Basa Fish and Sweet Potato Curry

Fragrant Fish and Sweet Potato Curry by My Little Jar of Spices
I feel like I haven’t blogged in months but it’s only been two weeks or so. But I guess moving to a new country will make you feel like you’ve been that much farther away from the rest of the world. I’ve been in Peru for about a week and it has been a total change of scenery from the bustling, busy, ever-moving, traffic-jammed Sao Paulo. I’m in Cajamarca, in the Northern Andes of Peru, a town of about 200,000 also known for its local specialty of fried guinea pig, its booming Golden Berry farming (Golden Berry, also known as “Incan Berry” or “Pichuberry” was declared one of the superfoods of 2014 in the Huffington Post and withholds a wide range of nutritional benefits), its local dairy and its thermal springs installed in a gem of well-preserved Incan ruins. Not too bad, right? And people, it couldn’t get any more authentic, or “paleo” might I say, than this. Not that I’m living in prehistoric times, Cajamarca is a rather modern, albeit small and traditional, town. But it’s ironic how after talking about the benefits of a paleo diet and lifestyle for months, life put me in a place where I could actually walk the talk. Continue reading

Veggie Basil Egg Muffins

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For the past two days I’ve been travelling in the Minas Gerais region in the Center-South of Brazil as part of the field research for the paper I am writing on the inclusion of Brazilian smallholders in food chains. Minas Gerais is such a lovely region and it was the third time I was there to interview Brazilian milk producers. Aside for making some of the best cheese and coffee in Brazil, it’s also known for having some very very fine meat, so naturally every time I go to there, I have a grilled meat party going on in my plate. My research is soon coming to an end and I will definitely miss these trips to the field. One of my favorite parts of these trips are the long car drives to reach the farms where I get the occasion to study the Brazilian countryside, its agriculture and the people I see on the side of the road. Minas Gerais has these amazing earth roads that look like canvasses of bright red and orange dust, because the soil is so rich in iron and copper. I always feel much more in touch with the country on these trips than when I’m dragging my little foreign self in the monster that is São Paulo.  Continue reading

Stuffed Collard Greens


Who would have guessed but collard greens are a staple food here in Brazil. Eating the traditional Brazilian Feijoada (meat and black bean stew) without a side of collard greens is just not right. Before coming here I didn’t even know what a collard green was. In fact, my only experience with leafy greens was limited to lettuce and spinach. But when I go to the farmer’s market we have by our house every Sunday morning, there’s always a huge stall with all kinds of cabbages, root vegetables and greens. Oh my. Mustard greens, beet greens, chard, dandelion greens, collard greens, spinach and so on. So many choices. It’s my favorite moment of the market, plus I think one of the sellers there has a little crush on me because he always insists on filling my order and digging up the greenest, leafiest collards for me. How I interpret a big leafy collard as code for flirt, I sometimes honestly wonder where I get these ideas. Continue reading