Have you ever started to eat something liquid that slowly becomes a thick slimy mess?
That’s how I would describe my culinary adventure with Tacacá, at Tacacá do Norte in Rio de Janeiro.
We had spent all day at the beach, were starving and feeling adventurous, the locals had recommended us a restaurant in the district of Flamengo.
They specialize in northern Brazilian cuisine. Specially Açaí and Tacacá, hence the name.
We walked in the place and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But as usual when it comes to food my friend takes over, so he shushed me and said:
“I’ll handle it, go look for a place to sit”
I looked around puzzled, the place was small, he asked to look for a place as if there were more options than standing at the bar and 4 bar stools facing a mirror.
I went for the mirror. Huge mistake!
It was a scary vision.
Where did my youth go?!
In the middle of yet another breakdown, my friend joined me. I asked him what he had ordered, he told me to wait.
5 minutes later the food came, now please, come, eat with us:
Casquinha de Siri com Farinha de Milho
It translates to “Blue crab shell with cornmeal”. The crab meat is shredded and mixed with spices and god knows what else, didn’t ask. But it was delicious, the cornmeal balances all the flavors and it isn’t as dry as it looks or you may think.
Then we had the STAR, Tacacá!
I had no idea we were having soup! It was bloody hot, 35ºC .
Who the hell wants soup?
As if he was reading my mind my friend said:
“Eat it damn it! You’ll like it.” -He’s nice like that.
I tried it and didn’t know what to make of it, up to this day is the weirdest soup I’ve ever had in my life. It’s served extremely hot in a cuia (a bowl made out calabash), you’ll find 4-5 dried shrimps floating and jambú (remember this name). The base of the soup is Tucupí, which gives it the yellow color.
The texture, as I mentioned above, changes. First a regular soup, but as it cools down becomes a slimy mess.
Imagine the Exorcist, yeah, like that. You’re welcome.
—Would a an Exorcist pic be too much?—
The taste is a bit tangy, probably because of the kind of pepper they use, however, the highlight of the dish is the tingling sensation the jambú leaves on your tongue and lips, it’s almost numbing.
In short, I would describe it as icky but EXTREMELY DELICIOUS. A must try.
After that weird but delicious experience we tried their Açaí, the best in town according to locals.
I won’t tell you anything about it because it’s worth a post.
So tell us,
What’s the weirdest soup you’ve ever tried?
Ever looked yourself at the mirror and panicked?
Are your friends “nice” like mine when it comes to food?
Tacacá Do Norte
Featured imagine credit: Culinary Back Streets