Minas Gerais, Southeastern Brazil and the importance of our food as immaterial heritage. | Coursera Community
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Minas Gerais, Southeastern Brazil and the importance of our food as immaterial heritage.

  • 1 May 2019
  • 6 replies

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I'm from Minas Gerais, in southeastern Brazil. As you all know, Brazil is a huge country, divided by regions and states. our culture is one of the most genuine in Brazil. Let's talk a bit about my land, the name Minas Gerais is because it is a land rich in various minerals. Minas = mines. In the 17th century, Minas Gerais was the largest source of gold in the American continent. even today it's still very rich in minerals. Our State has a lot of mountains, rivers and waterfalls, we are far from the sea. we, "mineiros"- people who born here- have a saying: Se Minas não tem mar, então vamos pro bar"- If we don't have the sea, together in the bar we'll be". So, not by coincidence we have strong ties to our food, we're known by other brazilians for being quiet, tradicional in our costumes and very welcoming, ah, of course we're specially known for our good food too, our cheese became immaterial heritage recongnized by UNESCO, we have the best "cachaça" of Brazil (some people called it mineiro whisk, it's made from sugar cane, it's the main ingredient for "caipirinha", I know, guys, you know what it is 😉. Belo Horizonte, the capital city, has one of the biggest food market of Brazil, it has some very good bars and restaurants, as well as, handcrafts, many artisans sell their works there, it's called "Mercado Central", by the way, it's my favourite cultural place, here, in Belo Horizonte. We have a different name for bar, we call it "boteco", so, because of our accent we pronounce it like " bootecho". In 2000, a mineiro chef created a contest (competition) called "Comida di Buteco", as you see, it's written, the same way as we say it, in fact, the right way of spelling is: "comida de boteco", the only reason is because other brazilians like our accent. Let's carry on, this competition got so famous that today many capital cities in Brazil have the same festival. I hope, you guys, if you happen to visit us, save the date: it's usually in middle of april until middle of may, acctually, it's happening right now. Below, British journalist Harpeed Singh Kohli interviews the creator of "comida di Buteco", chef Eduardo Maya. Going to the buteco right now, cheers!

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6 replies

@Cristiane , how exciting to meet you! I have been a collector of quartz crystals for over 40 years. Almost every mineral show or store that has crystals, has them from from Minas Gerais. I always thought it was a magical cave in Brazil where amazing crystals were found. When I first saw where this post was from I couldn’t believe it is actually a real place!
Is there still a lot of mining that takes place there? In many parts of the world, the mines have closed.
Do you collect any of the magnificent minerals your country has?

Your food festival looks delicious! What a good way to sample different foods. You say it is a contest. Who decides who wins? That myst be a fun job! What is the prize?
I hope you had a lovely dinner and tasted new and delicious food,
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Hello Judith, yes, we still have mines here. The most famous place to get crystals is in the city of Teófilo Otoni. There's a big stone market there. Speaking of stone, I live in Belo Horizonte, but I come from Pedra Azul, a city of 25 thousand people. In the late 40's our mayor found in his farm a big mine of aquamarine stone. Well, doesn't need to say that he became very rich man, in the coronation of Elizabeth, the Queen, he Gave our then, president Getúlio Vargas, a very big stone to make a set of necklace and earring to offer her magesty , She still wears It today, sometimes, I think, what a small world! I think, stones are beautiful, but I don't have any, by the way, I'm so proud to hear You collect crystal from my region. Guess what I collect? Quotes, haha, since I was 11. Oh My, long time, it's been more than 30 years. I love good food too, I believe you only get to know other cultures when you eat their food, If I go to a different place, I have to try their food, even If I go just in different distrit, still in Belo Horizonte, I go to the bakery, or a boteco, I love food, good and healthy food, bread? Die for them, haha. Ah, You asked me about the contest, first the client search for the botecos that are in the competition, then they order the dish, when they finish, they receive a paper with some questions about the dish from 1 to 10 so, they mark their points and put in a box, Just like an election. The prize is a golden plate and the fame of being one of the best boteco in Belo Horizonte. 😉
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Hello Judith, I've made some mistakes in my replying to you, where I talk about the city of Teófilo Otoni and its stone market, I meant gemstone and crystal market, and where I say "I think, what a small world", I meant "I think to myself", sorry! By the way, I forgot to tell about the biggest aquamarine stone found in the 80's in my town, Pedra Azul, it was named Dom Pedro ( a tribute to our imperor from the XVIII century) It's, today, in Washington Museum. Below are the links for you to see that beautiful treasure, also, the necklace and earrings set of Elizabeth, the Queen.
P.s: I forgot to mention about the clip I've posted, it's only about 5 minutes long, if you haven't seen it yet, take a look, it's very interesting. 😉 Best, Cristiane.

@Cristiane , I had assumed you meant crystals, rocks, minerals, not the kinds of stones we build houses with.
Here in the US we have a huge gem and mineral show in Tuscan Arizona every February.
I wish I could visit the market in Teofilo Otoni. I would probably spend all my money there and not be able to afford to eat or try some of your delicious foods then, LOL. I enjoyed the video clip, especially seeing all the food. I noticed that there were a lot of different sauces. Are the sauces spicy? What are some made from?

Do the same restaurants usually win the golden plate every year or is it always a surprise with new winners?

Aquamarine is my birthstone. I have loved its quiet color, reminds me of an ocean.How incredible to have found an aquamarine mine on your farm! Can you just walk places and find beautiful crystals? I also have a few amethyst samples from Brazil too. It seems that your area has so many riches! As a result of this, is there a huge jewelry market?
The Dom Pedro Aquamarine is spectacular! It’s incredible what nature can create! I was just at that museum a month ago. If I go again, I will look for it.

I rarely remember quotes...but I have 2 magnets someone gave me that I placed on my refrigerator I enjoy.

The first is a photo of a beautiful sunset and says, “Advice from a Sunset:
Close the day with beauty
Have a glow about you
Make a dramatic exit
Show your true colors

The other quote makes me laugh and says,
”I thought growing old would take longer.”

Do you have one to share?
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Hello Judith, I don't know how to stay It...the last time a sent a message for you, I was waiting for your answer, but I didn't get It, well, in fact, I'm still learning. You believe me, only today, I was trying different little icons on the platform, I saw 2 unread messages, then I realized you've sent them long Ago. Dear Judith, I'm so ashamed 😞 would you forgive me? Technology is still something knew and hard for me even today, every day I learn a little...I'm so delight, you found the history of my land interesting, and I really like the quote about getting old, haha, I'm gonna take it for my collection, ah, no, we don't have a jewlery market, we should, but we don't. By the way, If happen you come to Brazil " my door is open for you" as we, Brazilian say, I live in Belo Horizonte, the capital city, but still have relatives in Pedra Azul. Hugs, Cristiane.
Ps: About a quote, the one a really like is from Leonardo da Vinci: " the simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
@Cristiane , it is lovely to hear from you after all this time! Thank you so much for replying. I have really enjoyed meeting you and where you live fascinates me so so much! I would so love to visit one day. But meanwhile, we can continue to have good discussions here.