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Gallery: Get a taste of Brazil

Cape Town - Brazil is on everybody’s lips. As the World Cupstarts, we reflect on all things Brazilian.

Many of us have been unable to secure tickets to the tournament, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the culture, colour and fun. After all, Brazil has given much of itself to the world already.

Brazilian forward Pele dribbles past a defender during a friendly soccer match between Malmoe and Brazil on May 8, 1960 in Malmoe. Pele scored two goals as Brazil won 7-1. Picture: AFPGisele Bundchen at Sao Paulo Fashion Week in April  2014. REUTERS/Paulo WhitakerAnita Horvath from Hungary poses in her bikini before she was crowned Miss Bikini 2006. REUTERS/Jameson WuOrganic coffee grown by Odete Pereira da Silva. REUTERS/Paulo WhitakerThe Queen of 2013 Carnival Evelyn da Silva  performs during the Carnival's Queen of the Samba 2013 contest  in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  AFP PHOTO / ANTONIO SCORZA

Soccer

Brazil produced one of the best football players, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, or as the world knew him, Pelé. Now 73, he saw his country to three World Cup victories in 1958, 1962, and 1970. He scored 12 goals in 14 games during these tournaments.

Last year, Fifa added to his string of accolades by giving him the Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur in recognition of his career and achievements as a global icon of football. In 1961, the president Jânio Quadros had Pelé declared a national treasure.

Coffee

Whether you’re a football fan or not, Brazillian coffee is something that can be enjoyed by all.

Brazil is the world’s largest coffee producer and makes around 25 percent of the world’s supply of coffee. Eighty percent of coffee from Brazil is Arabica. The country produces 2.5 billion kilograms of coffee annually. Whether it’s from a specialty coffee shop in the city, or even the supermarket-bought variety, every one could start the day with a cup of Brazilian coffee for the duration of the tournament.

Fio Dental

When the bikini first hit the market in the 1940s, the bottoms were the size of bloomers. But then along came Brazilian model Rose de Primallio in the 1970s, who is said to have created the first string bikini. There are several legends around why and how this happened, one version being that she was dissatisfied with the fit of a bikini for a photoshoot. Dubbed fio dental after the floss-like proportions of the garment, beaches would never be the same.

Hair

As the tiny bikini spread across the world, so did the need to pair it with a Brazilian wax. There are various versions of the wax, the most popular is having all hair in that region removed. Another is everything off, with a small landing strip of hair. Keeping that patch is risky, considering the size of the string bikini.

Weave

In the spirit of all things Brazilian, women – and men if they choose – can go all out and buy Brazilian hair. Shoulder length hair will set you back R600, while longer tresses are R800 to R1 400 per pack. These, when woven in with your own hair will last a month or two, and should have you covered for the duration of the Cup. The one import to stay away from, however, is the Brazilian blow-out. Local experts have found dangerous levels of formaldehyde in the treatment, said to have been formulated by a Brazilian mortician.

Sexy samba

The samba originated in the country, and is a rhythmic dance with three steps to every bar. This dance started around the late 19th century, and is made up of a set of dances. Because of the pace, learning the samba is not only sexy, but bound to get you into tip-top shape too.

Cocktail

Beer may be associated with soccer, but why not exchange it for a caipirhinha, which is considered Brazil’s national cocktail. The drink is really simple to make: cachaça (sugar cane hard liquor), sugar and lime. It is said that this drink was used as a remedy to treat colds and flu.

The medicinal version would contain lemon, garlic and honey. With Cape Town being battered by winter, this cocktail may not be such a bad a idea.

Model

Model Gisele Caroline Bündchen is among the country’s greatest gifts to the fashion world. In the 1990s, the beauty was credited with ending the “heroin chic” era of modelling. Vogue described Bündchen as “The Return of the Sexy Model”. She was also the first in a wave of Brazilian models to reach supermodel status and have successful international careers. She was one of the Victoria’s Secret Angels from 2000 to 2007. By 2012, Forbes named her top earning model.

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