Brazilian Challenge Day 39: Microwave Meal

I’ve never been a fan of the microwave. Just never trusted it. In the U.S., I certainly never microwaved anything that would go into the mouth of my child and got angry when my Brazilian husband did. I was also surrounded by other mothers who shared my views on the machine’s evil powers.

But my experiences thus far in Brazil indicate that the Brazilians love to microwave! Especially the kids’ meals. The housekeepers prepare a load of food in advance and it all gets heated up with radio waves when the little ones are ready.

So this evening, to immerse myself in the culture, I microwaved my daughter’s dinner that a baba cooked for her a couple days ago. Ok, really I did it because I’m tired and don’t feel like heating it up in a pan. But it’s still Brazilian (to me, especially since a baba – nanny – was the one who originally cooked the food) and not something you’d catch me doing in my home country.

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13 Responses to Brazilian Challenge Day 39: Microwave Meal

  1. Anna says:

    i think americans microwave WAY MORE than brazilians…. i think you are the exception.

  2. Brasilicana says:

    I agree with Anna – nobody I know here in Bahia uses a microwave. My husband’s parents have one but never use it (not sure what the point of having it is!) Even food that was prepared beforehand is re-heated on the stove.

    • Interesting! I totally thought it was a Brazilian thing. My husband has always pushed the microwave, especially when it came to heating up food for my daughter. And every baba I’ve ever known is always sticking food in the microwave. Guess it is just my circle of reference.

  3. Ray says:

    Dear B.A.B.,

    Thank you so much for this post!
    There is nothing particularly special about microwaves, but what I love about it is that you help me feel less crazy. Let me explain. I am usually describing my experiences as a Brazilian from Sao Paulo and it’s often the opposite or very different from expats living in other parts of Brazil.
    You saw Brasilicana’s comment above, they don’t use microwave that often in Bahia, I just read a comment from Jim (Qualidade de Vida ) on Rachel’s blog about how people don’t use microwaves in Brazil, Jim thinks it’s because microwaves are too expensive.
    I think it goes beyond price, and it might be more cultural, just like Brasilicana mentioned.
    But my mother in Sao Paulo has always had and used a microwave a lot, she uses to help speed up the cooking process of potatoes for mashed potatoes for example or to quickly nuke some broccoli, brussel sprouts or aspargus. She also uses the microwave to melt chocolate and make homemade truffles, which we all love.
    It all comes down to prove that we all have different experiences, and you living in Jardins, Jim in Niteroi, Brasilicana in Bahia are all having different and unique experiences with some touches of Brazil common to all 🙂


    • Thanks for your comment! Isn’t it interesting the variety of experiences? That’s one of the things I love about this project, other people’s experiences and opinions help to narrow down your own perceptions (and sometimes your own prejudices) into what is closer to the actual reality. Hope you guys are doing well!!

  4. Regarding your troubled relationships with kitchen appliances It may be prudent to remember these wise words:

    First they came for the Pressure Cookers
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Pressure Cooker
    Then they came for the Microwaves
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Microwave
    Finally they came for me
    And there was no one left to speak .

  5. Stephanie says:

    So funny, I had the same reaction as the others…Im here in Minas wishing for a microwave 🙂 They are rarely used here (from what i have noticed) but are becoming more popular!

  6. Lenisse says:

    Yeah, I Agree that North-Americans use a lot more microwave than Brazilians… but, I would say, I use a lot more microwave been a Toddler’s mom… just o heat a scoop of rice and beans with chicken, I wouldn’t get a pan to do that. And, I’m loving the microwavable single pack of Mac’n’cheese!!! Just sooo easy to do in the morning to pack for my son at school :P. BTW, when I go to Brazil to visit my parents, I always have to bring couple of Mac’n’cheese with me… and Brownie mix too! 😛

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