Comidinha de Minas... Can't Be Beat!

By 22:09

I promised I'd write about the best cuisine in Brazil.  And this isn't even my subjective and suspect opinion.  Ask any Brazilian with a pallete and they'll tell you the best food comes from Minas? 

Why?  There's nothing so special about it... it's quite simple.  So what makes it so delicious?  Is it the seasoning and ingredients used?  Is it the homey feeling you get when you savor every last bite?  Is it the hospitality you get with the meal?  Or is it just the magic found in the rolling hills of the countryside of Minas Gerais? 

Okay, so maybe I was just lacking a home cooked meal since moving out of my aunt's house in October, and maybe any grandmother's food is the bestest, or even maybe it's just because Minas has such distinct dishes and since I've grown up on them, I think they're the best ever. 

Needless to say, I got my share of all of my pregnant woman-esque desires for food from Minas... which included the following: 

- Frango Caipira com Quiabo - This is farm fresh chicken with okra in a soupy concoction that is probably one of my favorite meals, and which my aunt here in SP isn't keen on making because her picky Paulistano sons and husband don't like quiabo... frescos.  I'd also like to note that my grandmother and uncle killed a chicken just to make this dish for me.  As unsettling as that sounds, I found it quite flattering, actually. 

- Angu - My frango com quiabo was also served with angu!  This is really just a corn meal type paste, sometimes seasoned, but it takes strategy to perfect it... trust me, I've tried endless times to make angu... 


- Tutu - This is sort of like refried beans, but more... unexplainably delicious - and then sometimes there's this sauce over them with bacon, sausage, eggs and everything my cholestorol desires. 


- Feijão Tropeiro - Speaking of cholesterol.  Another bean dish: 

                                Need I say more? 

- Salpicão - A salad of sorts with chicken, apples, tomatoe, raisins, mayonaise, carrots, ham, onion, etc... all mixed in home fried potatoe sticks. 

- Pão de Queijo - The famous coffee combination.  Literally cheese bread.  As a roommate of mine from DC said when I made pão de queijo once at the house, she said, "I love bread. and I love cheese.  This is a perfect combination."  I ditto that. 


- Cheese, cheese and more cheese - Minas is famous for its cheese.  Pasteurized, non-pasteurized, white cheese, bitter cheese, and above all - farm fresh cheese!! Again, I love cheese.  Which was usually served with coffee. And another famous Mineiro past time is to eat cheese with sweet pastes and jellies - I had the pleasure of having banana and guava paste with my cheese :-)

- Cachaça - Okay, so it's not food.  But I couldn't help but toot my home state's horn a little, especially for my cachaça appreciators out there.  Everyone knows the best cachaça comes from Minas.  And I had that confirmed when one of our friends from the farm community, Cumpade Genário, had me try some of his home made cachaça... one sip and I was won over.  I convinced him to bottle it up for me to bring back to São Paulo and share with the good cachaça deprived paulistanos. Pictured - an alambique - where cachaça (which is sugar cane liquor) is made. 


Okay, just writing this is making me hungry.  I guess I'll go make some ramen noodles now, *sigh.  Next time I go to Minas, I want all the goodies "winter" brings - canjicão, canjiquinha, pé de moleque... 

Tomorrow, Governador Valadares!  And then I'll be done with my Minas trip and on to more current and interesting things I've been brewing up!! 


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