Treasures Of A Nomad Life – Red Hot Steak & Gerado
As a traveler, I emphasize on food immensely. Food is what brings people close and share unconditional love. Food makes people interested in an activity. From the street side eateries to the finest of dining with style and elan have fascinated me for long.
It was one of the sultry evenings in a roadside pub of Rio. Incessant rains for the whole day had restricted my movement and left me pondering on the meager life with a glass of frothy beer. I met Gerado amid this chaos. Our conversation ranged widely from politics to food from respective countries. Upon exclaiming on the steaks served at the bar, Gerado promised to let me have a taste of an authentic carioca steak the day next. To say the least, following day was a whirlwind of activity, shopping for the fine and fresh ingredients, preparing the kitchen and relishing the outcome paired with good wine.
Let me jot down the points for you so that the readers do not miss out on any part of the sumptuous affair. I also want to give a sneak peak to the famous Carioca hospitality!
Early morning the day next, Gerado calls me. His voice is ecstatic, he wants to show me the local market. The local markets are raw, smelly with heap of local produce and inevitably reminds you of your hometown. I examined the vegetables of wired shape for a while. Some of them resemble what we get back home, most not.
Gerado sure knows his meat well. He tells me his ancestors, hundreds of years back, made a voyage from Spain to come and settle at the heart of Latin America. His mother is descendant of the bloodline of the land’s own people though. For a juicy steak he refuges to buy anything but skirt steak, flank steak or flap meat. “If the steak is not tender, it is not worth it!”
We come back to his kitchen. I notice, the kitchen is well decorated with vibrant colors and ventilation is taken care of. Gerado tells me they love to use spices as a whole. If needed they will crush it, only before using on the dish. “It infuses the aroma very well” he announces.
The chef at work will only assign me the menial tasks of chopping parsley. Rest of the time his fingers are busy marinating the meat with gentle sprinkling of Balsamic vinegar and salt & pepper, while he relentlessly converses with me about the food we eat back home. He enquirers about the Dosa batter (which he refers to as pancake)!
Once the marinating condiments are well smeared on the meat, he wants to let it seat for a while. He shows me the kitchen garden meanwhile. Brazilians procure their herbs and other fresh produces from the small land they have at the back of their home. They cannot emphasize enough on the importance of freshness in gastronomy.
Gerado also tells how the whole of Europe, Africa and the indigenous food practice has contributed to modern Brazilian cuisine that amuses tourists at large. We go back to the kitchen meanwhile and set the meat pieces on fire, carefully. I tell him I would prefer my meat in medium rare style while Gerado cooks his, the rare done style for only 7 minutes, on the barbecue with charcoal fire. The juicy and tender meat is further complimented with dollops of freshly crushed garlic pods, dipped in butter. It is not for no reason we say food is the easiest way to one’s heart!
I came back home full with the taste of authentic churrascaria and warmth of hospitality. Needless to say, I did not forget to invite Gerado home to taste the real India food! Thus travel enriches you, gives you unforeseen treasures and leaves you spellbound!