Brazil really has everything. Big cities like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have a unique culture, personality, and nightlife, while hundreds of miles of coastline, epic countryside, and hearty cuisine will delight you. We have selected 7 main Brazilian dishes to try during your visit.
Don’t Leave Brazil Without Tasting …
1. Grilled meat
Brazil and Argentina vie for the title of South American barbecue champion. And while every country has a different approach to meat, from slicing to the main dish, some things remain the same, namely the amount of cannibal-sized meat that is best appreciated for a leisurely lunch and elasticated waistband.
In Brazil, premium cuts (the most popular are picanha) are seasoned with nothing more than a generous wave of coarse salt and then grilled to a perfect pink over charcoal. At the home barbecue, you can see sausages, queijo Coalho (cheese on a stick), and chicken hearts divided on the grill, and in churrascaria (barbecue-style steakhouses) all kinds of meat on skewers – from pork to lamb and wild boar – will be cut by waiters right on your plate.
It is more than just a fish stew, moqueca is served with theatrical splendor as a hot earthenware pot with firing pipes unfolds at the table amid clouds of aromatic steam. Residents of Kapixabas and Bahia claim the origin of this dish, and both serve equally delicious options. Simply put, fish and / or other seafood is stewed in diced tomatoes, onions, and coriander. Capixabas add annatto seeds to provide a natural red food coloring, while Baianos serves a heavier version made with palm oil, pepper and coconut milk. It is paired with rice, farofa (toasted cassava flour – ideal for washing out the juice) and pirao (spicy fish porridge made with cassava flour – much tastier than it sounds).
Cashasa, built in the 1500s, is made from fermented sugarcane juice and is best known as caipirinhas, Brazil’s national cocktail. While caipirinha is often made from uncolored, unprocessed cachas, there are thousands of higher-quality gold varieties aged in wooden barrels and consumed by aficionados.
The next morning, clear your head of Guarana Antarctica (a sweet carbonated soft drink), água de coco (coconut water, best drunk straight from the coconut), or caldo de cana (freshly squeezed sugarcane juice).
The Brazilian answer to the chocolate truffle, brigadeiro is so easy to make that it is literally rolled out for children’s parties across the country. Sweet balls are made by boiling condensed milk with cocoa powder, then whipping in butter and shaping the mixture into balls before rolling in chocolate sprinkles. Guaranteed to produce a high level of instant sugar, they are too sweet for some tastes.
5. Pao de Queijo
Cheese and bread – two staples around the world – come together in a great alliance in the Brazilian pão de queijo, a more sophisticated snack that can be enjoyed any time of the day. Crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, gluten-free buns are made with tapioca flour, eggs and grated curado minas (cow’s milk cheese from the state of Minas Gerais) rolled into small balls. For a zesty twist, check out the pão de queijo, served in fist-sized rolls (or even cake-sized baked goods) stuffed with cream cheese or a variety of meat toppings.
Acaraje is one of the most nutritious street food I’ve ever tasted. sliced and stuffed with dried shrimp and watapa – a rich and tangy puree made from shrimp, bread, cashews and other ingredients. The dish originated in Bahia, northeastern Brazil, where the flavors have strong roots in African cuisine. Acaraje is best served hot, fresh from a buttered vat, with a heavy dose of chili sauce.
Another favorite from Bahia, quindim is a glossy, yellow-colored treat made with only eggs, sugar and coconut (with the usual addition of butter). Baked in muffin-sized tins, the bottom is toasted and golden, dense with grated coconut, and the top is a smooth, dense custard that sticks nicely to the palate. The name is believed to derive from the word quintiti (meaning “delicacy” in Kikongo, the language spoken in Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola), while the recipe itself was inspired by a Portuguese egg love story. yolks in sweets and pastries.