I’ve already said (see A paradise in Southern Brazil) that Florianópolis is one of my favorite places in the world, not only because I was born there, but simply because this island is, in fact, a place not to be missed. If you happen to come to Brazil follow my advice and spend a couple of days visiting Santa Catarina Island (where the city of Florianópolis is located). I’m quite sure you won’t regret it.
Once in Florianópolis go to the “Mercado”, the city market, situated in the heart of the city. Take a seat in one of the existing bars, grab a beer and try some of the local specialities. I personally recommend Box 32, owned by chef Beto Barreiros (we went to highschool together), a place also recommended by internationally recognized French chefs like Claude Troigros and Laurent Suadeau.
The market is rich in seafood, offering a variety of crustaceans, molluscs and fish.
This time my eyes were caught by the fresh live oysters, which were costing only R$ 4.00 a dozen (around US$ 2.2).
For dinner? Oysters, of course. Although I also like them raw, as it’s when you can really evaluate the freshness and have a taste of the sea filling your mouth, my sister-in-law (Manuela) prepared them gratiné with some very mild cream cheese sprinkled with a generous amount of parmesan. Each oyster was followed by a drink of a cold sparkling wine (we had the Spanish cava Freixenet). The perfect end for a perfect day in my hometown (or a perfect beginning, for this was only the first dinner of a long weekend).