If you know me at all, you would know that I LOVE food. Before arriving in Brazil, I was very excited to partake in all the glory the food had to offer. My excitement only grew when I learned we would spend a morning at a Gastronomy class at Metodista. I looked forward to learning and preparing a traditional Brazilian dish that I would hopefully be able to recreate at home and wow my family.
Before we got our Master Chef on, we listened to a presentation of the different cultural foods around Brazil. Due to the enormity of the country, the dishes varied considerably. While my mouth watered at the cuisine before my eyes, I couldn’t help but laugh at how wrong I had been about the topic before arriving in Brazil. I thought I knew the food pretty well since we had to research it before leaving Roberts. This once again reminded me that you cannot truly understand a culture until you experience it first hand, no matter how much research you do. Additionally, I am humbled in realizing that while I have indulged in the food Sao Paulo in the Southeast region has to offer, this does not make me an expert on Brazilian food. I still have so much to taste and try in this beautiful country.
After our presentation, we began working on the final components to complete our feijoada, the national dish of Brazil. Feijoada is a hearty bean and pork stew accompanied by white rice, farofa (toasted corn flour mixture), fried pig skin, greens, and a fried banana. The chefs had prepared most of the components before our arrival, so we were charged with cutting and sauteing the greens and cooking the bananas. At first, I was sad that we would not prepare the chief stew. However, once our prepared dish was added to the main table holding all the components, everything clicked. The spread needed every element to be complete. This reminded me of the passage in Corinthians 12 which talks about the body of Christ. An entity would simply not be whole, or useful, without off of its parts. Verse 18 says, “but in fact, God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.”
This mentality is hard for me to remember because I cannot always see how my actions help the whole body of Christ. This verse reminds me that everything I do, no matter how big or small, works towards the glory of God. Even when I leave Brazil, I will remember that it is okay to be the fried banana in God’s feijoada – they were my favorite part anyway!