By Maíra Amorim, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – “Boteco” is a word hard to translate. It comes from “botequim”, which is a special type of bar that you can find all over Brazil: it is cheap, kind of dirty and with food that no one would consider “fine and fancy”. But the truth is that every Carioca has a favorite “botequim” and really enjoys eating simple and popular appetizers.
Now everyone in Rio will have a chance to participate on the election of the best “botequim” of the city. This Friday, May 29th, starts the second edition of the festival “Comida di Buteco” (the misspelling of the name is a joke with the “low quality” of the food and of these type of bars).
There are 31 bars participating in the food festival, that is going to last one month. The idea for the festival was created 10 years ago in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, and had its first edition in Rio last year, with the participation of over 100,000 people and more than 20,000 votes. “More than a food contest, ‘Comida di Buteco’ (CDB) was turned into a big event, capable of making the whole product chain to be moved, adding quality to the service at the bars that participate and also creating job vacancies” say Maria Eulália Araújo and Eduardo Maya, the creator of the original event in Minas.
There are four categories; “Best Appetizer”, “Best Hygiene”, “Coldest beer” and “Best Service”. During the one month in which the bars are competing, clients will be invited to vote in each one of the categories. On June 28th, a party will be held to announce the winners. Last year, Original do Brás, in Benfica, was the big champion. Bars far from the Zona Sul (South Zone) also participate, and it is a great opportunity to visit what is often forgotten on Touristic Guides or in the press.
In 2009’s edition there are famous and also unknown bars at the contest. Mangue Seco, in Lapa, specialized in cachaça, is competing with a dish of sausage in mashed manioc with catupiry cheese and thin slices of couve. An appetizer of salmon and pastry (from Bracarense, in Leblon), crab soup (from Copão de Ouro, in Ramos), a kibe made of fish instead of meat (from Bar Urca, in Urca), marinated sardines (from Adega Pérola, in Copacabana), fried pastry filled with shrimp and catupiry cheese (from Bar Rebouças, in Jardim Botânico), and fish filet with special sauce (from Siri, in Vila Isabel) are some of what kind of food is typical of a botequim. And they are all on the competition to be voted “Best Appetizer” at Comida di Buteco 2009.
Comida di Buteco
From May 29th to June 28th
In 31 bars all over Rio