L’equipee Girls, 12 March: Discovering Ancient Brazilian Food With Chef Tanea Romao

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  • Today, our five French girls cook up a storm in the kitchen, discovering ancient Brazilian food prepared by a famous female chef

    A group of Parisian women, called ‘l’équipée’ girls, who all have a love of vintage motorbikes, are off on an adventure to find out what beauty means around the world. On this leg of their journey, they’ll be spending three weeks riding through Brazil. On their way they’ll meet women from other cultures to discover what beauty really means. Watch part five of their video diary below…


    12 March: Lost In Translation

    The girls woke up early in Tiradentes and had breakfast at a café-terrace where they learned a lot about the village history from their waitress.

    Communicating has been a struggle since the girls arrival in Brazil. It is rare to find French-speakers, and as they themselves don’t speak Portuguese, they have to use all their skills to navigate their way through. Louise D knows basic Spanish, Cindy is fluent in Italian, Cecile and Louise B prefer English and Pauline speaks only French.

    Some say, however, that music and gastronomy are universal languages. And today, at least in terms of food, the girls were able to prove this…

    Cooking With Tanea Romao

    In Kitanda restaurant, the Portuguese-speaking chef Tanea Romao and the girls created a delicious Brazilian lunch, filled with delicious local ingredients. And in the end, everyone understood each other perfectly!

    Louise B did most of the cooking with Tanea, as, in addition to being a doctor and a biker, she’s also a whizz in the kitchen.

    Tanea has a very special role – she finds old Brazilian recipes that have been lost over the generations. According to her, recipes disappear for two reasons: ‘One of them is because people discover new ingredients and forget the old ones,’ she says.

    The other has to do with social change: ‘As quality of life improves, people leave behind the symbols of harder times, such as certain types of food.’

    An ingredient that was recently rescued by Tanea is the banana belly-button (or banana flower) – which, for today’s lunch, was turned into a deliciously crispy garnish for the tucupi pork.

    ‘There are secrets to make it tastier, such as adding baking soda to remove bitterness. However, this is the kind of thing you can only learn from elders, as they are the ones that keep old kitchen secrets. Many times, these people don’t believe anyone would be interested in them.’

    After trying the bean broth, flour, pineapple butter, polenta and cheese bread, the girls hit the road again towards Ouro Preto. Not before taking Tanea outside the kitchen for a bike-ride though! Without hesitation, there she goes: on the back of Cindy’s bike.

    It’s still raining. The girls had planned on riding the ancient Gold Road, but it appears to have been partially flooded. Best case scenario, they might be able to cover 30km at the end of the day, but only if they feel in good shape. Alas, lightning streaks the sky and, in the pouring rain, they decide to put safety first and travel to their next destination on asphalt.

    Tune in tomorrow when…

    The ‘l’équipee’ girls will keep riding through the Minas Gerais mountains, discovering one of the most beautiful colonial Brazilian cities. No rain is forecast.  

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