Thank You/Messias Soares Cavalcante
Messias Soares Cavalcante
I own a lot of cachaça bottles. How many? As of now, 15,446. According to Guinness World Records, mine is the largest collection in the world.
I also know quite a few things about cachaça. This popular liquor is similar to rum; it’s distilled from fermented sugarcane juice. Brazilians claim it's a local innovation, though this is up for debate.
Regardless, cachaça exemplifies Brazilian culture and creativity. There are more synonyms for cachaça (over 2,000) than any other word in the Portuguese language. Some call it branquinha —"the white one." Others say uísque brasileiro — "brazilian whisky." There are more vulgar terms, too; like requesting a shot with the phrase "Bring me the water that birds don’t drink."
My bottle collection began more than two decades ago. Then I started attending cachaça fairs, and reading cachaça literature. And of course, drinking cachaça — but only on Saturdays.
My hobby grew into a passion for research. After twenty years, I'd collected enough information to write a book… so I did. In fact, I ended up writing two: The True History of Cachaça and All the Names of Cachaça.
Wikipedia has assisted with my research for seven years. It's a good way to learn quickly. You don't need to spend months tracking down information, or haul loads of books. You can just go to Wikipedia, and find exactly what you need.
And around a year ago, I realized I could also contribute to Wikipedia. I checked the article on cachaça. It was short, and didn't have much information. So I got to work.
I've benefited so much from the knowledge of many, who were willing to share what they know through Wikipedia. I am happy to share my knowledge, too.
— Messias Soares Cavalcante
Messias Soares Cavalcante grew up in São Paulo, Brazil. He was the first of his family to graduate, working as a mechanic by day and studying at night. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in biology. Today, he works as a consultant in a coffee plantation farm; he is also writing a book about the native beverages of the Americas.
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