It is tough to get noticed in the blogosphere. Maybe food writers and bloggers aren’t a dime a dozen, but it sure seems so, judging by the numbers of food-related blogs and websites out there. So imagine my surprise when a journalist emailed me out of the blue and asked if I would do an interview (in English) for a piece in the Brazilian food magazine, Menu! Menu seems to be the Brazilian equivalent of Bon Appetit or Saveur. It is published only in Portuguese (which I do not speak), but that only made the opportunity seem more exotic.
My journalist friends in the US have taught me that editors, space considerations, and lots of other obstacles lie in wait for any article a journalist hopes to will find its way into the final copy of a magazine. So I kept on blogging, trying to hold out hope for my media debut in Menu without getting too excited. Then, lo and behold, the piece ran in time for Mother’s Day. I’m delighted and a bit surprised at the response – MotherWouldKnow now has Brazilian readers and fans on Facebook. Now, every time I check out where MotherWouldKnow readers are located, I get a warm spot in my heart for the Brazilians who are finding their way to the site.
By coincidence, yesterday my Brazilian friend Aurea threw a Feijoada (pronounced: fey-ghu-a-da for my fellow non-Portuguese speakers) graduation party for her daughter. I’d never been to a Feijoada before and eagerly listened to Aurea when she explained how Feijoada works. The dish includes several components that you put on a single plate: black beans and meat, rice, grain, vegetables, and fruit.
It’s a meal you can linger over for a long time – and we did. Aurea told me that each region has its own variation on this national dish and individual cooks vary it according to their own taste too. I loved the concept and her version. She included sliced oranges
and her black beans and pork had a tasty gravy.
My favorite part of her version was the finely shredded fresh collard greens sprinkled with lime juice. What a surprising and delicious way to enjoy collards!
I haven’t had time yet to fully explore Feijoada ingredients or learn how to make this multi-part feast, but you can bet that I’m going to try it this summer. And when I do, my first foray into Brazilian cooking will be recounted here. After all, I take my own mother’s advice – to be brave about trying new recipes and types of food.