Brazil: Meat, Caipirinhas, and Meat III

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Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Curitiba

The Brasilia show for the South American tour was a late addition; we were due to play at 1:20am… 1:20AM! Trivium's latest stage time to date had only been around 11:00pm or so - so we knew it was going to hurt to play a 90-plus minute set that "early" in the morning, then sleep for 2 hours and fly to Sao Paulo. But Hell… we were in South America.

We wrapped up a very tight soundcheck (tight as in we played well together… not the 90's lame-bro/ Jersey Shore-douche terminology) and headed to lunch. Marcos had to take us back to the same lunch spot as the previous day due to the fact that it was the Brazilian Independence Day and everything was pretty much closed or packed to the brim. We arrived back at Feitiço Mineiro for some lunch. This time it was the whole Triviums, Ashley, and Marcos. By this time, we began getting to know Marcos pretty well; we learned of his half-Spanish, half-Brazilian ethnicity and trilingual skills. Marcos has been a vegetarian for the last 20 plus years and doesn't drink - a feat that I would imagine to be quite difficult in such a meat-oriented, cachaça-drinking country. He taught us that back in the 90s, being a veggie would have been very difficult - but nowadays he has it sorted. It's pretty awesome that he certainly knows his stuff on the meat-based places however; I'm assuming he does his research using local meat-eating pals. 

Marcos owned a label several years back called Liberation Records - distributing Lifeforce to Metal Blade, Roadrunner to Trustkill; nowadays due to lessening CD-purchasing, he sticks purely to booking bands in South America. Marcos books everyone from Lamb Of God to As I Lay Dying to us and everything in between. Throughout the trip, we'd all be getting to know each other better through our common love of Florida. Through the entire tour, Marcos took very good care of us - taking us to the best local restaurants and filling in sight-seeing whenever possible.

Marcos showed us that today, due to the Independence day, Fetiço had a new giant-table spread of black cauldrons of bubbling black soup-looking delicacies. At least 10 pots were on display, one for pig ears stewed in black beans, beef stewed in black beans, offal-cuts and scraps and good cuts in black beans… every cut of the animal. My kind of eating!

Feijoada is a very traditional Brazilian dish. Mention it to any Brazilian and you get that smile that takes them back to mom's and grandma's houses where they would eat feijoada with their loved ones. Feijoada originated as a slave's dish: the Africans that were brought to Brazil would only be left with the offal and scrap cuts of the animals their masters wouldn't eat. They'd boil all the parts down along with black beans, top the meat on top of more black beans, on top of rice. Atop the layering deliciousness, the slaves would add chopped collard greens, and then farofa. The combination of all the aforementioned ingredients then became feijoada. One could certainly see that Brazil's cuisine has quite a major African influence, mixed in with their Portuguese and Latin flavors.

Feijoada is a delightful dish - comfort food at it's finest. Stick-to-your-ribs and fill-your-gut-up goodness that is void of pretense and filled with historical significance. Couple that bad boy with the icy-delicious caipirinhas that were just waiting to be guzzled by the gallon… and you were in good shape. 

Traditional sweets awaited me after my lunch: some flan, coconuty-caramel sticky pudding, some kind of tropical fruit that was candied in a sweet liquid, and then this traditional compressed fruit/condensed milk sweet that is eaten with Brazilian cheese. All the deserts truly emphasized sugar. Brazilians love their sugar - and their deserts display that affection. Too good. 

We headed back to the hotel to nap as long as possible to rest up before the insanely late/early show; I took some Zantac first of course…