Capital of the forest
By Ricardo Freire
A multifaceted city. Manaus is incrusted into the largest forest on the planet, but it is also an industrial center. It offers both the opera and boi-bumbá (folklore dance). It is the starting point for expeditions into the forest – or a safe harbor for those who don’t want to spend a single night away from the comforts of civilization.
The rubber economy built the Amazonas Theater in Manaus of yesteryear, but Manaus today with its almost two million inhabitants and a skyline of skyscrapers on the margins of the Negro River, isn’t what you’d expect of a city in the middle of the Amazon.
Don’t let appearances fool you. The forest’s flavors and wisdom soon reveal themselves. The best example? The caboquinho cheese sandwich: it is a tucumã (palm fruit) sandwich made with curded cheese on French bread, a delicacy of Manaus' fast-food.