I have just returned from Carnaval with the information that not only is Rio the best at throwing this celebration; it is also the king of late night eating. I can’t say that all of the food was unbelievable but after doing this for about 300 years, Rio de Janeiro knows how to keep festivalgoers festive without crashing, starving or getting too drunk.
Most of Carnaval partying takes place at Blocos, huge outdoor gatherings in different neighbourhoods around the city and they last the entire night and day. Luckily, there was no shortage of food and drink. Every few steps that I took there was another vendor ready to sell you something. Below is everything that I was capable of documenting.
Street madness is the only way to describe this. I really thought Carnaval would bare some resemblance to Mardi Gras on Steroids + Samba outfits but that could not be farther from the case. This has none of the organization of Bourbon St (If you can imagine that being considered organized..) and everybody is wearing Halloween outfits. I still never got an explanation as to why all the men were in women’s clothing but I guess I’ll get to that next time around.
You basically had to go out of your way not to bump into an alcohol cart every few seconds. If they weren’t stationary then they were coming at you from all angles. There’s something really great about a guy following you around with a tub of beer.
Oh, you’re not that hungry yet? Perfect. Just snack along on some candy, chips, gum. Pretty sure you can’t think of anything more appropriate for thousands of drunk people than a mobile pantry.
But then it starts getting odd.
And the ultimate unexplainable food item of the night:
Every culture has their own twist on the hotdog. In America, each city does the late night dog a different way but I’ve never seen anyone pile on as much as they do in Brazil. Crif Dogs wouldn’t even know what hit them. This dog is covered in mayo, mustard, hot sauce, raisins, quail eggs, peas, carrots, onions and those little potato chip sticks. As unusual as this was, quail eggs happen to be my favorite type of egg so I had to ask for extras.
Things got weird but that’s the essence of Carnaval. I definitely suggest everyone checking it out for themselves.