"Coconuts" Rio de Janeiro Local Custom Tip by toonsarah
Rio de Janeiro Local Customs: 289 reviews and 273 photos
At regular intervals along Copacabana, Ipanema and the other beaches you will find little stalls selling refreshments (48 on Avenida Atlântica alone). The standard international soft drinks are available, as is beer and small snacks, but the local thirst-quencher of choice is definitely coconut juice, known as Coco Gelado. Place your order and the stall-holder will select a large coconut from his display, slash off the base with a machete (to make it sit firmly on the table), turn it over and make several slashes in the top, then insert a straw so that you can enjoy a refreshing drink straight from the shell. After you drink the juice you can ask the man to split the nut for you to get at the meat. He will hit it even harder than before with the machete while holding it on the palm of his hand ? those of a nervous disposition should look away!
I?ve never been over-fond of coconut, but in this setting I found myself really enjoying this treat and it remains one of my abiding memories of Rio.
While sitting there it?s likely that you?ll be approached by kids wanting to sell you peanuts. There?s a system here that you need to understand. The seller will put a small square of paper on the table in front of you and place a couple of peanuts carefully on it. He (they are usually boys) will then wander around the other tables and repeat the task before returning to you. If you've eaten the free samples, you'll be expected to buy a paper cone of nuts, freshly heated. Otherwise the nuts go back in the sample case.
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