By Anna Kaiser, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Two legendary samba schools, Vila Isabel and Portela, will face off in this Saturday’s edition of the “Feijoada Nota 10” (Perfect 10 Feijoada) cook-off, a competition pitting Grupo Especial (Special Group) samba schools against each other in the hopes of finding the best traditional Brazilian black bean and meat stew among them.

The traditional feijoada, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
The traditional feijoada served with all the fixings: cooked kale, manioc-based farofa, rice and oranges, photo by Carla Arena/Flickr Creative Commons License.

Vila Isabel – this year’s Carnival winner – is the reigning champion of the annual food competition. The school hosts a monthly annual feijoada event to keep up its cooking skills and improve its recipe, as well as to raise funds for the annual Carnival. Chef Mario Tavares led the school to feijoada victory last year.

“We remain firm and strong, keeping our monthly feijoada event. People thought it was necessary to have that specific day to go to the school. Feijoada is a good opportunity to meet friends and family,” said Rita Alves, the superintendent of Vila Isabel, to O Globo.

The kitchen has been preparing for the Brazilian feast since last Thursday, when cooking got underway at the samba school’s headquarters, and will continue until the event today. Vila Isabel’s feijoada is also known at the “feijão de Noel” (the bean of Noel), as the feijoada-centered event is known.

Nevertheless, chef Tia Sucra from famous Portela, another samba school in Madureira, has also been working hard to prepare a winning recipe. “The feijoada is not mine, it’s the Portela family’s. We are doing everything so that people leave here satisfied, and our tendency is to improve every year,” chef Tia Sucra told O Globo.

Samba schools are known for their feijoada events on the months leading up to the annual Carnival competition. The events, which are all-ages, day-long parties featuring music, dancing and brimming platefuls of the Brazilian black bean and pork meat stew, serve as fundraisers for the samba school’s Carnival expenses.

The Feijoada Nota Dez competition got underway last week, with a tasting of Imperatriz Leopoldinense‘s secret recipe, and will continue until mid-August. Judges from well-known Carioca restaurants and Brazilian celebrities will decide which feijoada reigns supreme.

Vila Isabel
When: August 3rd at 1PM
Where: Avenida Vinte e Oito de Setembro 382, Vila Isabel.
Entrance: R$10, feijoada R$15

When: August 3rd at 1PM
Where: Rua Clara Nunes 81, Madureira.
Entrance: R$15, feijoada R$15, table for four R$50, VIP R$650 (superior) and R$550 (inferior) for 12 people

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Update is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.


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