An authentic dish often times reflects the culture of where it is from. The reasoning of each ingredient that is used reflects and illustrate the past of the culture. The way of the dish is cooked and served, in a way, also resemble the local culture and their ways of life.
Feijoada is claimed to be the national dish of Brazil by many, for those who disagree still can denial that is one of most representative dish in Brazilian cuisine. Feijoada is essentially black bean stew with salted pork or beef cuts served on rice, and side with sauteed green, farofa (fried cassava meal), and orange slices (as shown in picture above). It is traditionally only served for Saturday lunch and special occasions.
The dish is a perfect illustration of fusion between different cultures. The ingredients reflects a mixture of Native American, Indian and European influences. The dish is often time associated with the slave quarters, and it is claimed to be first cooked by slaves from gathered leftover meat and beans (very similar to the story of the famous southern american food, gumbo). However, this is not entirely true. The name of “Feijoada” is originated from Portuguese and is translated as “black bean”. Though, Feijoada, as the raw material, is originated from South American, it was used 300 years before the discovery of Brazil in the 1500 by the Europeans. The dish itself is a derivation of Europeans dishes that came to Brazil along with the Portuguese. The one of very first references of Feijoada is not from slave quarters but with the restaurants patronized by the urban slavoratic elite, and later appear again being patronized by the “good society”.
As the lyric of the song Feijoada completa (complete Feijoada), “Woman/ You are going to like that/ I am taking home some friends to chat”, Feijoada is not just a dish, but a reflection of the way of living. In some sense, it resembles the festive Brazilian culture.
Elias, Rodrigo. “Feijoada: a short history of an edible institution” <http://dc.itamaraty.gov.br/imagens-e-textos/revistaing13-mat06.pdf>