Are you familiar with moqueca? I only tried it for the first time last week, and it was amazing, and now I feel like I have to make up for lost time by making it at least twice a week for the next 5 months or so. I also feel like all the Brazilians I know owe me an apology for never calling this delightfully rich and simple seafood soup to my attention.
I know a relatively good number of Brazilians because I worked with some Brazilian community organizations in my work in Boston. I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing or just the individuals I knew, but they were, to a person, truly wonderful. It’s hard to imagine more enthusiasm and ebullience packed into a single person than there was in my various friends from Brazil. They seeped enthusiasm from their pores. They were all noisy, chatty, engaging, and constantly saying that things were “beautiful.” I’m sure not everyone from Brazil talks a mile a minute, but everyone I met did!
I love them. But they never told me about moqueca, and I plan on holding it against them. They would go on and on about Pão de Queijo – a puffy cheese bread that tastes like fluffy bites of Kraft macaroni and cheese (it’s kind of amazing) – and these little dulce de leche truffle thingies called brigadeiros, both of which are good and all, but they aren’t super speedy, super easy, healthy and ridiculously flavorful weeknight meals. Moqueca is.