Lets make Brazilian Feijoada

Friday is Feijoada day

Feijoada is Brazil’s national dish. While there are many variations, it generally always contains beans and various meats cooked with spices, onions, garlic and oranges.  Chillies are added in some of these recipes, but if not, hot sauce is never far away when this dish is being served.

On Fridays, virtually every establishment that serves food in cities like Rio de Janeiro makes Feijoada. Be it a cheap pub or the most expensive restaurant, Feijoada will be on the menu. In Rio de Janeiro, Friday is Feijoada day.

I became a fan of Feijoada when I first tasted it in a Portuguese bar in Capetown, South Africa. That version was made with white cannellini beans, whereas  traditional Feijoada in Brazil is made with black beans. Regardless of this difference, the flavour was still to die for. It was comfort food of the highest order that I will never forget.  So much so, that given the opportunity, I will make Feijoada at the drop of a hat.

Indeed. So, when I recently came across a recipe for a traditional Brazilian Feijoada, I didn’t need any encouragement. I was so impressed by the recipe that I decided to make it. Nothing was going to stand in the way of making this dish.

Before doing that, however, I needed to order some ingredients. They are ingredients that might be available in any Portuguese kitchen, but they certainly are not things I had in my larder. I am talking about ingredients like Paio sausages (a smoked Brazilian sausage made with pork loin and seasoned with garlic, salt, and Chillies)  , corned beef (as a substitute to carne seca),  the black beans themselves and Linquica sausages 

Over and above these ingredients, I also needed smoked gammon, brisket (to make corned beef), a smoked ham hock, chives, parsley, onions, garlic, oranges, Chillies, pork belly, pork ribs, some olive oil and various herbs and spices.

Read more

Chillies in Brazilian cooking

The use of Chillies in Brazilian cooking. Feijoada
The History Of Chillies in Brazil

It should be no surprise that Chillies are used in Brazilian cooking. The fact that Brazil contains 65 % of the Amazon basin is a clue to how close this country is to the Chilli.  It is widely accepted that many varieties of Chillies, while now found worldwide, are native to the Amazon basin *.  While neighbouring  Bolivia is thought to be one of the countries where Chillies originally started, Brazil would not have been far behind in being a place where they could first be found and consumed

Read More

Chillies in Peruvian cooking

Chillies in Peruvian food
The History Of Chillies in Peru

Before spreading itself around the world, the origin of the Chilli goes way back to the Amazon basin in South America. Studies have hypothesised  that the Capsicum genus, the broad biological classification of Chillies, originated in an area in upper Peru that is now Bolivia. It then spread, through the dispersal arms of nature, to areas throughout South America and to the West Indies (where Christopher Columbus first encountered it and took its journey to Europe).

Read More