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Judging from the position of this city, the small distance from the equator (at 1 °, 28 ‘latitude South, and 51 ° of longitude west of Paris, according to Condamine; At 1 °, 18 ' of south latitude and 50 °, 42 ‘, 45 "Longitude west of Paris according to Riddle), on very low terrain, together with large water surfaces, Belem should according to its climate, by the general rule, be unhealthy; However, we know that the state of Para, with all the coastal cities of Brazil, eats a more healthy diet.

And there in the coastal cities, doubtless, still there is much less illness; diseases would not occur, if the people were not disposed to them because of their unhealthy diet. Unfortunately, this is not good or healthy, as you should expect from earth that is so fertile. Poor people nourish themselves mainly with cassava flour, dried fish and dried meat, this last coming from neighboring island of Marajo.


The flour, obtained from the root of the mandioca, and processed here, is eaten in the most northern parts of Brazil, The manioca is processed by a flawed method which in the end makes it less subjected to deterioration but more subjected to fermentation. Then it is mixed with water, which thickens it and makes it more tasty to the palate of the northern Brazilian. It is then called water flour that when prepared, it is said, further favors the development of fevers. Rice is less abundantly eaten there, despite being so healthy.

The nearby waters provide a lot of tasty fish. But fresh fish, that the inhabitants could easily get by means of their fisheries, are not so commonly found at the tables. The fresh fish is slightly salted and dried in the air.

Sudis pirarucu

The Pirarucu (Sudis Pirarucu, Spix., "Pisc. ", T. 16, or S. gigas. CUV.), is brought from the Island of Marajo to the city. This fertile island, regarded as the capital, produces a lot of cattle, which are brought by foot from there to Jabatida, salty and dry.

However, the cattle, during half the year roam the grassy pastures of that extremely low island, in constant fright, exposed to the attacks of the numerous Jaguars, or followed by swarms of mosquitoes. Without shelter they are subject to many conditions, and therefore do not produce healthy or tasty meat. In addition, they are transported in large open boats, sometimes without sufficient provision, so that the herd arrives half-starved in the city.

It would therefore be more of an advantage for the inhabitants of the capital if the current system, by which the cowboys do not have the obligation to deliver at the agreed price, was replaced by another, which is better for the cattle, both in the pasture and during feeding, and which produces better meat.

Unlike the Southern Provinces, here you hardly eat the banana like you eat the national cheese, food so pleasant, and so appropriate to the climate.The drink of men is, in general, water or cachaca. The wealthy drink Portuguese wines, which, besides many other delicacies, are articles of considerable exportation.