ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Porto Alegre, Brazil: Christmas=Carnival Turkey!!!

Updated on July 18, 2017

Festive Turkey

Battles, intriguing plots, forbidden love, corruption and lots of drama in this historical novel set in medieval England.

Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire...

Hold on just one minute! There are no chestnuts roasting at this time of year and there are definitely NO open fires burning in this intense heat! This hub is about Christmas Brazil Style.

The holidays are meant to be full of good cheer, but for many it is a time of stress. All the shopping, gift wrapping, cooking, and cleaning can be really tiring. Oh, and let us not forget the joys of being around family- it is enough to drive many of us crazy (or at the very least steer us towards the heavily spiked eggnog).

The year was 2008 and I traveled to meet my husband's family in Porto Alegre for the first time. We arrived in late November in order to spend the holiday season with them. As Christmas Eve approached, my mother-in-law announced that we would be having dinner at her sister's home. Since I love to cook, I offered to make the turkey. My mother-in-law would not hear of it and she insisted we order one instead (a common thing to do in Porto Alegre).

Christmas Eve day was a scorcher! Blazing sunshine and heat- two things that are very foreign to someone who was raised in the Northern Hemisphere. As night approached and the weather cooled, hunger set in. The turkey my mother-in-law had ordered looked great as she placed it on the table. The women were busily moving around the big kitchen preparing side dishes, so I offered to help.

My husband's aunt said, "Of course you can help!"

She proceeded to grab things off the counter and then came towards me. As she placed several cans of fruit on the table, I wondered if she wanted me to make a fruit salad. I also thought that with all the amazing fresh fruit that Brazil had to offer, using canned fruit in heavy syrup would be a terrible waste.

She then reached into a cabinet, pulled out a metallic bag of fried potato sticks and handed it to me. "Here- why don't you decorate the turkey?" she said.

I looked down at the bag of potato sticks in my hands before glancing at the canned fruit and all I could mutter was, "Huh?"

She was still buzzing around the kitchen looking for something and then she found it- a small box of toothpicks. "Here are the toothpicks," she stated with a smile, giving the box a little shake before placing it beside the canned figs.

I just stood there, holding the bag of potato sticks to my chest.

She stared at me as though I were a bit daft and repeated, "To decorate the turkey."

"Oh," I said with a blank look on my face. I really had no idea what she wanted me to do.

At this point, my mother-in-law came to stand beside her sister and asked me, "Haven't you ever decorated a turkey before?"

I shook my head as my husband entered the kitchen. All eyes turned to him.

"She's never decorated a turkey before," they said almost in unison.

Laughing, my husband told them, "That's because they don't decorate turkeys where she's from."

Both women looked surprised and distressed at the same time, as though they were sorry that I had been deprived of this pleasure my entire life.

"They don't decorate the turkey where she is from???"

My husband put his arm around me and explained that in Porto Alegre it was the custom to decorate the turkey.

His aunt added, "Many places that sell cooked turkeys will decorate them, but it costs exta."

"People want decorated turkeys!" my mother-in-law declared to drive the point home.

I just shrugged and shook my head. Everyone laughed (myself included- in fact, I still laugh about it). I was put on potato salad duty as my mother-in-law and her sister decorated the turkey. When it was finished I gazed in awed wonder at all the colors. Wow. On that very night, I declared that our bird was so festive that it needed a new name- one that was worthy of its splendor- and so it came to be called Carnival Turkey. True story. Thank you for reading!

C. De Melo


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • REALfoodie profile imageAUTHOR

      C De Melo 

      8 years ago from Florence, Italy and WORLDWIDE

      I know- totally Seinfeld!!! It was so funny...I wish I could have filmed the whole thing and put up a video. Have a great holiday! xoxo

    • tammy lemaire profile image

      tammy lemaire 

      8 years ago from New England

      Great story...I love to hear all about the different customs and traditions. Carnival Turkey is a great name for this Brazilian centerpiece. Your story sounds like something you would see on a Seinfeld episode.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)