Monday, September 5, 2011

Brazilian Gastronomic Expressions Pt. 3 - Viajar na Maionese

So what's would it be like to "travel in mayonnaise"? Flavors of Brazil isn't sure, but we have a feeling that it wouldn't be very easy, nor would one be able to see very much, thanks to that thick, oily emulsion of eggs and oil. Sludging though a landscape of mayonnaise would be like trying to make one's way through a wet, slick swamp, though granted that the smell and taste of mayonnaise is significantly more pleasant than that of swamp mud.

To say someone is travelling in mayonnaise is a common accusation in Brazil. In Portuguese the phrase is viajar na maionese. For example, "Oh, that Francisco, he's just travelling in maionese when says that his new car can go from zero to sixty in twenty seconds. It's only a second-hand Honda Civic, after all". To "travel in mayonnaise" means to  be naïve, unaware of reality or deranged in holding an overly-optimistic belief. Probably the closest English-language expression is "living in LaLa land." Another English expression that also translates the Brazilian idiom  is "living in cloud cuckoo land" which comes originally from the ancients Greeks and can be found in Aristophenes' play The Birds.

Although the expression is most commonly heard in Brazil as "travelling" in mayonnaise, there are other variants with the same meaning. You could accuse someone of swimming in mayonnaise (nadar na maionese) or even skating in it patinar na maionese. The action changes but the meaning doesn't.

We are at Flavors of Brazil are big fans of mayonnaise, as are most Brazilians, who love to put it on french fries, in sandwiches and hot hamburgers, and who's favorite salads employ a mayonnaise-based dressing. So, taking the name of the classic sauce to describe someone who's out of touch with reality seems somewhat unfair. If the expression requires a thick, opaque glutinous substance to make sense, we suggest that the expression be changed to viajar na arroz doce or "travelling in rice pudding." That way mayonnaise lovers needn't be unnecessarily offended.

1 comment:


  1. Dinner ideas

    This is seriously one of my favorite dishes to make!! I just made it last night, and everybody was begging for another bowl even though we were all stuffed! check this Site link for more information http://muchorecipes.com/texas-dinner-taco-casserole/

    ReplyDelete