Road to Búzios
For months, I’ve had five untouched bags of farofa piled high on a pantry shelf. Not knowing how to use them but not wanting to throw them away either, I finally thought to ask my Brazilian friend, Claudia, for a recipe. When she started to recite the different ways it could be prepared, we decided it would be easier for her to come to my house next week to show me. She gave me a list of ingredients for our learning lunch with a warning to do no more than soak the black beans (lest I do anything to make them Cuban before she gets there). Excited, I went home to bring down the exiled farofa which was now…expired. It had obviously been trying to tell me something when it kept falling on my head each time I went into the pantry. Now that I had a plan but no farofa, I headed to Búzios in Little Brazil.
Located on a second floor off of 6th Avenue and 46th Street on the short stretch that houses the Brazilian consulate and several restaurants, it’s easy to pass by Buzio’s if you’re not looking up. Even from the street, it looks like a clothing store with bikinis and soccer jerseys in the window. Up the short flight of stairs, you’ll find well stocked shelves of grains, coffee, spices and chocolates not to mention racks of bikinis, havainas, bossa nova cds, comics, beauty products and (though I didn’t notice when I was there) a waxing center. Small and neat, it felt like the store you might stop in on your way to the beach. If it didn’t have everything that a larger supermarket might have, it did have almost everything you need to be happy. I found my farofa pronta and yucca flour (finally!) and some tips on how to use them. Marcela, the store manager, offered to send me more Bahian recipes. I will not wait to be hit over the head with a bag of farofa to take advantage of the offer.