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Blog Posted in avatar   Jonathan Farrell's Blog

Brazilian culture is thriving in San Francisco

By Jonathan Farrell
Posted Jul 3, 2012 in Food
Canto Do Brasil Restaurant is one of several Brazilian restaurants in San Francisco. I became aware of them a few years ago when a taxi driver brought to my attention that in San Francisco there is a thriving Brazilian community.
Not only did that particular driver recommend I try the food, but I had the opportunity to meet several taxi drivers from Brazil who shared their thoughts on food, family and culture.
I was taken aback at how hard working the Brazilians are in that they are very dedicated to family. Building community here is part of that. Yet maintaining ties to relatives back home is vital.
Work is simply work. I got the impression that while some jobs are obviously more beneficial than others, the Brazilians I met are not snobbish about the type of work they take. For example, working as a taxi driver, in a law office, or delivering pizza, has not particular status, the emphasis is placed differently. As long as they pay is good and steady it does not matter. Being able to be with family and friends and working to help them is more important than the prestige of any job.
A zeal for living and perceiving its deeper meanings seems to me to be at the heart of their lives. And, this to me comes forth a lot not only in the conversations I have had with them but also partaking in the food at the restaurant like "Canto Do Brasil Restaurant" and other spots such as Mozzarella di Bufala Pizzeria, where I had the Feijoada Completa.
On the PBS series GlobeTrekker there is program that features the food and rich cultural history of brazil.
So about two weeks ago when a friend wanted to go to a Brazilian place for lunch I was thrilled. "Canto Do Brasil" on Franklin Street not far from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music was packed that day for lunch. The food was hearty, satisfying, flavorful and delicious. I want to go back again.
And, of course I am eager to learn more about Brazil in San Francisco. What better way to learn about a culture and place than through food.