The Story of how the Brazilian dish, “Feijoada” was born:
“There were many slaves in Brazil brought over by the Portuguese. They only had very basic foods to eat. The owners of the slave would cut the waste parts of the animals – the nose, tails, and the feet – and throw it in the garbage. The slaves did not have a lot of meat so they went to the garbage and grabbed the tail, the nose – all the waste parts of meat, mostly pigs – and they mixed it with black beans and then they made the Feijoada. That’s how it was born – from the waste of the farmers. Now Feijoada is a very famous dish in Brazil. It is considered the national dish.”
The informant is Brazilian, however, it’s interesting that he would know so much about Feijoada because he has been a Vegetarian for 50 years. I do not think that the informant has actually ever tried a bite of Feijoada. But I think that his knowledge of this dish’s story speaks to how big of a role these traditional foods play in Brazil. The informant says that his mother would tell this story to him and his brothers and sisters when they were adolescents. I think that this narrative is a positive reflection of Brazilian culture. The story emphasizes that what was once considered to be waste is now one of the most popular and traditional dishes in Brazil. The informant even mentioned that when people cook Feijoada, they still opt to use what was once considered waste meat because it reminds them of Brazilian tradition and history.