Tastes like Brasil: Family celebrates culture through native dishes

From left to right, a traditional Brasilian meal of Virado de feijao, rice, Churrasco, potato salad and Guarana are shown. / Abby Redding, Times-News correspondent

“Brasil is where I belong, the place that feels like home. They love their family, their country and God, and are not afraid to let anybody know it.” — Dionne Warwick

 Commentary by Abby Redding
Times-News correspondent

   My father met my mother on a mission trip to Brasil (the spelling Brasilians use) 27 years ago. My mother’s home was Itu, Sao Paulo, Brasil. My mother traveled to the United States and has lived here since they were married.
Last year, we were thankful to have my mother’s sister and husband visit us here in Burlington. This was the first time that any of my mother’s family have been able to come to the United States. We were thrilled to have them try different kinds of foods here and we enjoyed a lot of good Brasilian food.
Throughout every year, my family and I feast upon all different kinds of Brasilian foods. Every day at my house my mother is cooking up a storm. You can smell the wonders of Brasil emerge from the kitchen when my mom prepares a meal.
My mom is always telling me about the different foods she has learned by watching her mother cook and my sister and I are doing the same. Here are just a few of the amazing Brasilian dishes she has made: Torta de Frango, which is like a chicken pie; Virado de Feijão, which is an amazing bean dish. It is served with Farofa, which resembles corn meal. This was one of my grandfather’s favorites.
Feijoada is a popular Brasilian dish; it has chunks of beef, sausage, black beans and sauce. Typically, you would have this poured over a plate of rice … yum!
There are also different kinds of drinks. Fruit juices, for example, are most common. The No. 1 is Guarana made from the fruit by the same name. Caju also is an interesting fruit because it is not only a fruit, it also is a nut. In America, it is known as cashews.
One of my favorite desserts is Pudim de leite; it is a delicious flan and boy, oh boy, is it sweet.
An important part of the Brasilian culture for our family has been food. If you are looking for a taste of some Brasilian food here in North Carolina, a Churrascaria restaurant is located in Greensboro. It’s spectacular; the wait staff brings you meat non-stop. Once you leave, you’ll be full for days.
I have been to Brasil several times and it is truly a beautiful country that has amazing food and amazing people.

Abby Redding is a rising senior home-schooler and a Teens & Twenties writer, artist and photographer.


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