Dining halls were adorned with yellow and green tablecloths and filled with students enjoying avocado and salsa during Harvard University Dining Services’ Brazilian barbecue Sunday. HUDS provided the creative brunch in response to a fall survey, in which students chose Brazilian as the theme for the annual festive spring meal.
The selection of Brazilian food included roast beef, marinated grilled chicken breast, chorizo and cilantro omelet, vegetarian feijoada, and Brazilian banana cake.
Several students said they enjoyed the authentic feel of the cuisine. Zachary R. Berger ’15 and Jonathan Ludmir ’16, both from Miami, Fla., said the barbecue items reminded them of home.
“It’s exactly like eating from these Brazilian steakhouses,” Berger said. “I wouldn’t know the difference.”
Hayley H. Arader ’16, who called herself an expert on South American cuisine, also deemed the food “authentic.”
“I like Brazilian food a lot,” she said. “The bananas chips were really good. I was happy about [the meal].”
Students, used to typical winter HUDS fare, said they appreciated the temporary but extensive change in cuisine.
Yinka A. Akintujoye ’16 said that ethnic-themed meals are more “fun” than individual dishes “like random Korean barbecue” sporadically served by the dining halls.
Akintujoye said she thought that the food was good overall, but that some of the elements of the food fest seemed “unnecessary.”
“I feel like the staff probably didn’t want to be walking around dressed up in pseudo Brazilian garb,” she said, referencing the hats donned by the dining hall workers in honor of the event.
Along with the Brazilian food, Cabot and Pforzheimer Houses provided an additional surprise for their students. The two houses treated students to a capoeira performance by Contra-Mestre Chuvisquinho, leader of Sinha Capoeira Dance School in Boston, and four of his students. Capoeira is a form of martial arts originating from Brazil which incorporates elements of dance and music.
“Brazil is a country that draws a lot of people to its culture through food and dancing,” said Chuvisquinho. “When a university opens the door for our culture, it’s exciting.”
The demonstration was received enthusiastically by the surprised students.
“The performance was really cool. I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Rachel Park ’15 said.
—Staff writer Laya Anasu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @layaanasu.
—Staff writer Melody Y. Guan can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @MelodyGuan.