If you have spent some time in Brazil or if you are an expat Brazilian like me, you will probably agree: while being abroad we miss the home taste of rice and beans. And that´s even worse when thinking about a complete Brazilian feijoada! This dish is one of the most popular and traditional ones of Brazilian cuisine and it is difficult to find a typical Brazilian feijoada outside Brazil.
Where does it come from?
It originally comes from the northern part of Portugal – where it is cooked with white or red beans, often including other vegetables (tomatoes, carrots or cabbage) along with pork or beef and different kinds of Portuguese sausages (chouriço, morcela or farinheira).
In Brazil, feijoada is made from a mixture of black beans with beef and pork meat. It is served with farofa, rice, steamed cabbage and sliced orange, among other ingredients. (In Portugal, this version of feijoada is called the Brazilian feijoada)
According to the most widespread explanation, this way of cooking beans emerged in the era of slavery. The owners of the coffee plantations, gold mines and sugar plantations gave the slaves only “remnants” of the pig meat. Baking these ingredients, including beans and water, was the way the slaves found to make a proper meal from what they had.
Recent historical studies, however, do not support this theory. They claim that the origin of feijoada has to do with Portuguese recipes from the regions of Extremadura, Beiras, Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, where it is common to blend various types of beans (but black beans) with sausages, and parts of pigs.
Whatever the origin is, feijoada is very popular in Brazil, often being the main dish of many festivals and celebrations.
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