Yesterday we celebrated the first birthday of my nephew with a classic Brazilian style party. At one point in the evening, the birthday boy’s grandmother came by with a plate that looked like the above and offered with a smile “Churrasco de Gato?”
Of course, at that point I politely refused. But upon investigation, I confirmed my suspicions that it was not, in fact, barbecued cat. Instead, small pieces of broiled beef (or so I was told).
The name comes from the guys who sell similar looking meat on the street, a meat of which you can never be quite certain of the origin. Particularly in the favelas, the meat is what is readily available for free… cats, rats, what have you. During the explanation, my father-in-law chimed in that when the circus would come to town, you locked up your pets or they would be missing the next day, probably somewhere on a small stick.
Despite the unappetizing imagery, I still took a taste. It was good, but beef? I’m still not quite so certain…