Over the weekend my husband and I went over to his friend’s house for Feijoada (pronounced ”fayzhe-wada”). Feijoada is a Brazilian stew made of black beans , a variety of salted pork or beef products, such as pork trimmings (ears, tail, feet), bacon, smoked pork ribs, and at least two types of smoked sausage and jerked beef (loin and tongue). It sounds a little scary but let me just say it is wonderful! While eating lunch my husband said to me, “Guess what I just ate.” I told him, “Don’t say another word, just stop.” My philosophy on food is if you are not sure what you are eating but it tastes good, it’s better not to know.
The first time I had Feijoada was in America, the mother of one of our Brazilian friends at school made it for all of us and it was so good. Feijoada is typically served with white rice, collard greens, farofa (which I will talk about at a later time), peeled oranges, and sometimes fried bananas.
Because Feijoada is such a heavy meal it is traditionally served at lunch time and Brazilians only eat it occasionally. A typical day for Feijoada is on Sundays so that you can rest for the remainder of the day and sit back and watch fútbol. The history of Feijoada is somewhat unclear, my husband has always explained to me that this was the dish of the slaves of Brazil whose diet consisted of beans and rice and on occasion when they could obtain scraps of meat they would throw it into a stew and make Feijoada. Other sources say that Feijoada was brought to Brazil from the Portuguese. Whichever way Feijoada was brought to Brazil, it is considered by all as the national dish of Brazil.
My goal while I’m here in Brazil is to learn how to make Feijoada. Not from a recipe, not from a cookbook but from a real person whose knows how to make it. The problem is that none of the Brazilians I’ve met know how to make it. So if there are any Brazilians out there willing to teach me, let me know!