Minas Gerais Feature
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Eating Like a Mineiro
Some gastronomic critics say there are only three native Brazilian cuisines: the cuisine from the North (particularly from Pará); the Capixaba cuisine from Espírito Santo; and comida mineira, the cuisine from Minas Gerais. Purportedly, all other Brazilian cuisines are originally from outside Brazil. Since Minas Gerais is one of the few states without access to the sea, its cuisine is strongly based on pork and chicken, and legumes and cereals (most notably beans and corn).
The mainstay of comida mineira is tutu, a tasty mash of beans with roast pork loin, pork sausage, chopped collard greens, manioc meal, and boiled egg served with meat dishes. Another favorite is feijão tropeiro, a combination of beans, manioc meal, roast pork loin, fried egg, chopped collard greens, and thick pork sausage. Among meat dishes, pork is the most common, in particular the famed lingüiça (Minas pork sausage) and lombo (pork tenderloin), which is often served with white rice and/or corn porridge. The most typical chicken dish is frango ao molho pardo, broiled chicken served in a sauce made with its own blood. Another specialty is frango com quiabo, chicken cooked in broth with chopped okra. The region's very mild white cheese is known throughout Brazil simply as queijo Minas (Minas cheese). Pão de queijo (bread baked with Minas cheese) is irresistible, and popular throughout Brazil. You'll realize very quickly that Minas Gerais isn't the place to start a diet.
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