food in brazil

New Year and Christmas dishes of Brazil

Before we start talking about New Year’s holidays in Brazil, it is necessary to mention that this country is located on the opposite side of the globe from us.

Everything here is topsy-turvy. Even the seasons are turned upside down: December, January and February are the summer months. For us, Brazil means heat, carnivals, football, palm trees, beaches and the impenetrable Amazon jungle… As Aunt Charlie said: “A wonderful country! There are so many wild monkeys in the forest! »

Christmas and New Year in Brazil are always a luxurious feast with a wide family circle. The circle is really wide, because the families there are very large. All the uncles and aunties with their numerous offspring gather for the celebration. In whose house the fun will take place is decided in advance by drawing lots, and each family hopes that this year their relatives will gather in their house. Most often, the lucky ones are old great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers, enriched by life (how does this happen?

The day before there is a lot of arguing, discussing, deciding at a family council in the WhatsApp group (oh, these modern technologies), creating a menu, who will bring (bring, drag) what to the table. Almost like in our kindergarten groups and schools, when it comes to Christmas gifts for children and educators/teachers. Introduced? But only with more love 🙂 and respect for each other.

Everyone prepares diligently, bending over backwards to surprise their relatives with their cooking – every housewife has a signature dish. Busy, dry, miniature Aunt Arlette, all freckled, like a motley hen, who has run her pastry shop in the central square all her life, will make openwork cakes, weightless coconut pastries, truffle-like Brigadeiro chocolates and Rafaelka-like Beijinho Kisses.

Distant relatives will bring mangoes, pineapples, passion fruit, bananas and exotic fruits from their humble Garden of Eden, such as acerola, acai and cajua, the divine taste of which cannot be described in words. Hunchbacked, black as a panther, sparkling with olive eyes, Aunt Dora will expertly remove all the skin from a wild turkey without tearing a single piece, and tightly stuff this plump leather jumpsuit with all sorts of magical herbs, minced maize, spicy sausages, resinous black ham, manjoki, chicken fillet soaked in milk and God knows what else, and then baked in the oven whole, like the most ordinary homemade chicken.

But the taste will be different! Aunt Dora’s grandson, a tall, muscular, handsome mulatto who works as a sous-chef in a fashionable restaurant, makes unusual salads, for example, melon with Parma ham, or different types of cheese with figs. Uncle Sebastian will drag suckling pigs and two young lambs from the hacienda in an old.

rattling van, which the housewives will divide among themselves and each prepare in their own way: some melt-in-your-mouth ham from pork ham “Tender Natalino”, some the most tender loin with Madeira “Lombo suíno ao” molho madeira”, who will have aromatic roast lamb in white wine “Pernil de cordeiro assado com vinho branco”, and the rest will be marinated for the barbecue.

Despite the fact that all the dishes on the Christmas table will be fantastically intricate and fabulously good, the main dish will be the traditional Churrasco (or Churrasco) Churrasco – grilled meat, without which weekends and holidays of a self-respecting Brazilian are unthinkable. Believe me.

they know a lot about grilling! Just imagine: the freshest marble cut turns golden over an open fire, oozing with fatty juice, sizzling on the plate, oozing and melting in your mouth. Magical, incomparable taste and aroma! It’s not for nothing that churaskaria or churrascaria have become so popular all over the world (which, by the way, we talked about in our article “Churrascaria.

Another dish that is sure to be on the table is Feijoada, which takes its name from the feijoa bean, without which Brazilians apparently cannot function. Feijoada is prepared for any holiday in giant cauldrons, stirring over low heat for hours. Watching the cooking process is a pleasure: here and there, ears, noses, hooves, “mosles”, horse sausage, multi-colored peppers, whole unpeeled oranges, glossy black beans and many other curious gastronomic details pop up on the gurgling surface of the cauldron…

On the evening of Christmas Eve (December 24), when everyone gathers on the patio, cooling from the heat of the day, at the tables crackling with food, both old and young join hands and read Christmas prayers. The people here are mostly Catholic and religious. Well, then the noisy feast begins! Everyone helps themselves as much as they want, and everyone breaks into groups, chatting loudly, laughing noisily.

Tired of eating, they turn to dancing. Someone starts playing the guitar, and someone starts singing viscous love country music. They drink little during the holidays, that is, they drink almost not at all. Occasionally they sip ice-cold beer or caipirinha – a refreshing cocktail of ice, mint, limes and queshasa – golden tart vodka with a specific licorice aroma.

And of course, on Christmas night, children will eagerly wait for Santa Claus, who, in their imagination, arrives on a sleigh drawn by nine reindeer, with a huge red bag full of gifts. He gives toys to all the children of the world, especially those who have behaved well during the year. Many children write letters to Santa Claus in advance, and then wait for their dreams to come true.

On Christmas morning (December 25), the family will gather around the table again, where even more food and supplies will magically appear than the day before. And the children will first run to the Christmas tree to take out and unwrap the gifts they received from the kind old man. Adults will also exchange gifts among themselves if they did not have time to do so the day before. Both old and young will look at toys and gifts, discuss and admire them, never getting tired of smiling.

In general, the cheerfulness of the local population is off the charts. It seems that they all live on some kind of special doping, which is produced by the amazing Brazilian body, which is why everyone is ready to burst into laughter and rejoice for no reason. And triple if there is a reason.

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