História do Churrasco

Segundo indicam os fatos históricos, foi no século XVII que no Rio Grande do Sul surgiu a forma gaúcha de se fazer churrasco, que hoje se difundiu por todo país e tem até reconhecimento e apreciação internacional. Além disto, tornou-se sinônimo de festa e confraternização entre familiares e amigos.

A descoberta do churrasco é atribuída aos índios que habitavam a costa das três Américas. Eles assavam a carne ao ar livre, numa fogueira sobre pedras com auxílio de uma grelha de madeira verde, mas foi na região do grande pampa que o churrasco encontrou o seu ambiente ideal.

A pecuária sempre foi uma das maiores riquezas do Uruguai, da Argentina e do sul do Brasil, na chamada região dos pampas, e a lida com o gado afastava os homens do campo por longos períodos de suas casas.

O churrasco era uma forma mais prática de fazer uma refeição, pois tudo que era necessário para preparar a refeição estava à mão: uma boa faca afiada, uma fogueira preparada em um buraco cavado no chão (fogo de chão), um espeto de vara que podia ser preparado na hora com galhos, um generoso pedaço de carne e sal grosso. O sal grosso aliás, era e até hoje é utilizado como complemento na alimentação dos bovinos. A carne era cortada em pequenos pedaços e servida, iniciando a forma de se servir carne chamada de rodízio. E estava assim criado o jeito gaúcho de se preparar churrasco.

A princípio, o churrasco como conhecemos hoje era muito raro, pois não havia preocupação com o comércio da carne bovina, e sim do couro e sebo.

No Rio Grande do Sul, o churrasco até hoje faz parte da cultura do gaúcho, estando também sempre presente na vida do campeiro gaúcho. Em todo o Brasil, existem milhares de churrascarias, que satisfazem a todos com a qualidade e grande oferta de carnes, saladas, acompanhamentos e sobremesas.

Hoje existem churrascarias brasileiras espalhadas pelo mundo, que estão fazendo muito sucesso em países como Estados Unidos, Canadá, Nova Zelândia, Austrália, Itália, Suíça, Inglaterra, Macau, Singapura e Tailândia. É a cultura brasileira se espalhando pelo mundo.

Você não precisa viajar para até o Brasil para viver esta experiência – quando você jantar no MINAS CAFE RESTAURANT localizado na cidade de Norwood, MA,  imediatamente você vai sentir a necessidade de voltar, trazendo a família e amigos para compartilhar esta maneira surpreendente de comer.

Farofa – The Universal Accompaniment

When Brazilians eat grilled or roasted meat or fish, the side dishes are plain white rice, beans and a golden-colored mixture with a sandy texture called farofa. Eating churrasco, the Brazilian-style mixed grill cooked over charcoal without a dish of farofa to accompany it is considered culinary heresy.

There are infinite variations and thousands of recipes for farofa, but at its most basic farofa is a mixture of dry manioc flour ( called farinha in Portuguese) toasted in some sort of fat to flavor and moisten it. The fat can be butter, it can be bacon fat and in Bahia (state in the northeast of Brazil), where African culinary traditions rule, it’s like to be dendê, the brilliant orange palm oil that is the herald of Bahian cooking.


Manioc itself, of course, is a heritage of Amerindian cooking traditions in Brazil and the only truly native staple food in this country. This protean tuber appears at the Brazilian table in a startlingly large number of forms – so many and so different that it’s hard to imagine they all come from the same plant. Manioc can be mashed or french-fried like potatoes, it can be made into breads and pastries, or it can show up as tapioca, which in Brazil means a crepe, not a dessert pudding. But it is as farofa that it’s most commonly found on the dinner table.

Besides the use of different forms of fat to vary the basic recipe, Brazilian chefs also occasionally add other flavoring ingredients such as onion, crispy bacon bits or shredded carne de sol (dried jerky). Sometimes fresh herbs, particularly cilantro and chopped green onion, are added to give the farofa a fresh touch. Day-to-day farofa is likely to be more basic, however.

In Brazilian supermarkets it’s possible to buy packages of farofa, pre-made. Most Brazilian cooks, though, still make it at home, preferring freshly cooked farofa to the industrially prepared variety.

Just as there are many different ways to cook farofa, there are many different ways to eat it. Some people like to sprinkle farofa directly on the grilled meat or fish. This is particularly popular when eating churrasquinho, Brazil’s meat-on-a-stick take on kebabs. Some prefer to mix all the side dishes on their plate, the rice, the beans and the farofa, to make one all-purpose accompaniment to the meal’s centerpiece. Others like to dip each forkful of meat into a pile of farofa before popping it into their mouth. And some, farofa’s most ardent fans, will eat theirs straight up, not mixing it with anything else.

Because of the characteristically sandy, gritty texture of manioc flour and it’s relative lack of flavor, visitors to Brazil are often puzzled by farofa. They don’t appreciate the texture, likening it to beach sand, and they don’t see what it adds to the dining experience. But non-Brazilians who spend some time in this country often find that the habit of eating farofa eventually sneaks up on them. At some point in the Brazilianization process, they are likely to discover that a plate of grilled meats without farofa looks bare and incomplete. They’ve become farofasized.

Font: http://flavorsofbrazil.blogspot.com/

How to cook: Perfect Brazilian BBQ Steak “Picanha”

Font: Guga Foods

Minas Café on the NEWS

Minas Cafe offers Brazilian cuisine in Norwood

manager_minas_cafeWith its selection of steak, pork and chicken, Minas Cafe aims to be a cut above the competition.

The most popular cut of steak is the picanha, also known as the top sirloin cap. Manager Gustavo Silva said it is the most popular cut of beef and Brazil, and that popularity has translated to their Brazilian buffet in South Norwood.
“It’s a really soft meat. For people who like fat, it has that fatty outside, but for people who don’t like the fat, it’s easily cut into a lean steak,” Silva said.

When it comes to seasoning the beef, they keep it simple.

“We season it with sea salt. The sea salt helps to hold the juices inside, so the flavor stays in,” Silva said. “We don’t do any oils here. We keep it simple and authentic.”

The picanha is cooked on a rotisserie, alongside the various other meats they have at Minas Cafe. Other steak options include sirloin, brisket and garlic steak, as well as chicken, pork and various sausages. The meats are all cooked over a natural wood charcoal, Silva said.

“It takes about a half hour to cook the steak,” Silva said. “It’s a process. We try not to have the fire too high or too low. We can’t have the high flames on it, otherwise we’d burn the outside without cooking the inside.”

They have multiple skewers of meat going at once. The goal is to have meat to whatever taste the customer desires, whether they prefer their steak medium, rare or well done.

“However you like your meat, I try to have it here,” Silva said.

As a buffet, the customer can choose their own sides to go with their steak. Silva said there are some staples of their buffet, including a salad bar, macaroni salad, and their popular fried bananas. They go through more than 10 pounds of fried bananas daily. While the buffet changes daily, they try to keep the same selection of meat available.

“I would do rice and beans with the potato salad and the fried banana to go with the top sirloin,” Silva said.

Minas Cafe is located at 1241 Washington St., Norwood. About six months ago, they expanded, taking over the storefront next to them. This approximately doubled their seating capacity, which was done in anticipation of acquiring a beer and wine license.

“Soon, we’ll be serving beer and wine. We’ve been approved by the [Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission] and the town,” Silva said.

They hope to start serving beer and wine within a month. This license will also change the Minas Cafe menu: previously, they would stop cooking the meats at 6 p.m. Once they start serving alcohol, they’ll continue cooking skewers throughout the evening.

“Within a month, we’ll have the rotisserie going until night time,” Silva said. “Everything we serve at lunch, you’ll find it at dinner time.”

Minas Cafe is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

News: Wicked Local Norwood


History of Brazilian barbecue (Churrasco)

The Churrasco (pronounced, Shoo-Has-Co) tradition dates back over 300 years when the Southern Brazilian cowboys (also called Gauchos) would head out to the plains in search of the highest grade of livestock. Upon their return, the Gauchos would head out to the plains in search of the highest grade of livestock.

Upon their return, the Gauchos would prepare the meat on large sword-like skewers over an open flame, whilst telling stories of their adventures. Families would prepare a healthy range of accompaniments to compliment the succulent meats. The Gauchos would take great pride in carving these wonderful offerings for their families.


Fortunately you do not need to travel to Brazil for this experience – it is yours when you dine with MINAS CAFÉ here in Norwood, MA. Immediately you will feel the need to return, bringing family and friends to share this amazing way of eating.