I’m Canadian, born and raised. For a ten year stretch, from the mid-nineties to 2005, I lived in the United States. These are the two countries I know, so it made sense to set my novels in these countries.
My first novel, Dead Man's Hand, was set in Las Vegas. My second novel, Kiss & Tell, set in Los Angeles. Canada and the United States, both in North America, are very similar when dealing with things like foods, language, culture, activities, etc.
But for my new novel, Wild Card, I challenged myself. Part of Wild Card is set in South America, more specifically, Brazil and Colombia. So the internet was my friend, and played a key role in my research, especially when learning special dishes because let’s face it, my characters have to eat.
I learned that breakfast is usually lighter for Brazilians, to save room for bigger lunches. Coffee and tropical fruits are big in both countries. Rice is very popular in Colombia and served with most dishes.
Special dishes from Brazil & Colombia (there are many more, I know, but I chose one for each meal):
(Brazil) Skillet toasted French bread rolls (pão na chapa) is a favorite quick breakfast that you can buy at your local bakery and enjoy with pingado (warm milk with sweetened coffee).
(Colombia) Migas de Arepa: Migas means “crumbs”. Scrambled eggs with pieces of arepa and tomato-onion sauce is a popular breakfast served in Colombia. Can be served with chorizo, avocado and beans.
(Brazil) Pastel, a deep fried thin pastry filled with either savory fillings, the most common of which are minced meat, chicken, shrimp, mozzarella, palm heart and catupiry cream cheese. There are also sweet fillings such as guava and cheese, chocolate, doce de leite, banana and cinnamon. It is believed the Japanese introduced pastel into Brazilian cuisine by adapting deep fried Chinese wontons.
(Colombia) Tamales: There are many variations of tamales in Colombia, but they all have something in common—Colombian Tamales are all wrapped in banana leaves. Served with rice.
(Brazil) Feijoada is arguably the national dish. It is a recipe of thick black bean stew served with rice and a variety of pork meats. It was invented by the slaves who were brought from Africa, during colonisation to work in the large estates and plantations in Brazil. The slaves would smuggle the leftover food from their masters’ houses and make a stew.
(Colombia) Puchero Santafereño is a dish named after Santa Fé de Bogotá, the capital of Colombia. Puchero is a dish that originated in Spain, as is the case with many other Colombian dishes. Puchero Santafereño is a hearty and filling stew that usually includes beef, chicken, pork, plantain, yuca, potatoes, corn, chorizo, and cabbage.
It’s always fun to learn about new cultures, and the foods that are served in those countries.
Thanks for stopping by again to share more food for thought, Luke!
You can find Luke here:
Luke Murphy is the International bestselling author of Dead Man’s Hand (Imajin Books, 2012) and Kiss & Tell (Imajin Books, 2015).
Murphy played six years of professional hockey before retiring in 2006. His sports column, “Overtime” (Pontiac Equity), was nominated for the 2007 Best Sports Page in Quebec, and won the award in 2009. He has also worked as a radio journalist (CHIPFM 101.7).
Murphy lives in Shawville, QC with his wife, three daughters and pug. He is a teacher who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, and a Bachelor of Education (Magna Cum Laude).Wild Card, a sequel to Dead Man’s Hand, is Murphy’s third novel.
More about Wild Card:
This time, it’s not a job.
After proving his innocence as a murder suspect, taking down an assassin, and being an instrumental part in solving a high profile murder, Calvin Watters believes he can finally move on—until Ace Sanders’ prison escape catapults him into action.
This time, it’s personal!
Something has always bothered Detective Dale Dayton about the arrest of Ace Sanders. Call it police intuition, but his inner ‘cop alarm’ keeps twitching. When Dale reopens the case, he’s introduced to new evidence that leads him into a political nightmare.
Who will play the Wild Card to survive?
While Calvin tracks Sanders across continents and into unknown, unfriendly surroundings, Dale remains in Vegas to uncover the truth behind police corruption, prison escapes, and hired assassins. But Calvin and Dale must be vigilant, because there’s a deadly, new player in town.
“All the danger, treachery, and action a thriller reader could wish for. Luke Murphy has the touch.”
—Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Order
“Hold on for a wild ride that doesn’t end until the last page.”
—Jordan Dane, bestselling author of the Sweet Justice series
“Murder, sex, hackers…an elaborate criminal chess game: Luke Murphy delivers.”
—Bryan Gruley, author of the Starvation Lake trilogy