Brazilian Challenge Day 99: More Cheese

Yesterday, being a bit hungover, I had a strong craving for hamburger. Yes, this former vegetarian really, really wanted a hamburger. So I ordered one. Because we were not going to leave the house – See BAB Easter vs. BAC Easter. Ok, so I didn’t exactly order it – I asked my husband to order it for me and then I begged him to go downstairs and collect it when it arrived. (He made me add this part.)

I was really excited to see they had a hamburger with cheddar cheese on the online menu. Yum. So I selected this particular burger with french fries.

Since this was an award winning burger restaurant I never though twice about any flaws in my delicious plan.

The burger arrived. I took a bite. It was covered in yellow processed cheese.

Had I been in the U.S., somebody who ran a restaurant would have gotten an angry phone call and somebody’s delivery boy would have been back in a flash to pick up the yellow processed cheese covered burger.

But I’m in Brazil. So I did like the Brazilians do and ate a hamburger with non-cheese instead of cheddar cheese. It definitely tainted my burger experience. I don’t know how the Brazilians put up with it. What’s a good burger without good cheese? Huh? Even crappy place in the U.S. like Taco Bell use real cheddar cheese… right?

Oh well. I still ate it. I guess I’ll stick to making my own burgers… or just go back to being a vegetarian.

This entry was posted in 366 day Brazilian Challenge, Expatriate Info & Advice, Foreigner Insights, Living in Sao Paulo and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Brazilian Challenge Day 99: More Cheese

  1. You’ve inspired me with all these posts…I bought picolé from a street vendor walking by today. I’m Becoming Brazilian, too!

  2. I’ve made that mistake before. Afterwards I concluded that when cheddar is mentioned as an ingredient then the order better be pretty expensive, or else it will be that processed crap: generic wanna-be cheddar. This because it dawned on me that considering the average price of a burger, and what the cost of real cheddar in Brazil, then expecting decent cheddar on a bun is like believing those “I am related to a deceased African dictator and need your money to get my enheritance, you will be rewarded handsomely” e-mail scams.
    Since that burger-cheddar fiasco I tend to order burgers whose ingredients can be found with ease in local markets, and at decent quality ( lettuce, prata or mozzarella cheese, tomatoes).
    Oh, a quick burger search for São Paulo revealed this establishment:
    http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2006/11/aht_reader_mail_brazil_makes_the_best_burger.html
    I have also heard of a place called Hamburgueria Nacional which is suppossedly owned by a sushiman.

  3. Jenner says:

    Sorry, but this experience does not qualify as a Brazilian Challenge. I know you are homesick and looking for your exotic American cheese. Brazilians do not have cheddar and only know cheddar through Mac Donald’s! A real Brazilian challenge would be replacing an American option of food for a Brazilian one. Forget cheddar, have rice and beans everyday and you’ll have something really Brazilian. Have you tried queijo prato, queijo branco, queijo coalho? Or the Brazilian versions of many European cheeses, like gorgonzola, gruyere etc?

    • It certainly is! You’d never catch me eating this crap in the U.S. Yet, Brazilians seem to have no problem. I’m standing by the fact that choking down the Brazilian version of cheddar cheese, processed with yellow food coloring, on my hamburger makes me a bit more Brazilian.

      • scrubgrub says:

        I agree with you for the fact that McDonalds here is actually considered somewhat of a treat… versus in the US it’s considered mom’s last ditch effort on the way home to provide a some what nutritious meal for her family 😉

    • Andrew Francis says:

      Wow, if MacDonald’s is considered to be part of the nutritious camp, I shudder to think what the alternatives are like…

      • Popcorn – which is what my daughter ate for dinner last night. Instant noodles. Candy bars with peanuts and milk chocolate.

      • Andrew Francis says:

        I don’t know, popcorn is just corn: not a balanced meal but not unhealthy either. The same goes for instant noodles, if you throw away the flavoring powder, of course. It still sounds better than deep fried, “contains no additives” (that we’re required by law to disclose) junk food. As for the candy bar… I can’t help you with that one. 🙂

        • HA. We are definitely not fast food people. Even if we were, no choice as it was hard to find in NYC and is also not something you run into in Sao Paulo very often. But at least there is ketchup (determined to be a vegetable by George Bush Jr.) and sometimes lettuce and tomatoes on that processed soy and corn oil based burger.

  4. anna says:

    you should call them and ask which kind of cheddar they are using. (brand type etc) and then tell them you didn’t like it and the reason… you can PROCON and say its not real cheddar.

  5. Andrew Francis says:

    As they say in Brazil, “Cada louco com a sua mania.” For some Brazilians it’s the need to have rice and beans every day and for English-speaking expats it seems to be a borderline obsession with cheddar. Seriously, it’s the single unifying theme across all the blogs I read. 🙂

  6. g2-30a3c71f68e05ce6f5cfeede4663d0ae says:

    I had this problem at Bob’s. I was all excited to dig into my cheddar and onion burger, only to see what appeared to me to be cheese whiz on the top. :(. Although, not every place does it. Max Burger in Angra had real cheddar. I’m not sure if they’re a chain or not. They also had big huge patties.. I had found the Big Bob a little lacking in that department as well. Anyway, I’m loving your challenge.

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