What is Maniçoba: an amazing dish, typical of the cuisine of Pará, Brazil
Whoever goes to Pará has to try Maniçoba, an amazing dish from preparation to tasting. Are you ready to know what Maniçoba is?
It is a famous dish for being the feijoada (a brazilian dish: a stew of beans with beef and pork) from Pará, or feijoada without beans, but for me this comparison ends with the first bite.
I tried this dish on my way back from Ilha de Cotijuba (Cotijuba Island)
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What is Maniçoba?
Two of the reasons for comparing it with feijoada is because of its appearance and because Maniçoba uses all the ingredients of this other typical dish from Brazil.
Maniçoba – Typical Food from Pará
There’s bacon, feet, ears, tongues, etc., all from pork and all salty, in addition to this there’s also beef tripe and beef jerky.
Until here everything was very similar to feijoada.Maniçoba with Dried Shrimp
Where I ate mine, in Belém, there were two dried shrimp, very used in Pará (remember Tacaca?), but that’s not what makes the difference either.
The big difference is that instead of black beans, there is maniva, which is the crushed cassava leaf. I talk about the entire process that it took to get to this dish below. And look how long it was.
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And it is in this single ingredient that I said that both dishes cannot be compared, the flavor and texture that the maniva brings to Maniçoba changes the dish completely, completely.
Now a very difficult question, what is the origin of Maniçoba?
It was difficult to find a confirmed answer to this question.
My research brought up another feature that makes the dish very similar to feijoada: it was created by slaves brought from Africa to be exploited in Northern Brazil.
They brought techniques they already used there to create this amazing recipe with an ingredient used in indigenous rituals: maniva.
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So we can consider it a very Brazilian dish because it was created from a mixture of cultures and is directly linked to the culture of Pará.
Another important point to be named Feijoada Paraense (feijoada from Pará) is because the slaves made the adaptation of black beans by maniva because at that time beans were considered noble grains, so it was an exclusive meal for rich farmers.
Learn more about this story. What makes this delicacy so special?
Besides being a typical food from Northern Brazil where we have a very rich and independent gastronomic culture, and the rich history of the mixing of cultures in its creation.
What makes Maniçoba even more special is that cassava leaves are poisonous and contain hydrocyanic acid, so in its preparation the cassava leaf is crushed and cooked for approximately a week, only then will the manioc be mixed with the other ingredients to flip this amazing dish.
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Besides giving the dish name, Maniçoba is the name of the shrub ofthe plant that originates the main ingredient of the delicacy.
It is a plant native from the caatinga (type of subtropical vegetation) and found in the semi-arid and in some parts of the midwest.
What did I think of Maniçoba?
Being very honest, I think it is amazing, not because it tastes good the first time you eat it, but because they have a different texture and you can smell and taste the plant, it’s really worth a try.
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Have you ever tried this? Tell me what you thought about it!
Where can you find Maniçoba in São Paulo? At Quintal Paraense you will find it🙂
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