When my friends at UNICAMP wanted to go out for a seafood lunch nearby, they said Casa da Moqueca is the place to go. The menu had many kinds of broiled fish and shrimp, but their specialty is the "moqueca" seafood stews. Of the several regional styles, my friends chose a basic moqueca de peixe and it was fragrant and steaming with tender chunks of fish. They said that the Bahian moqueca flavored with palm oil and coconut milk and served in a pumpkin or calabash would be too exotic for my American taste, but I later noticed that half the other lunch tables around us had ordered it. I probably would try it next time to see why this is so popular.
They pointed out that the sauce accompanying the moqueca is made from fish heads and asked whether I ate fish heads. I told them that my Chinese grandmother used to tell me to eat fish heads because "eating fish heads was what made Confucius a smart man." One Brazilian friend gasped and said that his Japanese-Brazilian grandmother said exactly the same thing to him about fish heads and Confucius. Wow! trans-national shared heritage!
So we cleaned our plates, just like our grandmothers said we should.
Their website www.casadamoqueca.com.br has photos but no menu or other information. Note that there are 4 Casa da Moqueca restaurants in the Campinas area, and this one in the Barao Geraldo area is "Moqueca 1", apparently the first one of the group.
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