WHAT IS FEIJOADA?
Feijoada, a national passion in Brazil.
The recipe is not that complicated, consisting of
black beans cooked with cured pork meat and sides of collard green, white rice and manioc flour.
But there is something in this combination of savory flavors that
is powerful enough to unify a multi-dimensional country, like Brazil,
around this gastronomic specialty, the feijoada.
The origin popularly attributed to feijoada links it to the more than
three centuries of African slavery in Brazil, as it was a creative
way the slaves found to use the sub-standard pork parts that were
given to them by their owners.
Anthropologists and historians, including Luís da Camara
Cascudo, one of the most recognized ones, have a different theory.
For them, feijoada is the Portuguese version of the millennial
European tradition of casserole, that includes the French
cassoulet and the Italian minestrone.
Whether it came from Africa or Europe doesn’t much matter.
In a country with such an affinity for mixing different ethnicities,
cultures and religions,as Brazil, it’s easy to understand
why this aromatic casserole is such a national passion.
Text by: Maria Cecilia Pinheiro-Cadd