One of the highlights of our trip to Brazil was a Brazilian BBQ or churrasco at our friend's home. If you've never been to a Brazilian home for a BBQ (and it almost necessitates a trip to a Brazilian house), you can't really understand the true impact of this national delight. Going to a Brazilian restaurant with the rodizio or churrasco, is good, but not the same. Also going to a Brazilian BBQ at a friend's house outside of Brazil is also good, but not the same. Why is it different? To start off, because the Brazilian homes outside of the large metropolitan areas, are designed for outdoor entertaining. This is at a level that does not truly exist in the United States.
There is an entire kitchen, living area, and dining area for many Brazilian homes. Notice the barbecue pit with a full chimney. A Weber grill is good, but it has nothing on this barbecue pit. You can do a quick Google search for images of a churrasqueira and you'll see many examples of these amazing outdoor areas I'm talking about.
Our friend, Carlos André, prepared the meats and grilled them slowly over the charcoal until they were pefectly done. Part of the Brazilian BBQ experience is the leisurely drawn-out meal. It's not instant gratification. The meal is prepared and served slowly. It's more about the company and enjoyment - rather than a speedy meal. The meat is cooked slowly and served as appetizer when it's first done. There is sampling of the meat and chatter that accompanies this meal.
We enjoyed a typical BBQ with rice, farofa, varied meats, sausages, and chicken, a salad, appetizers and more.
We treated ourselves to a buffet of fresh fruits, including berries, melons, pineapple, grapes and lychee.
We ended our wonderful dinner with coffee, tapioca & coconut cake, caramel flan, and chocolate torte. So many options. Who could possibly choose just one?
Everyone was completely satisfied with the delicious dinner. Well, almost everyone. These two were waiting anxiously for a taste or two. I'm not sure if they got one or not. I'm thinking they got a few scraps from the table. They look entirely too happy otherwise!