By Sarah Brown, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The U.S. Thanksgiving holiday falls on Thursday, November 24th this year, and thanks to increasing numbers in the foreign community in Rio de Janeiro, there will be several venues across the city that will be celebrating the day with their international and Brazilian guests.
Thanksgiving is a traditional American holiday that falls on the fourth Thursday of November and gathers together friends and family in a feast of traditional Thanksgiving food that typically includes a roast dinner with turkey and a pumpkin pie as dessert.
It has roots that go far back to 1621, marked by Pilgrims and Native Americans sharing bread in celebration of a successful harvest and giving thanks to a bountiful life. The holiday is firmly engraved in the U.S. calendar and tends to be celebrated all across the world in expatriate communities.
“Its an emotional day for many and I think Americans in particular prefer to feel at “home” when they celebrate,” explains Sam Flowers, an American expatriate in Rio and owner of the Gringo Cafe. “We always have expats that live in Rio and visitors for the week that tell me they are so relieved that they can still celebrate Thanksgiving.”
It’s not just Americans that will be celebrating Thanksgiving in Rio this year. “Many Brazilians have had the Thanksgiving experience in the U.S. and are also thankful for an opportunity to celebrate here,” adds Flowers.
Based in Ipanema, the Gringo Cafe will be serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings (platter for R$82.50) that starts from noon on Thanksgiving day and continues from Friday to Sunday for anyone that missed November, 24th or wants to come back for seconds.
“As usual we make everything from scratch and offer a truly authentic homestyle experience,” says Sam of his Thanksgiving menu. For dinner at the Gringo Cafe, it’s advisable to make a reservation in advance by emailing Sam directly on firstname.lastname@example.org. Take out options are also available.
Over in Copacabana in the JW Marriott Hotel on Av. Atlântica, 2600, The American Society of Rio de Janeiro (AmSoc Rio) will serve a grand buffet style Thanksgiving dinner on November, 24th at 7:30 PM. After moving the event to Barra da Tijuca for a few years, in 2015 the organization brought Thanksgiving back to Copacabana where they have had amazing turnouts.
On the menu will be roast turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rich gravy, garlic mash potatoes, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green beans and carrots, pearl onions with white sauce, cornbread and walford salad. For dessert, a selection of pumpkin, pecan, apple, and blackberry and cherry pies with be on the buffet. The AmSoc Rio board promises “a gourmet traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the fun, and none of the fuss!”
Price for non-members is R$180 and for children aged between 6 and 11 years old, it’s R$65. For member prices, e-mail email@example.com for more information and to make the reservation and payment.