Tacacá do Norte; A Slimy and Tingling Experience

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Tacacá do Norte; A Slimy and Tingling Experience

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.

Photo credit to EATRIO.NET

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?!

Exactly my reaction

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!

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.

Tucupi

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.

On likn below you will find a more detailed information about the soup. It describes all the ingredients in a more specific way. Anaesthetic Soup – Tacacá

After that weird but delicious experience we tried their Açaí, the best in town according to locals.

Açaí

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

I highly recommend checking out Tacacá do Norte.  Whether or not you are an adventurous eater. It'll surely cause and impression, a good one. It's a really small place, but you are not walking in expecting a huge dinning room, just great food and outstanding service.  Although menu items are a bit more expensive than the usual, for example the açaí bowl. But the quality of the products is worth the extra 2-3 Reais. So, if you are planning to visit Rio de Janeiro, this restaurant should be on your list.

This post reflects my experience at this place. I didn't receive any freebies or discounts, therefore my opinion isn't biased. That being said, if you manage this place and feel like rewarding me or changing my opinion, by all means, treat me to a beer next time I'm in the area.

Featured imagine credit: Culinary Back Streets

A Hearty Nomad

16 Comments

    1. Well, in spite of how it SOUNDED at first, I have to admit those dishes are intriguing and tasted a lot better than they sounded! The weirdest soup I ever was FORCED to try was shark embryo soup when I lived in Taiwan. Don’t ask.

      Pam

      1. Pam,

        I think you are the winner here. At least tacaca is all veggies (shrimps are just garnish), shark embryos is a whole different think. I don’t know if try itC willingly, maybe if I lose a bet.

        1. I had NO CHOICE because my Dad told me that if we refused any of the many dishes served at this big military banquet it would be an insult to the Taiwanese people who were our hosts. I seem to recall crying the entire time I ate the stuff. LOL

    1. The thick slimy mess description is enough to scare me away.

      1. You should try it one day as nothig ís better than something strange in your mouth that turns into lovely madness.

    1. Unfortunately to me it just looked like some shrimps and seaweed floating in a bowl of orange juice??
      Your friend is for keeps! ?

      1. Jolene, Orange juice? No, this is another thing. Orange juice is nothing compared to this soup. I hope you can taste it at some point.Imagine something tingles on your mouth when you eat it. That is so funny 🙂

      1. Hi Sarah, when you get the soup it is not slimy it gets like that the cooler it gets. Still a slimy delicacy 🙂
        Thanks for stoping by and have lovely monday

    1. Oh gosh! Rather you than me. Filipinos have strange soups but I’m Filipino so those soups are normal. Lol! I guess, I’m not so adventurous when it comes to food. I applaud you! 🙂

      1. Hey Anne, I love food and I travel even for it. ?

    1. I’m intrigued!!! I might have to try it now despite the slimy factor, don’t judge a book by it’s cover right?

      1. The funny thing is you don’t know it’s gonna be slimy until it gets slimy.
        When they serve it, it’s just soup. I may have spoiled the “surprise” lol

    1. Neat post! I’ve never been to Rio de Janeiro, and your walk through this meal made me feel like a local. (Or maybe like a visitor who’d bumble her way through the meal, but you get what I mean.)
      The weirdest soup I’ve ever had was some sort of cold concoction. To this day I couldn’t tell you what’s in it, but it was gross. Soup is meant to be hot, the hotter the better.

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