This annual event in the heart of the Miracle Mile is backed by the Consulado-Geral do Brasil (Consulate-General of Brasil) in LA and serves to showcase the colours, rhythms, sounds and attitude that defines my home country. Though it was slated to start at 12:30pm, like good Brasilians we are, it started a bit later than that 😉
They set up tables, chairs and a large tent area in the middle for the crowd, a stage up front for the performances and booths on both ends filled with food stands, clothes and other Brasil-them stuff on sale. This year, Korean Air was giving away a free flight from LA to São Paulo (to date, the ONLY non-stop flight to Brasil from the West Coast) by raffle. Dunno who won it, but lucky son-of-a-gun…
Overall, the mood was pretty festive and just typically Brasilian: lots of families, friends, lovers and even passersby under the Saturday sunshine, spending time and enjoying themselves. The musical acts were the normal fare (samba, bossa nova) but was pleasantly surprised that a forró band was there. Forró is a popular folk genre in northeastern Brasil. There was also performances from a drum troupe, a capoeira team and Rio-style Carnaval show with samba dancers
Food-wise, there was an assortment of stuff that is representative of Brasil. One stand served cuisine from the state of Bahia; didn’t get to try it but next year, i’ll give it a go. There was a big bbq booth at the entrance serving both Brasilian-style tri tip and Southern bbq. Too expensive for my blood, so i opted to not eat it… but it smelled enticing. Feijoada, a required Saturday dish for all Brasilians was represented by one booth. i had to have one. However, was a little bit disappointed when the rice was not only a little undercooked, but not flavoured. Brasilian rice is flavoured with some butter, garlic and salt; the one i had was completely devoid of taste. There was a booth serving up “pastel de feira”, which is a beloved street fair food. It is a rectangular fried pastry crust filled with either a meat/olive/egg mix or cheese inside. Although the size was a bit smaller, the taste brought me back to being in the streets of São Paulo
Another pleasant surprise was filled churros (churros recheados). In Brasil, we stuff churros with various fillings like chocolate, strawberry, doce de leite (dulce de leche) and the like. Super heavenly 🙂 But the most pleasant was that one booth was selling the authentic Guaraná Antarctica soft drink. If you are able to drink this, do so. It’s no longer available through commercial importation to the States, so someone has to actually buy it from Brasil and resell it. But do try it!