Irish music group Irish Dreams will perform two shows at the Crowne Plaza later this month. The show will include traditions songs, which make up the groups two CDS, Irish Dreams (2000) and Whiskey in the Jar (2002), including Finnegan’s Wake, Boulavogue, The Wild Rover, Come Back Paddy Reilly, Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye, Marble Halls, The Minstrell Boy, Star of County Down, The Rose of Allendale, Foggy Dew, Danny Boy and It Was Only an Irishman’s Dream, as well as some instrumentals.
The group, made up of Marcelo Tpia, Cntia Scola, Slvia Zambon and Daniel Tpia, was formed especially for Bloomsday celebrations in São Paulo.

Where: Teatro Crowne Plaza, Rua Frei Caneca, 1360
When: March 11 and 12 from 9pm
Price: R$15.00

More Information : Marcelo Tpia – tel. (11) 5548 7490 / 5687 2842.
E-mail: martapia@superig.com.br

By Monica Trentini
The next time you sit down at a bar or restaurant and order a Chopp,” remember that you are ordering one of the oldest drinks ever. Chopp, or draft beer, was first brewed in Mesopotamia* over 6,000 years ago. Hopefully what you are drinking is freshly brewed, for Chopp has a limited shelf life of 10 days once the keg is tapped. The ‘experts’ recommend that serious beer drinkers go to bars and restaurants where the Chopp is always flowing! Contrary to the popular belief, Chopp and bottled beers are brewed with the same ingredients and their composition is the same when we are talking about the same brand, the only difference is that beer goes through a pasteurization process. Bottled and canned beers are pasteurized and last longer. This process of quickly heating and cooling was invented in 1876. It brings a longer shelf life to your beer and boxed milk, among other drinks. Chopp is not “lighter” it is only fresher and sometimes colder, giving it a different taste. All beers follow the same fermentation process and range from a 4.5 to 9% alcohol level. Wine averages 8% and hard liquor, 42%.

People all around the world love drinking beer. There are many different types of beer, ranging from cheap to expensive, dark to light. Although Germany is the home of the most beer drinkers (“chopp” is, after all, a derivative of the word “schopp,” which is a 300ml volume measurement in German) there is nothing like a cold beer on a hot day or night in Brazil. Excellent beers come to Brazil from many different countries. For example, Germany’s Erdinger Weizenbier comes in three types: weiss (a specialty wheat beer), dunkel weiss (a dark wheat beer) and pikantus weiss (a bock wheat beer). England and Ireland, home to the original Pubs or Public Houses, produce beers like Old Speckled Hen and Guinness and export them around the world including to Brazil. If you would like to buy imported beers, try Belgian Beer Paradise. They are open from 9am to 7pm and they deliver. They are located on Rua Adolfo Tabacow 192 in Itaim Bibi. Check out www.beerparadise.com to buy beer on-line (their website should be up by the end of February) or call them at 3079-6543.

Brazil also produces beer nationally. One of the best quality lighter-colored beers is Cerpa, according to Sean Hutchinson, president of the St. Andrew’s Society. Some other quality Brazilian beers are Bohemia Pilsen and Xing, which is a dark beer. If you are interested in micro-brews, there is one located in Ribeirão Preto called Cervejaria Colorado. They have Ribeirnia Pilsener, a light and smooth beer, Ribeirnia Trigo, a Weizenbier, Ribeirnia mbar, with caramelized malt, and India Pale Ale, a highly alcoholic (8%) and “floral” beer, winner of three stars in the Michael Jackson Guide to beers around the world. Visit their site at www.cervejariacolorado.com.br, or visit them at Av. Independncia, 2579 – Tel: (16) 620.1947 in Ribeirão. They are open after 6 pm. They provide tours without reservations. Rodrigo and Marcelo speak English, so you should call in advance if you need them to be there. If you would like to try their beer in São Paulo, it is served at the following restaurants: Corcoran’s, Arbia, Finnegan’s and Tantra.
There is also Baden-Baden. They have a restaurant and a brewery you can visit in Campos do Jordão. They also ask to make an appointment for English tours at (012) 262-3091. The restaurant is located on Rua Djalma Forjaz. 93 – Vila Capivari, Campos do Jordão. Tel.: (012) 263-3610. Visit www.badenbaden.com.br. The Baden-Baden beers (Bock, Golden, Red Ale and Stout) can be found at many upscale restaurants and are also available at Pão de Aucar and other specialty grocery stores.

But beer is not just for drinking. There are many ways to cook with beer. Lighter beers complement chicken, fish and pork dishes while dark, more robust beers, such as Guinness, go well with spicy foods, roasts and other red meat dishes. There is an excellent recipe for ribs in The Graded Gourmet, which calls for beer. (See Tom’s Ribs Pg. 190) Call Ellen Gruebel if you would like a copy of this great bi-lingual cookbook. 5523-5610. Try adding a light beer instead of chicken stock when you are making a soup. Replace wine with your choice of beer when making filet mignon. Meredith Cavalieri first braises a filet mignon tenderloin with onions and olive oil, and then continues to cook it in beer on the stovetop. She serves it thinly sliced in the gravy. Try making Beer Muffins – a recipe from What’s Cooking in Rio – and, in doing so, learn how to make your own bisquick from scratch. These books are in short supply. Call Angie Schemm at 3772-7218 for more information about buying it, or call me for the recipes mentioned in my articles. (See recipes for more “beer added” recipes.)

If you would rather not cook, the All Black Irish Pub (on the corner of Oscar Freire and Peixoto Gomide, 3088-7990 or visit www.allblack.com.br) serves Guinness Pie and Irish Pasties which use Guinness in the dough as well as the ever-famous beer-battered Fish and Chips. Mark, Vivian and Alex are the owners and they all speak English. There are many wait staff who speak English as well as other languages such as German, Spanish and French. The All Black also has many German and Belgian beers for you to try and numerous other delicacies such as Thai Chicken, Chicken Curry, and Steak au Poivre to go with your pint or half-pint of Guinness (they have it on tap). My husband recommends the Cheeseburger and Cottage Fries, which goes well with a cold Weizenbier. Although the other foods are excellent, I can’t order anything but the Fish and Chips.

The All Black also makes specialty drinks with beer. They make Black and Tans with Old Speckled Hen and Guinness, since Harp (the Ale used in England and the US for this drink) is not available in Brazil. They are poured, one after the other, in a way that they don’t mix, giving origin to the name Black and Tan. Fernando, from the All Black, says that another choice beer mix is the “Shandy,” which is half Lager and half lemon soda. He says some people also order beer mixed with grenadine or milani, which adds a cherry or raspberry flavor to it. They have a cider called Blackthorn, which some order with mint syrup. Another mix is Blackthorn with Lager, which is called Snake Bite. A “Carioca” is a chopp topped off with dark beer foam. So, no matter what you order, no one will question your sanity.

The foam is called the “colarinho” in Portuguese. And, like anything or anyone Brazilians enjoy, “cerveja, or chopp” has its share of nicknames. “Loira Gelada” is a not so P.C. one, (cold blonde) but who here claims to be P.C.? Other names for beer are “uma geladinha” and “um chops,” pronounced “showps.” Uma gelada, belezola, breja, cerva, and um chopinho are all ways to say you want a cold one. “Uma ampola,” pronounced “umpowlah” refers to a 600ml bottle of beer. However you ask for it, the result is always the same “ahhhhhh.”

Try some of these recipes:

GUINNESS ROAST

3 lbs beef rump
3 tablespoons coarse black pepper
1 pint Guinness Stout
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon flour
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
4 slices carrots
3 cubed potatoes

1.Preheat oven to 350f, crush garlic mix with pepper and rub in to beef.
2.Place beef in a roasting tin and mix Stout, 1 cup of water, bay leaf and oil, add to roasting tin.
Roast for 90 minutes, add vegetables and continue for 30 minutes.
3.Remove beef and vegetables from tin, pour liquid from tin in to a saucepan, and bring to boil, add 1/2 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of flour mix gradually. Simmer until thick. Serve.

Beef and Onions Braised in Beer
Submitted my Judy O’Day
For 6 people

A 3 lb. piece of lean beef (alcatra or contra filet)
6 medium onions chopped and 4 cloves of garlic chopped–saute in 2
Tbsp. good cooking oil–use a heavy skillet–remove, and set aside
Cut beef in cubes–dredge in 1/4 cup flour, salt and pepper, and
saute in oil in the same skillet –add more oil if needed

Return the beef to the skillet and add:
2 to 3 cups light beer, Pilsner type
1 cup strong beef stock
1 Bay leaf
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. thyme
Bring the casserole to a simmer on the top of the stove. Then cover
and place in the lower 3rd. of the preheated oven @325*. Regulate the heat
so that the liquid remains at a slow simmer for 3 to 4 hours at the end
of which time, the meat should be fork tender.
This recipe may be prepared in advance to this point. When ready to serve,
heat on the stove and slowly simmer until the meat is thoroughly heated
through.
This is good served with parsley potatoes or buttered noodles.

Ellen Gruebel, from the Graded Gourmet, provided these recipes:

Drunk Squirrel

Salt and pepper to taste
Flour
3 squirrels, cut in pieces
cooking oil
2 cans of beer
cumin

Salt, pepper and flour the squirrel as for frying chicken. Fry in deep hot oil until brown. Drain on paper towels. Place in a casserole dish, pour the beer over, and sprinkle with cumin. Bake, covered at 300 degrees F for at least 2 hours or until tender. Freezes. Serves 4. You’ll never have a tough squirrel withy this recipe, and the beer gravy is out of this world. Seriously, I think chicken might be a good substitute for squirrel (that is, if you are fresh out.)

From “Pirate’s Pantry” Lake Charles, Louisiana

Ellen Gruebel, from the Graded Gourmet, provided these recipes:

Beer Quick Bread

2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
teaspoon baking soda
teaspoon salt
1 can (12 ounces) beer
butter
honey

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the beer and mix just until evenly moistened. Place in a well-oiled 4 x 8 inch loaf pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes or until well browned and starts to pull away from the pan. Invert onto a rack to cool. Serve warm or cool. Freezes well. Cut into thin slices and serve with butter and honey. Makes one loaf.

Editor’s note: What a great gift idea! Beer is the only liquid ingredient to this recipe. Mix the dry ingredients, pour into a large jar or better yet, beer bottle, and label with instructions to add a can of beer and bake etc. Creative, easy and inexpensive.

From “Recipes to Warm the Heart” Iowa.

Beer Fish Batter

3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
fresh lemon
cup warm beer

Combine the eggs, milk, flour and salt. Whisk until smooth. Slowly pour the beer into the mixture, continuing to whisk. Dip the fish into the batter and deep-fry in very hot oil. Both sides of the fish should be a golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Serve with Fresh lemon wedges.

From “Star Spangled Recipes” Lake Ozark, Missouri

Beer Batter Onion Rings

1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 (12 ounce) can of beer
to teaspoon of Tabasco sauce
3 large onions
flour
vegetable oil

Combine the flour, salt, and beer; let stand until light and bubbly. Add the Tabasco sauce and let stand several hours or overnight. Cut the onions into inch slices; separate them into rings. Dip the onion into flour, into the beer batter and into the flour again. Heat at least 1 inch of oil in a large pot or deep fryer (375 degrees F). Fry the battered onion, a few at a time, until golden brown. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

From “Star Spangled Recipes” Lake Ozark, Missouri

Beer Batter for Shrimp

1 can (12 ounces) beer
1 to 2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika
red pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients and beat with a wire whisk until frothy. The batter may be used immediately or stored in a refrigerator for several days. Simply whisk freely to assure smoothness and uniformity.

From “Pirate’s Pantry” Lake Charles, Louisiana

Editor’s note: Here’s another one that makes a great gift. (see editor’s note above)

Beer Rice

cup onion, chopped
cup bell pepper, chopped
cup margarine, melted
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cups boiling water
1 cup raw rice
cup beer
teaspoon salt
teaspoon each pepper and thyme

Saut the onion and the pepper in the margarine. Add the bouillon cubes dissolved in water. Stir in everything else. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the liquid is gone. Serves 5 – 6. Great served with barbecued chicken.

From “Pirate’s Pantry” Lake Charles, Louisiana

Beer Fritter Batter

This is good not only for vegetables but for seafood and chicken, as well as for fruit fritter, such as banana, pineapple, and apple.

Makes 1 cups

1 cup flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon butter, melted salt
cup beer

Combine the flour, egg, butter, salt, and the beer in a blender or food processor, or a bowl. Beat until the batter is smooth. Let the batter stand, covered, for 4 hours before using. Have the vegetables well drained and patted dry if they have been washed. Cut into 1 inch pieces or use whole flowerets; leave green beans and mushrooms whole. Dip in the batter and fry in deep fat, 360 degrees F , until golden. Remove quickly and drain on paper towels.

*Mesopotamia is currently called Iraq. This is possibly one of the reasons Germany is so against the war with Iraq. The price of the schopp (300 ml of fresh brew) could go up. Now, that’s a fuel we can’t live without!

Monica Trentini was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and was raised in Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro. She lives in São Paulo with her Brazilian husband and two children. She has a cookie business, making and selling baked cookies, cookie dough and festive pizza-size cookies. If you would like more information, or if you have any comments on the article, please contact Monica Trentini at 3739-2599, 8111-5920 or cookiedoughtogo@yahoo.com

Last Saturday night’s outing to the Rosas de Ouro samba school rehearsal was a big success. For those who missed out we will be taking another group this Friday (Feb. 21), places are limited so book early. Check out the photos below from last Saturday.

When: Friday, Feb. 21 from 21h00 to 01h00
Meeting Point: McDonald’s Rebouas x H.Schaumann at 21h00 sharp
Price: R$30 (includes transport + Entrance)
Please confirm by Thur, Feb. 20, to carnaval@www.gringoes.com

Photos by Kieran Gartlan – Tel. 3257 2015. Copyright www.gringoes.com

The Xi’an Warriors and Treasures of the Forbidden City exhibition comes to São Paulo next week and will remain on show at Ibirapuera until May. This will be the largest exhibition of Chinese culture ever to be shown in Brazil, showing various periods of the Chinese dynasties from as far back as 7000 AC, with over 450 pieces. The highlight of the exhibition is the Xi’An warrior pieces discovered in the 70’s, and for the first time appearing in South America.

When: Feb. 21 to May 18. Tue-Fri from 9am to 9pm. Sat-Sun from 10am to 9pm
Where: Oca Auditorium, Ibirapuera
Entrance: R$7