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{All Around Latin America} Brazilian Feijoada in Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is being celebrated this month all around the United States through a series of activities, programs and festivals in recognition of the contributions Latin Americans have made in this country. Originally a weeklong celebration initiated in 1968, President Ronald Reagan later inaugurated it into a month-long celebration. Though its official dates are September 15th (marking the Independence of 5 Latin American countries) through October 15th, many initiatives are planned in anticipation of.  For me, there’s no better way to celebrate our rich heritage than through food — the crux of every home. I toyed with different ways of honoring this month’s celebration and decided it was most fitting to look at different Latin American (or Hispanic) foods. I was really eager and excited to share with you food not my own but that I’d equally love. After all, Latin America is made up of 20 countries, all bearing exotic historical background, distinct traditions and food–yes food! No two countries have the same cuisines. That’s the beauty of this massive group of people. 

Starting today and lasting all week, we’ll be looking at food from Brazil, Peru, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Mexico, through a series called “All Around Latin America.” Each day will offer an enticing sneak peak into that country’s soulful cuisine to get you excited about exploring more for yourself! 

First up in Emme Ribeiro, the author behind the blog Food Samba. I first had the pleasure of meeting this young but bubbly gal in NY during a cooking competition. Being the only two Latinas representing, we instantly hit it off. Emme was passionate about her food and brought her Brazilian fare to the table. When thinking of the 5 bloggers I wanted to introduce you to, Emme was on the top of the list. She brings skill to cooking, having been on Master Chef. Born in Brazil, raised in Seattle, she’s a confessed foodie who combines the best of both worlds to create a unique and exotic culinary experience. Through her food blog and family’s local Brazilian restaurant, she  hopes to spread the knowledge of the Brazilian culutre and cuisine! 

Please welcome Emme as she kicks of this week’s delicious look at Latin American food! -Bren
 photo FEHHMbadebloggers_zps4d88c7c4.png
By Emme Ribeiro

When Bren asked me be a guest on her blog, I was delighted! And, when she further explained that she wanted me to share with her readers a dish that represented me and my birth country, Brazil, I was even more excited!

It was a no-brainer when I chose to share with you all Feijoada, dubbed “The National Dish of Brazil!” Now, before I get into describing this national dish, I have to tell you a very important piece of information about Brazilian cuisine.  Brazilian cuisine is very diverse and it varies greatly by region.  This diversity is even present in the country’s national dish. For example, Rio de Janeiro, feijoada is made with black beans and in Salvador it is typically made with feijão mulatinho, pinto beans. Nonetheless, today I bring you what some might consider the ‘most popular’ version of feijoada, Rio’s black beans version served rice, couve( thinly-sliced collard greens sautéed with butter, garlic and bacon), farofa  (manioc flour sautéed with butter,  onion, garlic and bacon) and orange slices!

The concept of feijoada was brought over to Brazil by the Portuguese. The Portuguese version being a bit more sophisticated,  made with white beans and vegetables such as carrots, cabbage etc.  During that time, the slaves had only access to rice and black or pinto beans. Sometimes, they were allowed some less-desirable cuts of meat (pig ears, feet, etc.) and would cook it along with the beans in a clay pot, creating the Brazilian feijoada.  This rare treat of meats made it so that feijoada was the “luxury” dish that the slave’s would enjoy from time to time. Over a period of time, it became a popular meal among the lower class and eventually worked its way up society to become the “national dish”.

There is no recipe set in stone for feijoada. Like I mentioned before, it varies by region, but also by household! Everyone thinks his or her mom’s feijoada is the best one! I would love to share my mom’s feijoada recipe with you all, BUT she would cut my fingers off for typing away the secret recipe that makes her “the queen of feijoada” in Seattle!  So, I’ll be sharing with you my adapted version of her recipe – and if you live in Seattle or plan to visit in the future you could always come taste mom’s feijoada at our family restaurant.

*images c/o of Food Samba with exception of series badge. 

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  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1lb Linguiça sausage, sliced ¼” thick
  • ½ lb smoked hamhocks
  • 1 lb pork belly, trimmed of skin and cut into 1” cubes
  • 1lb beef for stew, cut into 1 ½” cubes
  • 2 pigs’ feet, halved lengthwise
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 2 lbs dried black beans, picked through and rinsed
  • 2 ½ quarts of water


In a large heavy-bottom pot, over medium heat add oil. When oil is hot, add onions and sweat until onions are translucent. Add garlic, parsley and bay leaf and sauté for about 4 minutes. Add sausage and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add hamhock, pork belly, beef and pigs’ feet and season with salt and pepper. Add beans and water.

Bring liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until beans are tender, about 2 ½ hours – Skim any foam that rises to the surface while cooking and add more water if necessary to keep the ingredients covered while cooking.

To serve, spoon some rice, collard greens and farofa onto each serving  plate. Laddle the feijoada over the rice. Garnish with a slice of orange.

Cook’s note: Don’t forget to add some hot sauce onto your serving of feijoada for an extra kick!

43 thoughts on “{All Around Latin America} Brazilian Feijoada in Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month

  1. Love feijoada particularly all the accompaniments!

    To Merecedes – there’s lots of Brazilian restaurants in NY. In fact, there is a street called Little Brazil (West 46).

  2. I love to look at Latin American recipes for new recipe ideas, because Brazil and Southern cuisines have the same basic ingredients. Are there any ingredient or cooking technique suggestions for using turkey or chicken instead of pork?

  3. Rosa: it sure is and we have a small neighborhood that’s all things Brazilian. My friend Simone and I got to this bakery and stock up on all kinds of yummy baked goodness. you’d love it!

    Mercedes: I hope Emme and JoanNova answered your question, cuz I have no idea, chica!

    Unknown Mami: looks like that to me, too, though I’d sub the pork for another smoked meat.

    JoanNova: I love your global palate!

    Carla: what!! you’ve not done this yet! this is a classic!

    Uchi: I can’t wait to try Emme’s recipe sans the pork! 🙂

    Sanura: I’m with you on the substitute as well. I don’t do pork but I want to make this at home with an alternative meat.

    Sujeiry: Pinto’s fall long on my list… black are my fave, then green split peas, then chick peaks!

  4. Thanks so much for this feature Bren. And Emme – this could not look and sounds more delicious. I have never had feijoada but will certainly nbe enjoying is very soon thanks so this delicious recipe. Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. Looking forward to visiting Seattle even more if we can eat this at your mom’s restaurant, Emme. There are a couple of Brazilian spots here in LA that have this dish, so it’s not a new one. The fun part is tasting all of the variations. Great feature Bren!

  6. Hi guys!!! I’m so happy you a enjoyed my post! And thank you to Bren again for featuring me a guest blogger! Here are answers to a fee of y’alls questions:
    @Sanura, I wouldn’t suggest chicken. What I would do is make sure that you have lots of beef, beef sausage and for a smokey flavor that a smoked hamhocks would give, I suggest smoked turkey neck bones!
    @Mercedes, I’m not too familiar with any brazilian restaurants in NYC, but to help you familiarize yourself with a good, authentic pot of feijoada you can ask the cook if they use dry beans or canned – you’d obviuosly want dry- also, ask what kind of meats they use – you wanna make sure they use good quality meats and lots of smokey flavored meats too!
    And chrystal, can’t wait for your visit! I really hope you can squeeze in a meal at the restaurant, we’d love to have you!

    Thank you all again for reading and enjoying my post!

  7. Hi Emme, so fun to see you here…and of course you brought along an amazing dish 🙂 What a fantastic guest post and amazing dish!
    Bren this is such a great series…love the history and culture behind the cuisine.

  8. Eliana: i know, right. both of your recipes so far have been hits! thanks for sharing your culture with me and my readers! We all appreciate learning something more about where you come from!

    DuoDishes: I’ve never been to Seattle and looking forward to it… coffee, lots of golf, lots of Brazilian spots and Emme’s parents’ resto–must do. We have a tryst, girlfriend!

    Emme: Thanks so much for participating in this wonderful and necessary round-up! I’m glad you chose such a traditional dish to share with us. I’ve never made it myself but am interested in trying it w/what I thought could be smoked turkey neck. You answered Sanura’s question just as I wanted! 🙂 Chrystal and I will make it out to your parents’ spot real soon. It’ll be something to blog about!

    Magic of Spice: Thanks, lovely! I was happy to host her and had no idea you knew her! Love the support. You’re always so kind. Come back tomorrow for another installment and another great recipe!

    Ericka: Well here you go! You can either make it from this recipe or go find an authentic Brazilian resto that will serve it up using Emme’s recommendations for ensuring a true dish!

  9. 34002 497313The subsequent time I read a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a whole lot as this 1. I mean, I know it was my option to read, but I truly thought youd have something attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is actually a bunch of whining about something that you possibly can repair really should you werent too busy on the lookout for attention. 846279

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