Day 181 of my efforts to keep up my challenge, despite being back in America for a bout, we did a Brazilian barbecue central Illinois, small town style.
Hot dogs, hamburgers and some local brats and pork patties were on the grill menu. My Brazilian husband and I contributed farofa and Brazilian BBQ salsa, as well as grilled garlic bread and meat grilled just as you would on a churrasco.
Buying at the local (i.e. next town) butcher shop was a bit of an obstacle. It was the first time since being back in my homeland that I had some serious communication issues. We were shopping for picanha, translated into English would be top sirloin cap. We asked the shop owner if this particular piece was available and he was quite perplexed. He went into the back and a few minutes later, and old, rambl’in, butcher with a baseball cap and a bloody work coat waddled out. “Wha’ y’all asking fer?” he inquired. (In case you didn’t know this, central Illinois dwellers have a heavy, southern accent.)
It took awhile to explain exactly what we wanted. But it seems they were not willing to cut their meat in this foreign way and preferred to sell it to other customers with their little slice of top sirloin cap on. (“Yer not from ’round here, are ya?”) Alas, we had to decide on the next best choice and went on our merry way with our meat selections and a bag full of fresh tomatoes.
The second challenge was the farofa.
I made it my favorite way, with banana, hard boiled egg and black olives. My husband made a Brazilian salsa to accompany it.
I guess one who is unfamiliar might not understand farofa. I mean, what is it and why? But I’d grown to love it and thought all should be able to enjoy.
Everyone was polite and took a heap of the vat of farofa I had prepared. I delightfully gobbled mine up with the salsa as a side to my bratwurst.
Then, I noticed my own husband shaking off a pile of farofa from a plate into the garbage. I balked! “You didn’t like my farofa??”
“It’s not mine,” he whispered and nodded his head to my brother-in-law.
“What!” I semi-screeched at my in-law. “You don’t like my farofa?” He started to fumble on about how that simply wasn’t true, but then did a 180 turn to the actual truth. “It’s just too powdery,” he explained. “Tastes like dust.” And then he did a little spatting motion toward the floor.
Well, ok. I can’t expect everyone to come round to my new cultural cuisine day one. (Perhaps day two.) But the one local item that everyone enjoyed was the sweet corn. Delicious! Like dessert! Thank goodness for those corn jerkers.