Feijoada, a black bean stew slow-cooked with meat, is the national dish of Brazil and the ultimate comfort food. The feast is a serving of black beans in their own juice with salted pork, chunks of beef, smoked sausage and strips of jerked beef accompanied by fried kale, crispy mandioca, fluffy white rice, pork crackling and farofa (fried cassava flour) with bits of bacon, perfect for mopping up the last of the bean juice. A few slices of oranges are mandatory to aid the digestion of this hearty meal.
Where Did Feijoada Come From?
It is widely believed that feijoada came from the time of slavery. The enslaved Africans would gather together leftover beans and scraps of meat from their plantation owners and throw the ingredients together to make a filling stew. However, academics have recently challenged this theory by presenting the idea that feijoada came from European settlement. Beans were easy to maintain and were cheap to produce and by adding in chunks of meat, feijoada became an easy meal for European immigrants to cook. Despite the grey area of its origin, nowadays feijoada is a true Brazilian dish.
Where To Eat Feijoada In Rio De Janeiro
In Rio de Janeiro, there are several places to enjoy this food for the soul. Traditionally eaten on Saturday, those who are keen to try this national dish needn’t wait and can head to Casa da Feijoada in Ipanema any day of the week. The casual atmosphere of the restaurant sets the scene for this homely cuisine and waiters bring out a stream of separate dishes to complete the whole feijoada spread. Most diners will order carne nobre – these are typical prime cuts of meat. However, those who feel daring can try the traditional feijoada that comes with additional meats such as pigs’ tails, ears, and trotters.
Bar do Mineiro in the heart of Santa Teresa is renowned for its authentic, hearty feijoada. The boteco-style restaurant has a friendly, local vibe with black and white photos hung up on the wall and paintings and artifacts above the bar. The rows of cachaça seem endless and make for a flawless caipirinha. Order a classic lime one as an alternative citrus digestive aid for your feijoada. Another feijoada hotspot in town is at Academia da Cachaça where generous portions allow enough for two and are served with a shot of honey and lemon cachaça.
Alternatively, try making it at home! I found this great recipe that I’m keen to try out soon. If you have any other recommendations in Rio for a great feijoada or have some tips on how to make it yourself, do get in touch. I’d love to hear from you!
Casa da Feijoada
R. Prudente de Morais, 10B – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, +55 (21) 2247 2776
Monday – Saturday: 12pm – 12am
Sunday: 12pm – 10:30pm
Bar do Mineiro
Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 99 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, +55 (21) 2221 9227
Tuesday – Saturday: 11am – 1am
Sunday: 11am – 12am
Academia da Cachaça
Rua Conde de Bernadotte, 26 – Leblon, Rio de Janeiro, +55 (21) 2239 1542
Monday – Thursday: 12pm- 12am
Friday – Saturday: 12pm – 2am
Sunday: 12pm – 1am
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