Sunday, 4 December 2011
Brazilian dishes please the Primrose Hill set
Last weekend, the main thoroughfare in Primrose Hill transformed into a village fete, complete with food and gift stalls and fairground rides. I spotted a Brazilian flag flapping in the wind above one of the stalls, so naturally, made my way straight there. The smell was pretty alluring too.
I joined a long queue, which kept growing, to find out more. The stall was serving a variety of hot dishes, including Brazil’s national dish, feijoada (a bean and meat stew). Among the other beef and chicken stew-like options, was a vegetarian ratatouille. I think this was the stall owner’s way of appealing to all taste buds; as far as I’m aware, vegetarian "ratatouille" is not a traditional Brazilian dish.
I was surprised not to see some of the smaller, savoury snacks that I remember from living in Brazil, like the pastel (a pasty) or empadinha (also like a pasty, but more crumbly, and not fried). But when I spoke to the owner – and judging by the amount of people queuing – he said the feijoada was by far the most popular choice. The appreciative noises as diners dug in supported his comments. And I’m pleased. It’s good to see non Brazilians try a dish that, quite frankly, doesn’t look particularly appealing, but is absolutely delicious (I eat it without the meat…).
I also found out that the stall is a regular at the Brunswick Centre Saturday market. I tried to get more information from the owner, but the woman behind me got impatient and asked me to hurry up. Maybe she just couldn’t wait to get her own helping of feijoda. Or, she’s probably more used to being waited on than waiting.