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For Keyla Nogueira, her cooking is about more than just nourishment it is a means of cultural preservation.
“When I experienced my son, I wished to share that tradition with him. He was born in Brazil, but he arrived to the US when he was 11 months previous. Component of me cooking below was retaining our tradition alive, sharing the foods that I know.”
At Casa Brasil, she serves up house cooking with a menu deeply rooted in family members. Nogueira grew up on a ranch in Juquitiba, a smaller city outside the house of São Paulo. Her loved ones would harvest corn, beans, and yuca, an edible root that is a staple in South American cuisine.
She will come from a huge relatives as the youngest of 7 children. “What I’ve cooked is what I’ve learned from residence, with my mom, with my dad, with my sisters and my brothers. I have constantly preferred dwelling-cooked meals. Increasing up, the most awesome foods that I experienced ended up possibly at residence or at anyone else’s home.” When she was 7 many years previous, her mother showed her how to make rice. In her voice, I could listen to the seriousness she felt even as a boy or girl. She realized that she experienced to study to make rice not just to take in, but as the foundation of Brazilian cooking.
I dined at Casa Brasil on an unassuming Thursday night. A couple handed us on the sidewalk on a walk with their pet. Inside, purely natural wood tables and a black leather-based banquette stability the vivid artwork decorating the house.
At my server’s advice, I requested a Typical Casa Caipirinha, a refreshing limey cocktail made with Cachaça, a well known Brazilian spirit.
For appetizers, I started out with pão de queijo, yuca fries, and frango a passarinho. Pão de queijo are pleasant cheese rolls that are, shockingly, gluten-free of charge. Most of the menu at Casa Brasil is gluten-cost-free. Throughout our dialogue, Keyla described that yuca fries are her complete favorite factor in the world, so I had to attempt them. Just about every chunk was salty and fluffy, like a french fry but way superior. The frango a passarinho is a fried hen served with a lime and yogurt sauce. The rooster is marinated in the lime and yogurt for 24 several hours, making deliciously tender and moist rooster meat with a seasoned and crispy pores and skin.
Keyla jokes that sometimes she thinks of Casa Brasil as a “stew home,” mainly because they have a selection of stews on the menu. Frango com quiabo is a chicken and okra stew, a standard dish from Minas Gerais, her dad’s house condition. She admits okra is a “love or hate” component, but she enjoys the flavor it delivers to the dish.
I made the decision to consider the moqueca de camarão (shrimp). Moqueca is a coconut milk stew produced with tomatoes, peppers, onions and cilantro. At Casa Brasil, the stew is geared up with your preference of cod, shrimp, tofu, or plantains. The dish was silky and warming, served with a aspect of the greatest rice I’ve at any time tasted and a compact dish of farofa. Even although I was in a restaurant, I understood with that very simple plating that this is a food created to be shared. The rice mixes with the stew, the farofa goes on all the things. It’s uncomplicated to visualize a spouse and children passing dishes across a crowded table, conversing more than each other, laughing.
On weekends, Casa Brasil serves feijoada, a slow-cooked black bean stew with pork shanks, bacon, and smoked sausage. “In Brazil, most spots don’t serve feijoada each and every working day, ordinarily possibly Friday and Saturday, or Saturday and Sunday, or Wednesday and Sunday.” The dish has a special place in Keyla’s heart, as the 1st dish she made the decision to prepare dinner skillfully. When she worked at an place of work in downtown Pittsburgh, her coworkers would marvel more than her packed lunches. She resolved to consider orders on a Friday, and bring feijoada to everyone on Mondays. “Feijoada has been with me considering the fact that the starting.”
For dessert, I felt it was my journalistic duty to try the flan, or pudim de leite, a dish inspired by her sister’s recipe. Other choices for sweets involve the bolo de amêndoas, a gluten-free almond cake served with whipped product and dark chocolate, and a well-known preferred, churros.
“Brazilians Like to Party”
Nogueira fulfilled her organization partner, Tim Guthrie, when he was deejaying a well-liked Brazilian celebration. Casa Brasil regularly hosts gatherings in the house under the restaurant with reside tunes and a lot of dancing. “The music and the food items surely go together,” she tells me. You can uncover out additional about forthcoming situations on their website or on their Fb webpage.
I requested Keyla what she desires to share with our audience. “Come with an open heart, attempt something new. I generally like to say it is like getting a excursion to Brazil without having leaving Pittsburgh.”