The Origin Of The Word Churrascaria
The word, “churrascaria” is Portuguese, and comes from the word, “churrasco” which means roughly the same thing as “barbecue” in English and “Asado” in Spanish. The reason why this South American style of barbecue is in Portuguese instead of Spanish, is because, in the late 1400s, Pope Alexander VI divided the “New World” into portions for both Spain and Portugal, without having any real understanding of just how much land was being given to Spain. Who knew maps would be so important during the Age of Discovery?
A churrascaria is a place where meats are grilled slowly over open pit fires and coals to create the tender, juicy, and succulent cuts of meat that are a huge part of the early ranching culture that emerged throughout South America — although primarily in Brazil — in the 1800s.
Culture Creates A Lasting Tradition
During that time, South American cowboys, known as gauchos in the local language, were doing pretty much the same thing that American cowboys were doing. They were living outdoors for weeks to months on end tending and driving cattle from pastures to yards to markets.
This nomadic kind of lifestyle created men of few words and who, over time, created a subculture of music, food, and traditions within the larger society that have lasted to this day in many cases. An iconic example of this is in the traditional Brazilian steakhouses, or churrascarias, that exist all over the western world.
You see, out on the eastern plains of Brazil, there wasn’t much around except for cattle, other gauchos, and typically, quite a bit of wind. The gauchos needed to eat, and the cattle supplied a basis for the meal, but it was rare that the wind would cooperate and allow for cooking fires.
In time, the gauchos began taking to digging cooking pits roughly 12 - 18 inches deep to protect their hard-earned cook fires from the gusts and billows of the flat, open, plains. They would then spit and cook meat over these pits, and in doing so, created the Brazilian tradition of churrasco — or cooking and charring meat over an open pit fire.
These spits of meat would be handed around as the outer layers cooked to a beautiful brown, and each of the gauchos would cut himself off a thin piece of cooked beef using the belt knives (more of a machete-looking device to most Americans) that they carried for everyday work and use.
This tradition of grilling meat slowly over an open pit gave the gauchos a shared meal to enjoy, communal time together, and a tradition to practice and share in their later years as the cattle trade diminished or they sought other work.
What To Expect From Dinner At Grill Hall Churrascaria
Here at Grill Hall Churrascaria in Maple Grove, we carry on these traditions of making mouth-watering, fall-apart-tender meat in the churrasco style, and we share that with our customers in a family-oriented setting.
When you dine with us, you can expect smiles, amazing food delivered directly to your table, and as much of it as you want! Combine this with the salad bar and, delectable side dishes, and wine list, and you’re in prime condition — just like our beef — for an awesome meal. It’s the best all-you-can-eat dining experience that you’ll ever have, and kids under 6 eat free for each accompanying adult!
Make Your Reservation Today
To experience the flavor of Old Brazil and enjoy a traditional-style churrascaria experience at the Grill Hall Churrascaria, stop by today or make a reservation online. We can’t wait to serve you.