My Favourite Dish: Feijoada the National Dish of Brazil!
“Did I tell you that when I was living in Ireland, I was cast as an extra in the ‘Game of Thrones’ (Season 8) and ‘Vikings’ (Season 6)?” Gabriel said proudly.
There is an air of excitement amongst the aspirational Brazilians who travel around the world. They are not just seeking a new lifestyle, they are also seeking adventure and new experiences.
Gabriel Oliveira Inacio is one of the ambitious, well-connected Brazilian community leaders navigating a new life in Sydney, Australia and has settled in the Northern Beaches, where the last wave of Brazilians have called home.
A Project Manager by profession, Gabriel loves what Sydney has to offer:
“I love the relaxed lifestyle in Dee Why. I love the sun, sand and surf. Sydney has got to be one of the most vibrant cities in the world,” said Gabriel.
Belo Horizonte, Brazil to Sydney, Australia
“I was born in the city of Belo Horizonte, the sixth largest city in Brazil and the capital of the state of Minas Gerais,” he said reflecting back.
Minas Gerais is known for its regional cuisines and is generally regarded by Brazilians to be the most flavoursome and authentic of all the 26 States in Brazil and the Federal District where the national capital, Brasília sits.
“The chicken and pork dishes that originate from Minas Gerais are from a bygone era and are uniquely rich in its flavour,” added Gabriel.
Galinhada for example is a recipe that originated in the states of Minas Gerais and Goiás, and a dish that is prepared mainly with rice and chicken. The name comes from ‘galinha’, which means chicken in Portugese.
Gabriel’s early years was spent in a small city not far from the capital called Conselheiro Lafaiete.
At age 14, he moved to the city of Serra, in the state of Espirito Santo, a coastal city surrounded by seafood inspired dishes like torta capixaba (a seafood pie originating from Espirito Santo) and moqueca capixaba (a traditional Brazilian fish stew originating from the region of Espírito Santo).
Before arriving in Australia, Gabriel lived in Dublin, Ireland for nearly four years where Gabriel immersed himself in both cultures.
Aside from drinking pints of Guinness, especially during the winter months in Dublin, Gabriel enjoyed feasting on Brazilian food and the vibrant cultural festival atmosphere organised by the surprisingly large Brazilian and Latin American community.
“I love everything about Brazil and wherever I travel in the world I try to find a connection to Brazil through food. Brazil is very multicultural, so it’s easy to find a piece of home in every plate out there,” said Gabriel.
When asked what his absolute favourite Brazilian dish is, Gabriel takes his time to reminisce about his mother’s cooking.
“Of course, I love my mother’s cooking and I really crave all of the Brazilian dishes but if I had to name my favourite dish of all, it would have to be the national dish of Brazil, the Feijoada,” added Gabriel.
Feijoada is a black beans stew slowly cooked in a pressure cooker and it goes well with different types of pork, meat and sausages.
It is commonly eaten with rice, farofa (manioc flour), orange slices and a Brazilian style of wild cabbage called couve.
Usually, people enjoy a feijoada over some caipirinha, a Brazilian cocktail made with cachaça. Cachaça is a distilled spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice.
“And why is it my favourite? Well I love the history behind this dish. Eating it from anywhere in the world reminds me of my hometown and my family, of where I come from, and that no matter where I travel to I’m always close to home wherever I can have ‘Feijoada’,” said Gabriel.
“Besides, the Feijoada is commonly prepared (and eaten) on the Sunday family gatherings that are quite common to many Brazilian households. I would call it a comfort food as it brings back good memories from those that I love sharing the table with me,” added Gabriel.
As the national dish of Brazil, the Feijoada has its origins.
Click here to read about the history of the ‘Feijoada’ .
The celebratory dish is one that traditionally unites family and friends.
As a new generation of Brazilians travel and settle abroad, Feijoada continues to unite people and instil a sense of national pride.
According to the 2016 census, there were 27,630 Brazilian born people in Australia, an increase of 90.4 per cent from the 2011 census.
The 2016 distribution by State and Territory showed New South Wales had the largest number of Brazilians (12,314) followed by Queensland (6,608), Victoria (3,828) and Western Australia (3,496).
Keen to learn more or engage the Brazilian community in Australia? Contact our team at [email protected]