wednesday the 24th. And we say don't miss it because 1) it's coffee, duh; but also because, 2) it's presented by the charming & knowledgeable Joel Shuler and his compatriots from Casa Brasil. (Go ahead: click that link and see why this demo will expertly spike your caffeinated world.)

And if your journo here knew anything at all about wine, he'd likely be gushing about the Brazilian varieties of that, too. But maybe you can check those out yourself, oenophile, and shoot him an email about what's best represented at this event? Because this is social media, isn't it? All, like, interactive and so on, where you can shout back with information to the betterment of all?

Hell yes, you can – as sure as Brazil's first official winery, Salton, has won more than 200 national and international awards!

(That was easy: That was in the press release.)

Or maybe we'll just happen to take one of the many cooking classes together, and you can divulge your research then? Cool. I'm easy enough to recognize: I'll be the one humming the tune to "Brazil" while oversampling any available quindim …

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