USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘Brazilian’
Folk Beliefs
Stereotypes/Blason Populaire

Brazil vs. Portugal

“So my mother’s Brazilian, and in Brazil there’s this stigma against people from Portugal.  It’s kind of like how people in America view blonde people as being dumber than average, or maybe it’s more like how people in America see people from New Jersey as lesser people.  So like, in Brazil, there’s just this stereotype that people from Portugal are dim-witted or something.  Like, if someone does something stupid, Brazilians will say, ‘oh, how Portuguese of them’ which sounds really mean, but there is an heir of teasing behind it.  It’s not like Brazilians are bigots that actually have something agains Portugal, it’s just this kind of international teasing, but just with a little bit of truth behind it (laughs).”

ANALYSIS:

This is a really interesting cultural stereotype to make because while it is playful, it wouldn’t exist if people didn’t at one point in time, believe there was some truth behind it.  I would be really interested in seeing how this stereotype originated, and if it was still teasing back then or if it was really serious.  And seeing that it’s even still slightly serious today, I would think that it was serious back when it originated.  After all, I don’t think it would have stayed around for as long as it has without people believing it to at least some degree, like the informant does.

Foodways
Material

Brazilian Cheese Bread

Main Piece: Brazilian Cheese Bread

 

My friend has a nanny named Lucia who would cook cheese bread for us when we were hanging out at his house. She cooked it for me the last time I went home, and it is a dish consisting of Cassava Flour, known as tapioca in the US, which I am told was a staple ingredient used in Brazil. They are small, pale rounds of dough, dating back to the first settlers and natives of Brazil.

Along with the tapioca, there were other ingredients used such as different cheeses and milks, not necessarily measured out but added in according to taste and what the consumer preferred.

Picture1

(I forgot to get a picture of the finished product but it was along the lines of this.)

 

Background:

 

When Lucia (my friend’s nanny) first started working for my friend’s family, she was very new to the US. She had been born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, and began working for them when my friend’s sister was 2 (she is 22 now) and would learn English along with her because she was so new to the culture.

Lucia learned this recipe from her mother, as she would prepare it for the family, and her mother learned it from Lucia’s grandmother, and so on. This is the perfect example of a recipe passed down through generations, and at this point it wasn’t something she had to look up everytime she wanted to cook it, let alone be the exact same everytime it was prepared. The ingredients would vary from time to time, adding some variety to the dish while still maintaing the same base. Different cheeses would be added to change the taste, with some being added to make it more of a dessert, while you could add different cheeses such as parmasen and serving it with a more italian meal.

 

My thoughts:

 

This cooking of cheese bread isnt necessarily my favorite, but I have found it in pastry shops as a more savory treat, and it is a nice treat from time to time. I like how it is a very adaptable dish, being able to make it with the same general ingredients but changing the variety to give it a different taste depending on the consumer. I’m personally a fan of recipes that don’t need a cookbook, with instructions that require exact measurements, and generally just give the cook a free pass to do whatever it is they want with the ingredients. This adds a level of artistic talent to cooking and I personally see it as a form of art.

Tales /märchen

Saci-Perere

Informant was a 45 year old female who was born in Brazil and currently lives in Brazil. I talked to her over Skype.

Informant: Saci-Perere is like a story of a black boy that has only one leg and he always carries a pipe and a red cap that gives him magical powers. And he’s a very mischievous boy, and he loves to do mischievous things like burn food or wake people up with laughter. This was in a tv show for kids called Sitio do Pica Pau Amarelo (The Farm of the Yellow Woodpecker) that I used to watch when I was a kid.

Collector: Do you know where the story came from?

Informant: I heard that it started like an Indian story, and that was at first an Indian boy that was a curomim – a type of indian. But with the African influence, he became a black boy that lost his leg fighting capoeira, which is a mix of fight and dance typical to brazil. The red cap came from European influence, like a lot of Europeans would wear them because Brazilians wouldn’t wear it in the heat.

Collector: So you said you saw it in a TV show, did the TV show create this character or did it take the pre-existing tale and make it into a character?

Informant: This was something that was in our folklore and Sitio do Pica Pau Amarelo used the story and I knew it through Sitio do Pica Pau Amarelo. Sitio do Pica Pau Amarelo was a story, not a soap opera, but was a story of a boy and a girl. And this girl had a doll called Emilia, who was a talking doll. They lived with their grandmother in this farm, and they had lots of stories that was placed in the country side of Brazil. So in the show it happened a lot of things that kids usually play in the country side. Another character was Cuca, who was like a monster like an alligator and all the kids used to be afraid of and had other characters from folklore. Cuca was the villain, and every time Saci-Perere came he was funny, and we used to laugh.

Collector: Why do you like this particular piece of folklore?

Informant: I liked Saci-Perere because he was fun, and everytime he came on the show he would make funny things and we used to laugh. It was a very big part of my childhood, we would talk about it a lot at school.

I personally like the story of Saci-Perere because I remember from my childhood in Brazil watching the same show that my mother watched “Sitio do Pica Pau Amarelo,” and seeing him in it. As a young child, I never really registered who he was or thought about the reasons why he was the way that he was. He was just a form of comic relief, and I very much enjoyed watching him on the show. I think it’s interesting that the true story of Saci-Perere came from a mixture of a lot of Brazil’s cultural history, such as the original indian tribes and the slavery of African Americans and capoeira, which is really famous in Brazil.

Foodways
general

Farofa Receita (Recipe)

The Recipe:

Farofa Vegetariana

 A  farofa vegetariana é uma tendência que existe já há algum tempo e as pessoas nem a chamam de vegetariana ou de farofa vegana, mas simplesmente de farofa. Isso acontece porque muitas pessoas não colocam em suas farofas ingredientes como ovos e bacon frito. Assim, as farofas modernas costumam ser naturalmente vegetarianas e consequentemente mais saudáveis.

Esta receita fica sensacional se você seguir os ingredientes à risca…

Ingredientes

  • 1 xícara de farinha de mandioca crua
  • 1 xícara de farinha de milho amarela*
  • 2 colheres de chá de azeite
  • 1 cebola grande picada finamente
  • 2 dentes de alho amassados
  • 1 xícara de azeitonas verdes picadas
  • 1 xícara de cenoura ralada
  • 1/2 pimentão vermelho picadinho
  • 1/2 xícara de uva passa escura
  • 1/2 xícara de cheiro verde picado
  • 1 xícara de couve picada finamente (opcional)
  • sumo de 1 limão
  • 2 espigas de milho cozido
  • sal a gosto (se necessário)

Como fazer a farofa vegetariana

Cozinhe o milho e retire os grãos. Refogue a cebola e o alho no azeite, acrescente as azeitonas picadas e a couve e mexa bem, acrescente a cenoura ralada, o pimentão. Tampe e deixe por 1 minuto em fogo mínimo. Desligue o fogo, acrescente o limão, as uvas passas, a farinha e o cheiro verde, mexa, prove o sal e acrescente um pouco se necessário e sirva.

Translation:

Vegetarian Farofa is a trend that has exist for a while. People can call it vegetarian Farofa or vegan Farofa but it’s simply Farofa. This is because many people do not mix farofa with their eggs or their meat (like bacon). Modern farofa dishes are naturally vegetarian so it is more healthy.

This recipe is sensational if you follow the ingredients….

1 cup of flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal *
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup chopped green olives
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 red bell pepper chopped
1/2 cup raisins dark
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 cup finely chopped cabbage (optional)
juice of 1 lemon
2 ears of corn on the cob
Salt to taste (if necessary)

How to do the Vegetarian Farofa:

Cook the corn and remove the kernels (or niblets). Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil, add chopped olives and cabbage and mix it well, add grated carrot and peppers. Cover and leave it on the fire for one minute (minimum). Turn off the stove and add the lemon juice, the rains, flour, and parsley. Mix it and add a little salt if necessary and serve.

Analysis:

The informant is a Brazilian who has been living in America for about forty years. He is the cameraman works for a Brazilian News Company called Globo – think the “ABC” of Brazil – so all of his footage airs primarily in Brazil and the reports are only done in Portuguese. Everyone that works at Globo speaks Portuguese and share a love for Brazilian culture. In fact, Most of his co-workers are like the informant because, they too, were transferred from Brazil to New York for work.  The informant says that in order to stay connected to Brazil, people at Globo will often host “Churrasequeria’s” (Barbecues) for the whole office. They stay connected through their love of the food from home. This farofa recipe was shared around the office through email by one of the informant’s co-workers, perhaps to remind everyone of home. The recipe is in Portuguese, highlighting a that it is for a specific audience – Portuguese  speakers.

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