Ouro Preto - Minas Gerais

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Ouro Preto 
Ouro Preto is a city in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, an old colonial mining town located in the Serra do Espinhaço and designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to its excellent baroque architecture.
Ouro Preto is a rare jewel carved in the mountains of Minas Gerais. It was conceived in European models by artists, and built by slaves. The result was the creation of a national style.
One of the best preserved colonial Brazilian cities, Ouro Preto, which means "black gold", was founded at the end of the 17th century. Quickly the city became the epicenter of a new gold rush in the State of Minas Gerais. The city maintains well preserved Portuguese colonial architecture, while modern buildings continue to adhere to historical standards maintained by the city.
Settlers and religious orders filled the city with cobblestone streets, austere houses and small churches with richly decorated interiors. The result in terms of architecture is an impressive harmony. Two geniuses of the Brazilian arts, architect and sculptor António Francisco Lisboa, Aleijadinho, was born in Ouro Preto, and painter Mestre Athayde, born in Mariana, poured their creativity and spirit to make Ouro Preto a unique city.
At that time, Ouro Preto was the richest city in Brazil, the place where, by order of Portugal, the gold production was brought to be measured and taxed, not coincidentally, the Inconfidência Mineira, the first great attempt of independence, led by Tiradentes, took place in Ouro Preto. As the years passed, the gold mines were exhausted, and the city fell into oblivion.
But what looked like a curse turned into a blessing because the lack of wealth prevented changes in architecture, and all the wealth of the buildings was preserved. Ouro Preto was, in 1980, the first Brazilian city to be accepted by Unesco as one of the World Heritage Sites.
Churches of the 19th and 18th century are decorated with gold and the sculptural works of Aleijadinho make Ouro Preto one of the most popular tourist attractions in Brazil.
The cuisine in Minas Gerais is by itself an attraction, and this local Brazilian cuisine, by itself, justifies a trip to Ouro Preto.
The typical dishes of Ouro Preto have distinct personalities and accents, originating from the union of different people and ethnic groups that give the region a feeling of diversity. With several restaurants, Ouro Preto offers the opportunity to experience the cuisine of Minas Gerais.

The Portuguese colonizers of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais brought with them a kitchen full of sweet and elaborate cakes, as well as stock broths and meat stews.

From the kitchens of indigenous groups came the use of specific plants and spices as well as cassava, a shrub that is rich in carbohydrates and energy and which is used in various forms such as tapioca.

African cuisine has perhaps had the greatest influence on food in Ouro Preto, which, by contributing ingrainedly to Brazil's slave heritage, includes the creative use of food in its entirety, which comes from a historical necessity rooted in the slaves' meager diets.
Many African dishes have been adapted from local European recipes or from others, but using the resources available in a creative way.

The main ingredients of many dishes in Ouro Preto are chicken and pork prepared with cassava flour, beans and sausage. Two of these dishes are Tropeiro Beans and Tutu Beans. Local sweets and liqueurs, which are made from regional fruits, add a delicious end to the meal, always accompanied by local cheeses.

There are so many tasty local dishes in the state of Minas Gerais that it would be a difficult task to list them all here. However, a Brazilian culinary experience that can not be missed is the art of greengrocers. These cakes, biscuits and sweets are usually served as snacks in coffees, and the process that accompanies their preparation is something to try.

Another typical dish and unmistakable local of Minas Gerais is the Bread of Cheese (board of cheeses). Perhaps the most well-known local delicacy, this dish is served in cafes and restaurants in Ouro Preto, and is a local preference in general. This is a local dish you can find in a supermarket.
Ouro Preto has a very moderate and pleasant climate. The climate is tropical at altitude and is characterized by two distinct seasons: the rainy season (October to February) and the dry season (March to April).
The summer is hot and humid and the rains in this period.
The days are generally warm and the nights cool due to the altitude. The temperatures during the day can reach 30ºC in the summer.
In the winter the nights are cold, but rarely below 10ºC.
Due to its location in the mountains, the daily weather conditions in Ouro Preto can change quickly and often with little notice.
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