Paraty is a Synonym for Cachaca
Sugar plantations produced cachaca (typical Brazilian sugar cane rum) that has been internationally famous for centuries. The city of Paraty gave its name to the drink - parati is a synonym for cachaca. Other words for it include: pinga, caninha, branquinha, malvada.
There are more than 300 brands of cachaca from several parts of Brazil including those produced in the distillaries of Paraty. The most famous brands are: Coqueiro, Corisco, Engenho d'Ouro, Itatinga, Maria Izabel, Murycana and Paratiana. You can also visit the distillaries, much the same way as you'd tour vineyards in California or France, with the added bonus of their famous regional cuisine.
Each year, on the third weekend of August, Paraty celebrates the Pinga Festival. Event includes lots and lots of tasting, stands with typical regional food and live music.
Cachaca is the main ingredient of the most famous Brazilian drink caipirinha that has become very popular among international crowds. Traditional caipirinha is made with cachaca, sugar and crushed limes, served over ice. Lime can be replaced with passion fruit, star fruit, pineapple, mango, watermelon, strawberries, kiwi, tangerine, orange, etc. You can also use cachaca to flambe bananas and other food or add it to hot chocolate and even to coffee.
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Fishing local style
On the bridge at one end of the town (at the eastern end of Rua do Comércio) we watched some local people fishing, using a traditional method. The circular net has weights all round its edge and is thrown, with a quite specific and skilled action, into the river below. A line threaded through the edge is then pulled, bringing the net into a closed circle around any fish that have been trapped.
I was fascinated by the skill involved and also by the graceful patterns made by the net in flight. It took a long while to capture this on a photo so I was very pleased with this image once I succeeded.
To drink pinga (or cachaça)
Paraty is the land of cachaça, Brazilian firewater done with sugarcane, used to do caipirinha but also drank strightly. It's know by several names: cachaça, pinga (the most used in Paraty), branquinha (little white), água que passarinho não bebe (water that birds don't drink) and... paraty! The link between the beverage and the city is so strong that it's called with the name of the city. You can buy it in several shops, or in the "engenhos", the factories, that are located around the city.
"Oh cirandeiro... cirandeiro oh
A pedra do seu anel
Brilha mais do que o sol".
Usually with very naive lyrics (but poetical), naive melody, sad rythms and basic harmony, sang by the kinda old guys of the "Coroas Cirandeiros", the ciranda is a typical dance and music from the inner parts of Brasil. In Paraty, this folclorical group helps to keep the custom of the cirandas. During many community feasts you can have free presentations of the Coroas Cirandeiros, mainly during June, because of the June Feasts (for Saints Anthony, John and Peter).
PROTECTED ENVIROMENT AREA
Since 1992,Paraty was declared a protected area,its Atlantic forests have a huge variety of orchids,and big trees as Jacaranda and Cedro.
Its water wildlife is also protected and it's extremely forbiden to take any kinds of shells from its beaches.
Paraty has a large amount of legislations to protect the environment,the indians from the region ( "CAICARAS"),and the local culture.
Unfortunately,these laws are not always enforced,due to lack of incisive or lax inspections!!
There is still a fair bit of fishing going on in Paraty.
It´s happening both at the fishing harbour in Paraty and on the outlying beaches where many local guys have their boats and nets directly on the beach.
I hope it will stay that way cause it does add an extra charm to the place.
One way to help it make it stay that way is to buy the local fish when you eat at the restaurants.
Typical through much of Brazil, but very popular in Paraty, you will find lots of "Namoradas". A namorada is a girlfriend. So these are often placed in the windows where they girls can have a daydream and watch the passing people. Most of the time, they are like-pairs, only varying in color with the European white and the more African black. If you want, there are countless places that sell them too in different sizes and postures.
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