Tagged: Brazil


Feijoada is THE ultimate Brazilian national dish and definitely one of my favourites. Although younger than moqueca baiana, this dish tells a lot about the history of our country: it comes from the Colonial Brazil, the period when the Portugueses arrived for the exploration of wood, sugar, gold and diamonds.

The dish started with the African slaves slow cooking black beans and leftovers meat such as pork trimmings (ear, feet, nose etc) in clay pots, a heavy stew that used to give the workers all the energy they needed for those days. Later on, the Portugueses added sausages to the stew and the Indigenous people added the farofa (toasted manioc flour).

Through the years, the traditional stew was adapted to use the best meat that the country produces: smoked pieces of pork and cured meats to make the beautiful Feijoada dish we all love today.

Wednesdays and Saturdays are the typical days to eat Feijoada in Brazilian restaurants and when homemade, it is usually a big event that reunites family and friends.

The side dishes for a complete feijoada are Brazilian white rice, cassava chips, farofa, vinaigrette, slices of orange and stir fried Chinese broccoli (known as couve in Brazil).
A lime caipirinha or a very cold beer will match the party very well!

The recipe I’m sharing today was made by my friend Andre, who slow cooked this beautiful and full of flavour dish for at least 3 hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

This cut-down version of the recipe will feed generously 10 people.


2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp canola oil
1 Kg black beans soaked in water for a couple of hours
650 g smoked pork sausages (Portuguese sausages, Spanish chorizo or both), sliced
350 g smoked pork loin
350 g smoked pork ribs
650 g corned beef or carne seca (dry, salt-cured beef found usually in Portuguese and Brazilian butcheries)
60 g trimmed bacon
boiling water

Side Dishes
Brazilian Style White rice
Farofa (toasted manioc flour)
Cassava chips
Oranges, peeled and sliced
Couve refogada (Stir fried Chinese Broccoli or Kale)
Tomato, parsley and onion vinaigrette


A day ahead, chop the cured beef into large cubes and soak it into cool water overnight. Replace the water every 6 hours or so until salt is removed.

In a large heavy pot over low-medium heat, fry the garlic and the bacon in the oil. Add the beans and its water and leave it boiling for an hour.
Drain the beef and add it to the pot. Cover it with boiling water if needed.

Reduce the heat to low.
Stir it gently every half hour or so.

Add the pieces of pork loin and ribs to the mixture and let it cook for another hour or so. Again, keep adding boiling water if needed.

In the last hour, add the sausage slices and let it cook for another 30 minutes. Adjust any salt.

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Florianopolis – Santa Catarina – Brazil

Winter in Florianopolis

Central Market - Florianopolis by MNR

I’m lucky enough to have Florianopolis as a guaranteed destination in any of my holidays in Brazil. Hubby’s family lives there and this winter was the best trip I ever made to the city.
Family reunited, city quieter than the usual, sunny days, oysters and mullets bigger and fresher than ever, lots of local festivals and all the good wine we had brought from Rio Grande do Sul.
We didn’t end up going to the beach, but for someone who lives in Sydney, beach was not something I was missing.

Fresh Market in downtown Florianópolis by MNR

Capital of the State of Santa Catarina and the Brazilian capital with the highest HDI (human development index), the island is noted for its parks and beaches, its planned urbanization, cleaning, security and good services for tourists. In high season it is the second home destination for Argentines, Paraguayans, Uruguayans and hundreds of Brazilians mainly from Rio Grande do Sul and Sao Paulo.
Portuguese culture is rooted in the accent of each “barriga verde” (green belly,how the locals are called) in its cuisine, in the architecture and all the crafts.

Pottery - Florianopolis

Two places won my heart more than ever during this holidays: Santo Antonio de Lisboa and Santo Amaro de Imperatriz.

Santo Antonio de Lisboa

Local craft - Santo Antonio de Lisboa
Local craft - Santo Antonio de Lisboa by MNR

Santo Antonio de Lisboa, region famous for its religious festivals; manifestations of local folklore; handcraft production; pottery and oyster farming, is a nice place for lunch on the seafront, walk by the house of handicrafts and walking on cobblestone streets.

Oysters - Santo Antonio de LisboaGratinated Oysters - Santo Antonio de LisboaPirão de Peixe - Santo Antônio de Lisboa

Santo Amaro da Imperatriz

Santo Amaro da Imperatriz is part of the metropolitan area of Florianopolis, at 30 Km east of the capital of Santa Catarina.

Santo Amaro da Imperatriz by MNR
Santo Amaro da Imperatriz por MNR

This paradise is known for its wealth and its natural hot springs that reach temperatures of about 40° C.
My in-laws come to the region every 15 days to get mineral water straight from the tap. That’s quality of life !

Some friends usually ask what Mariano (who was born in this paradise), had in his mind when he moved to Sao Paulo about 10 years ago. My answer is one: marry me, what else it would be?

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Café Colonial in Gramado – Rio Grande do Sul – BR

Gramado - Rio Grande do Sul - BR

Gramado – Rio Grande do Sul

Gramado is a very charming town in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Settled by Germans and Italians, the charm of Gramado is in its architecture, in its many cafes, chocolate factories, fondue houses, crafts and the many sights.

The city is the third most visited tourist destination in Brazil, famous for its hortensias, its Christmas Light , its Film Festival among other attractions.

Due to weather conditions on the day that we were in Gramado (rainfall and temperature around 7 degrees), we spent most of our time eating and drinking. Cold weather, rain, good food? Hummmm…I loved it!

Café Colonial

Café Colonial Bela Vista

It may look like the holy communion but in fact this is a Colonial Café in Gramado.

Colonial Coffee is one of the most authentic traditions and culture of German cuisine held here.
Fresh baked cakes, homemade sausages and cheeses, polenta fries, pastries, hot chocolate, teas, white and red table wine, jams, cheeses (have I mentioned by any chance homemade?). It’s like arriving on a Sunday at Grandma’s house and she had simply made all your favorite treats.

The tradition comes from the time when the settlers used to wake up ealier to work on the fields and as they would have only one meal for the day, this breakfast used to give them the energy until the dusk. My version of the history is that they were probably gaining energy for the rest of the week, but never mind.

Despite being called breakfast, the meal can be done at any time of day. We, for example, opted for Bela Vista around lunchtime. Costs $ 38,00 per person and food is it all you can it.

Say “quantity is not quality” but the colonial coffee is where the two complement each other: each one of the 80 dishes that we had tasted all very fresh and were impeccably presented.

Are you hungry?

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