I Ate Sand! The Traveler vs. Tourist

Hello Explorer Chicks!

Yeah, just imagine digging a little red plastic shovel into the sand at the beach right where the the ocean gently laps. The sand is wet, crumbly, and feels a little heavy. Now imagine sticking that in your mouth.

That, my Explorer Chick friends, is exactly how Paçoca tastes. It’s a sun-dried beef that is mixed with flour and ground down until it is very fine – like sand. Why the extra work of grounding it down? No idea. But it is a very traditional dish in Brazil and they love it.

Me? Not so much. But here’s the thing. I tried it. This and a billion other dishes heavy in meats, pastry, and fried goodness. My favorite thing of all? Brazilians put potato chips on everything! They get crunched up and used as toppings! Like croutons! I’m talking on top of salads, pasta, anything! (Next time you are scarfing a bag of greasy chips, just tell all those around you that it is a Brazilian thing. You become instantly cultured).

When home in Cincinnati, I do not eat like this. I eat a Gluten Free, Dairy Free diet with my daily dose of recommended veggies. But, I was traveling in Brazil for a week. Traveling – the operative word.

Traveling is a experience that tickles all 5 senses! Traveling is more than what you see with your eyes. Going places to see things is Tourism. Expecting an American cuisine in a foreign country is tourism. Tourism is your All-inclusives, your meticulous, bland hotels, your loads of folks who hop off and on motor coach buses.


Going places to experience the sights, the culture, the people, the food – that’s Traveling! 


Explorer Chicks travel. In Peru, we tried Cuy (guinea pig) on our visit to a Quechua village. We watched as the cooks pulled the spits from the fire along with a variety of roasted potatoes and corn. In Iceland, we eat fish, meats, and butter – the diet favored by Scandinavians based on their resources and needs. In Baja, Mexico we eat food with spice and learn to make tortillas cooked over a fire. In the Dominican, we relish bananas that are unbelievable sweet unlike the bland varieties found in US supermarkets. Candy, so much candy, when in Norway.

Eating and tasting local foods is part of your travel experience. Keep this in mind as you embark on your Explorer Chick adventure. Be a cultural participant, not a cultural disrupter.

And, hey, pack some of your favorite snacks from home to tide you over in case you’re fed sand.

Cheers to boundless Adventure in the Outdoors, Explorer Chicks!

Nicki Bruckmann
Founder, Explorer Chick

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