Sunday, September 23, 2012

Holy Feijoada!

Yesterday I went to my friend's step-father's sister's birthday party, and let me tell you, Brazilians know how to throw a party. The party was outside, they had huge speakers to amplify the music or the live pagode group that was playing, beer flowing, a caipirinha station, and a company hired to make feijoada. For those of you that don't know, feijoada is the national dish of Brazil. Most restaurants only serve it on Wednesdays and Saturdays because it is quite laborious to make. The dish consists of black beans and every part of the pig that you can put in. Most places stick with sausage, ribs, carne seca (dried beef), and pork belly, but some times you can find pig's feet, tail or ears. I didn't find any odd parts in the one at the party, but I did find endless chunks of meat blackened by the bean juice. All the different cuts of meat allow the flavors to layer on top of each other richly. The dish takes hours to make adding to this complexly developed taste. The feijoada is served over white rice and accompanied by farofa (manioc flour), vinegarete (onions, tomatoes, and peppers type chunky salsa), and my favorite, couve (collard greens). They slice the couve so thin and cook it with garlic just enough for the green to brighten adding a blast of color to the plate. I was so excited about this meal that I piled everything hight on my plate making my dinner companions chuckle at the size of my appetite.

Not to mention, they laughed at the fact that I was taking pictures of my food. For me, this was something cultural, traditional, and very special. Maybe for them, it was just another good party with good food, drink and music. I had to let my huge meal digest before I tried to samba to the pagode band, played soccer with the little kids, and shared caipirinhas with my new friends. I left the party full; full of food, full of drink, and full of contentment from such a great party and experience. Here are a few more pics from the day:

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