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The best of Brazilian food


We can’t get enough of the fantastically bright and totally delicious Brazilian food in the spotlight.

With Jamie currently lapping up the flavours of this vibrant country, we wanted to get in on the action too! So we asked some of our favourite Brazilian Instagrammers to share some of their most-loved traditional dishes.

@LILIFUJIY – SAO PAULO LEMONGRASS ICE CREAM

Lili says: “Despite being from Asia, lemongrass is easily found in Brazil and has become a much-loved part of our cuisine – especially in our desserts. My lemongrass ice cream is aromatic and refreshing, as well as being incredibly creamy. As an ice cream lover, I think that this is a perfect combination of traditional and contemporary Brazilian food.”

@SIMPLYPRETTYLIFE – BELO HORIZONTE FEIJÃO TROPEIRO

Alina says: “Feijão – sometimes called ‘drover beans’ – is a typical dish from the Minas Gerais region. The main ingredients are beans, various meats, pork rinds, cabbage, farofa and eggs. It’s a beloved dish in Brazil, and its simplicity, charm and flavours always bring me back home.”

@ANNAFISCHER – RIO DE JANEIRO EGGS & BANANA FAROFA

Anna says: “Farofa is a very popular and a typical side dish in Brazil. It’s made with raw manioc flour, and there are many versions of it. I’m a lover of farofa, and made my twist using toasted manioc flour, linseed, onion, butter, eggs, banana da tarra and scallion. All of these ingredients are extremely cheap and popular in Brazil.”

@WLAD – FLORIPA MULLET GRILLED WITH OLIVE OIL, AGED ROE & SPICES WITH CABOTIA PUMPKIN & ROASTED OKRA

Wlad says: “Mullet is a traditional dish in my region of Brazil and can be prepared in many ways. It’s more typical in the winter.”


Pão de queijo is actually a type of cheese bread. This Brazilian street food actually has its roots from the Brazilian African slaves. They would get the scraps from their cooking and make these.

These snacks are normally fluffy and light, made with cassava flour and cheese.

These are normally eaten for breakfast, but you can eat it whatever time of day you would like. You can even order them “as is” and receive them hot and fresh out of the oven.

If you love cheese, you can also ask for them to cut it open and put even more cheese inside of it. If you want something sweeter, they can also put the jam inside of it.

Once you try them, you definitely won’t be able to eat just one. You can find these in almost every bakery.


Multicultural Influence on Brazilian Dinner Foods

Many nations influenced by Brazilian food habits as well as dinner foods. With the entrance of immigrants, their dining habit was changed. A significant change from ingredients to the cooking method has occurred. Nowadays, these changes are the food habits of the country.

Brazilian’s Food Habits at Early Stage

At early stages, they were dependent on local produced crops, vegetables and animals. They had many plants and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables were the central part of their early diet.

Many native animals like rabbit, monkeys were available at their early diet. Seafoods were also common for them. Freshwater fishes like pirarucu, catfish and pike were also available.

Influences of Immigrants on Brazilian Foods and Culinary

Many European countries like Portugal, Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland and Switzerland contributed directly to Brazilian cuisine. They prepared many of their dishes with the local ingredient in place of their own. They used local manioc in place of potato for their dishes. [1]

They introduced leafy vegetables and wine. They introduced some new animals and plants, including dairy products. Dairy products and meat play vital role in Brazilian cuisine now. Africa and Asia also contributed to Brazilan cuisine.

Brazilian cuisine has become enriched and vast such way. It is the blending of multicultural touches and flavors.

Current Staples in Brazil

However, Brazilian’s current diet is based on rice, pasta, meat like beef and pork, potatoes and other vegetables. An abundance of fruits and vegetables are produced in Brazil. Among them, cassava, yams, mango, papaya, yams are very popular.

Meals in Brazil

Brazilians are habituated with three main meals in a day. Practising of snack time between lunch and dinner is also common in Brazil.

Breakfast is named as ‘Café de manha’ which means morning coffee. It is usually a light meal of the day. Lunch is known as ‘the almoco’ is the biggest meal of the day. Dinner or ‘the jantar’ is the last meal of the day. It is slightly lighter than the lunch in Brazil. However, it is a wholesome meal.


Brazilian Recipes - What Are the 5 Best?

Brazilian recipes are an important part of the festive nature of Brazilians. They love parties and celebrations. They throw the biggest party in the world every year.

They have great dancing and great music. But no party is complete without food. People can gather around the table, and share laughter, food and camaraderie. Each of the major regions has their own common Brazil food recipes. Those dishes reflect the particular culture of the area. Recipes that are popular all over the country will still be different from north to south, or east to west. There are so many great Brazilian food recipes that it can be hard to pin down the very best, but here are five of them.

Feijoada. This Brazilian recipe of black bean and meat stew is a favorite in the southeast, around Rio and Sao Paulo. This area was more heavily settled by Europeans, and the food reflects that. To make this soup you need to start the night before. That will give all the flavors plenty of time to meld together. The really authentic Brazil recipes for this soup call for smoked meats and beef jerky. Make sure that you take the meat out and serve it separately. Serve some orange slices along with your stew, to help your digestion.

This Brazilian fejoada recipe will serve around 12-15 people:

1 lb. black beans
1 lb. smoked ham hocks
1 of each: pork foot, ear, tail, tongue(optional)
1 lb. Mexican "chorizo," "pepperoni" orBrazilian "linguica"
1/2 lb. Chunk of lean Canadian bacon orBrazilian "carne seca"
1/2 lb. Smoked pork or beef ribs
3-4 strips of smoked bacon
1/2 lb. lean pork
1/2 lb. lean beef
1 large onion
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
salt to taste
black pepper
hot sauce (optional)

Directions for this Brazilian Recipe

Soak beans overnight in large container. Next morning, cook beans for 4-5 hours at low heat. Place ham hocks, chorizo, ribs and Canadian bacon in deep pan with plenty of water and bring to a boil. Change water and bring to a new boil, repeating the procedure at least three times to tenderize cured meats and remove excess fat.

In a large frying pan saut‚ onion and garlic using either vegetable or olive oil (smoked bacon strips optional) for two or three minutes. Toss in cubed pork and beef. Saut‚ an additional two-three minutes.

Mash 5-l0 tablespoons of beans and add to large pot. The resulting paste will thicken sauce. Add two tablespoons of olive oil, three garlic cloves all chopped-up or mashed, along with a tablespoon of white vinegar and a teaspoon of red-hot pepper. Stir, heat over medium fire for two-three minutes, then transfer to contents of frying pan. (You may use two frying pans, if necessary)

Let simmer for l0-l5 minutes. Add contents of frying pan(s) to the beans and let boil at medium heat for 1-2 hours.

Serve over rice, with additional red-hot sauce, if desired.

Caruru de Camarao. This Brazilian recipe of shrimp and okra gumbo is typical of the Brazilian recipes that you find along the coast. A lot of the settlers from this area were from the Caribbean, including slaves that were brought to the Caribbean from Africa. Okra is a really common ingredient found in African cooking. Those recipes take advantage of the bounty of the sea and fresh seafood. You can make it with just shrimp, or you can add in other kinds of seafood, if you want to. It will be thickened with either peanuts or manioc. Manioc is also called cassava, and is used all over the world, including Africa.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter
3 pounds shrimp medium, shelled
2 tablespoons onion chopped
2 tablespoons green bell pepper chopped
2 each tomatoes chopped, peeled
1/2 pound okra fresh, or 10 ounces of frozen
1/4 pound shrimp dried
2 cups coconut fresh grated
1 1/2 cups water boiling
2 tablespoons Manioc meal
1/3 cup olive oil or spanish oil
1/3 cup peanuts ground, roasted
2 tablespoons coriander fresh
salt to taste
white pepper to taste

Directions for this Brazilian Recipe

Note: Frozen thawed okra make sure to cook only the minutes recommended by package.

Manioc meal can be found in New York, and some other big cities, but in this recipe only two tablespoon is not very inportant, so you can use plain bread crumbs for the consistency.

Melt butter in 2-inch skillet over high heat add shrimp (fresh).

Cook, stirring contantly, until opaque and tender, about 3 minutes.

Remove shrimp with slotted spoon to platter reserve.

Reduce heat to medium-low sauté onion in same skillet, stirring frequently until soft, 5 minutes.

Add green pepper, tomatoes, okra and ground shrimp.

Pour boiling water over coconut.

Mix with manioc meal (can be omitted, use 2 T plain bread crumbs).

Simmer covered over low heat until okra is tender, about 25 Add reserved shrimp to tomato mixture cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, umtil shrimp are hot.

Stir in oil, peanuts and coriander.

Pato no Tucupi. This Brazilian recipe is duck in tucupi. Tucupi is a broth that comes from the cassava, after it has been fermented and processed.. Once you cook the duck, you cut it up and boil it in the tucupi. Serve with manioc flour and rice. This is a specialty found in the northern part of the country that sees most of its influence from the native peoples.

Ingredients

1 large duck, about 3 kg
6 liters tucupi sauce
6 packets of Jambu (also called toothache plant which causes numbing sensation)
1 packet basil
1 packet chicória do norte
7 cloves garlic
21 pieces of hot peppers
Salt as needed
5 lemons
1/4 liter white wine vinegar

Directions for this Brazilian Recipe

To prepare the duck, rinse duck under running water. In a bowl, mix the wine, 3 cloves garlic, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, 1 hot peppers, salt and water.

Soak the duck into the mixture and let stand overnight in the refrigerator.

Bake the duck in a moderate heat for about 90 minutes.

In a pan, cook the tucupi sauce with the remaining peppers, 2 clovers of garlic, basil, salt and chicoria de norte.

After the ducks get cold, cut it into 4 pieces.

In a pan, put 2 liters of tucupi sauce and boil the duck, until very soft. Then debone and remove skin from cooked duck.

To prepare the Jambu, discard the leaves and keep only the stalks. Wash under running water.

In saucepan, add salted water and bring it to a boil. Slightly scald jambu, drain and set aside.

In a clay pot, put the duck and cover. Little simmer it with the rest of tucupi sauce.

The duck is served in tucupi with white rice, cassava flour.

Empadinhas de Palmito. This Brazilian recipe is similar to empanadas found in other countries, but the Brazil food recipes have their own twist. Generally they are round, more like pies than like the folded empanada. Palmito is the heart of palm, which is a a common ingredient all over the country. The empadinhas, with a wide variety of fillings, are a common street food, since they are so handy to eat.

Ingredients:

5 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup buttermilk

For the Filling:

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 pieces bacon, chopped fine (optional)
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 tablespoon sugar
1 can hearts of palm, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup whole milk
12 black olives, roughly chopped
1/2 cup small cubes of farmer's cheese or feta (optional)

Preparation for this Brazilian Recipe:

Melt the butter with the shortening, and let cool.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Stir in the cooled butter and shortening with a fork.

Stir in the egg yolks, and mix well. Add the buttermilk gradually until mixture starts to come together. Knead briefly until dough is smooth.

Wrap dough in saran wrap and let rest on the counter for 30 minutes to an hour.

Melt butter and oil in a skillet on medium heat. Sauté optional bacon pieces until crispy then remove to paper towels. Add the onions and sugar to the skillet and sauté until golden and translucent.

Add the hearts of palm and sauté a few minutes more.

Stir in the flour, then add the milk and lower heat slightly. Cook, stirring, until mixture thickens.

Remove from heat and stir in the olives. Stir in the farmer's cheese and bacon bits, if using. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degress. Divide dough into 12 pieces. Roll out 10 of the pieces into circles large enough to line the bottom and sides of a standard muffin tin. It may help to roll the dough, then let it rest for a few minutes, then roll it out the rest of the way. The rest lets the elasticity in the dough relax, and helps it to maintain its shape.

Line 10 muffin tins with dough circles, pressing them into the bottom and sides of the pan.

Divide the filling between the 10 lined muffin tins.

Roll out the remaining two portions of dough and cut circles to match the diameter of the muffin tins. Place the circles on top of the filling, and pinch around the edges to seal them with the dough lining the tin. Seal them well so that the filling doesn't leak out during baking.

Bake pastries for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Curau de Milho Verde. This Brazilian recipe is a corn pudding that is traditionally served during Festas Juninas, or June Festivals. Like many other Brazilian food recipes it calls for simple, fresh ingredients that are readily available during the year.

Ingredients:

6 ears of fresh corn
3 cups of milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons butter
cinnamon

Directions for this Brazilian Recipe:

Scrape the kernels off of the ears of corn.

Place the corn in a blender (or food processor) with the milk, and blend well, for at least 3 minutes.

Strain the corn/milk mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a pot. Discard the fibrous parts of the kernels that remain in the sieve.

Add the sugar, a pinch of salt, and the butter to the pot, and bring mixture to a simmer.

Cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture becomes thick and creamy, about 15 minutes. If it's thick enough, you should be able to drag a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pot and see the bottom for several seconds before the mixture closes in on itself.

Remove from heat and let cool. Pour pudding into a serving dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Chill thoroughly, and serve cold.

Try out a lot of Brazilian foods so that you can find your favorite. Take your favorite Brazilian recipes home with you and have your own parties with a Brazilian flair.


Brazilian Recipes

Brazil, South America's largest, most populous country, has a diverse population that includes indigenous peoples, Portuguese, Spaniards, Africans, Italians, Germans, Lebanese and Japanese. The result is a variety of cooking styles that can be divided into four distinct culinary regions:

Northern: In the north or the Amazon, traditional dishes use fish, yams, nuts and tropical fruits. Vatapá, a soup of seafood, coconut milk and nuts, is a signature dish in northeastern coastal areas. The northeast is also home to sugar, a key ingredient in the Caipirinha, a trendy Brazilian cocktail that features cachaça, a brandy made from sugar cane.

Western:
In the central west and the Pantanal wetlands, local cooks rely on an ample supply of fish and game.

Southeastern: Brazil's industrial heart lies in the southeast, where plentiful beans, pork and corn are produced. The southeast is also home to Brazil's de facto national dish, the classic comfort food Feijoada.

Southern: Internationally, Brazil is perhaps best known for churrasco, the southern region's cowboy or gaucho cuisine. Churrascarias (steak houses) are a meat lover's paradise and a cornerstone of local culture.


Travel bloggers&rsquo favorite Brazilian dishes

Tapioca

When travelling in the northeast of Brazil, you will certainly hear about tapioca. In some places, like the beautiful colonial cities of Olinda or in Salvador, squares are full of people at sunset eating in one of the tapioqueria stalls in the squares.

But what is tapioca? It is a flatbread looking like a tortilla, made of cassava flour. It is so popular, that Brazilians in the whole country eat it any time of the day.

It can be both savory and sweet and the topping options are sheer endless. The Brazilian favorite is tapioca topped with cheese to which you can add some meat or vegetables.

Sweet tapiocas can be eaten as a Brazilian breakfast, but also as a dessert. Brazil produces a huge variety of jams thanks to the many fruits growing there, which are a good option as a sweet tapioca topping. My all-time favorite? As an Italian, I love one with Nutella for breakfast before a whole day on the outstanding beaches of Pipa.

Brigadeiro

Brigadeiro is a favorite party treat in Brazil. In fact, brigadeiros are just as important &ndash if not more &ndash as the cake at Brazilian birthday parties. Luckily, if you are traveling in Brazil, you don&rsquot need to be invited to a party to taste one. Nowadays, you can find these little chocolate fudge balls everywhere, from street food stalls to &lsquopadarias&rsquo (Brazilian bakeries) and restaurants.

The traditional chocolate version, there are plenty of variations, is a 3-ingredient foolproof recipe which includes condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter plus chocolate sprinkles to decorate. For Brazilian parents, it is an easy way to spoil their guests but also a simple recipe to teach kids to make by themselves with a bit of supervision during cooking time.

Brazilian Beans

Beans are one of the most popular side dishes in Brazil, and to be honest, roughly 90% of Brazilians eat some type of bean every day. We simply can&rsquot avoid it!

Often served with garlic rice, pinto beans are nicely tender and flavorsome. They are cooked in a pressure pan or instant pot. Later in the cooking process, we add bacon, onions, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. The result is tender beans with a delicious creamy broth. Brazilian beans are quite filling, and they taste even better when well prepared! Are you going to resist?

Bolinho de Bacalhau

Deeply rooted in Brazilian culture, Bolinho de Bacalhau or codfish dumpling is a traditional Portuguese recipe. Typically made from a mixture of codfish, eggs, parsley, onion, potatoes, and a hint of nutmeg, they are eaten in Portugal and Brazil. Although they are believed to be of Portuguese origin, they were so enthusiastically adopted in Brazil that they became part of the Brazilian cuisine.

Today, you can find them everywhere in Brazil and every Brazilian cookbook. You can serve them as a snack or starter to friends at home, or as a dish to go with rice and vegetables. You can find them at corner stalls, bars, and restaurants, and similar to Spanish tapas, they are also eaten as bar food with chilled beer. A good Bolinho de Bacalhau is a little crunchy on the outside, and soft and creamy on the inside.

Pastel

via Flickr

Pastel is the Brazilain food I crave the most. Mainly because, while leaving and traveling abroad, I didn&rsquot find anything similar to it, and it&rsquos not the type of food you would prepare at home for lunch or dinner. It&rsquos street food, a delicious deep-fried snack you crave when you are out and about in the city, or after a few hours on the beach, or when you go shopping at a weekend street market.

No doubt it&rsquos one of the most loved street foods in Brazil, and despite the cultural and gastronomic differences we have within the country, you will find pastel everywhere. Are you ready to start drooling? Think of a very thin and light dough, filled with goodness like cheese, cheese & ham, or minced meat and olives, or shrimps in tomato sauce, or palm heart in tomato sauce.

For dessert, the best one is filled with banana and coated with sugar and cinnamon. These are the traditional flavors, but as Brazilians, we can be very creative, so don&rsquot be surprised when you find pastel filled with BBQ pork, spinach & bacon, or white chocolate.

After the dough is filled, it&rsquos deep-fried and served super hot. Be careful to not burn your fingers! A regular pastel is the size of a hand or a bit bigger it can be squared, rectangular, or in the shape of a half-moon. It goes very well with sugar cane juice, cold beer, and coconut water, making it the perfect snack for summer days. Oh, I miss it now&hellip

Carolinas

Carolinas are a local specialty from the state of São Paulo where they are very popular. They&rsquore kind of like a French éclair, except that they are small and round and don&rsquot have the elongated shape of an éclair. (Sometimes they do come in an elongated shape but in this case, they go by a different name: bomba)

Also, the filling inside is not cream, but rather doce de leite, which is the Portuguese name for dulce de leche. Carolinas are sold in bakeries and pastry shops all over São Paulo, and sometimes you can also find them on the dessert menu at restaurants. Vaca Ateliê Culinário is a popular vegan restaurant in São Paulo that offers a fully plant-based version of Carolinas as part of their Sunday brunch.

The açai (pronounce assai) is one of the favorite Brazilian dishes. It&rsquos made of the fruits of a specific palm tree, commonly seen in the north of the country. Curiously, this dish is eaten differently according to where you are in Brazil. For instance, in the state of Pará, where açai is particularly famous, people eat the fruit smashed only and as a side dish, either for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with rice, beans, or on its own. Further south in the country, in places like Rio, the dish takes another look. Here it is mostly eaten after sports or a promenade walk, it has sugar and a choice of different fruits to accompany it and you never eat it as a side dish. Nevertheless, one thing is undeniable: açai has many health benefits and is incredibly tasty.

Pao de Queijo

Pao de Queijo (pronounced pow-du-KEHjo, sort of) was the first food I tried in Brazil. Then I fell in love with it and ate it almost every day!

It is actually a mix of cheese and bread baked together, as its Portuguese name implies. Sold in small pieces, Pao de Queijo is a popular snack and breakfast food in Brazil.

You can find it basically at any restaurant in the country or buy it from many street food vendors. The price is usually below US$ 1 per piece. If you want to buy several pieces, it is better to get it from the supermarket as it will be much cheaper.

Feijoada

No dish is more essential to the Brazilian table than feijoada. Simply put, feijoada is a stew made of black beans and plenty of meat &mdash typically including at least a few of the following: carne seca (dried shredded beef), linguica (a Brazilian sausage), patas (pig feet), and plenty of other kinds of meat. But truly, any kind of meat goes, and you&rsquoll often find that each household has its own version of feijoada.

Feijoada is typically served as a &ldquofeijoada completa&rdquo which means &ldquocomplete feijoada&rdquo in other words, with all the accompaniments that make this humble meat and bean stew shine!

A feijoada completa consists of feijoada, rice, greens (couve in Portuguese, a kind of cabbage similar to kale or collard greens), orange slices, and farofa. Farofa may be the most important part of the feijoada completa: it&rsquos a traditional Brazilian garnish made of toasted cassava flour flavored with onion, garlic, and bacon. Together, you may enjoy it with a bit of vinagrete (a fresh salad of tomato and onion) or some hot sauce, mixing each bite with the different components of the feijoada for different tastes in each bite! If you want to make feijoada completa at home, check out my simplified recipe for feijoada made in the instant pot!

Coxinha

Brazilian food is known worldwide for its famous &ldquofeijoada&rdquo. A dish made of steamed beans, heavy in jerk beef, and pork meat cuts. But the Coxinha, this local &ldquodrumsticks&rdquo snack has the award as the real national passion.

With so much love involved, the coxinha became one of the hallmarks of the rich Brazilian cuisine. It even has its own date to be celebrated on May 18.

Among cheese bread, feijoadas, pastries, and caipirinhas, the coxinha is also a mandatory stop for any foodie in Brazil. Coxinha is a deep-fried snack or can be eaten as finger food with a cold beer or caipirinhas.

The filling is a mix of shredded chicken, onion, garlic, tomato, and the Brazilian cream cheese Catupiry. Chicken broth whisked into the flour is the basis for the dough. The dough is filled with the chicken and cheese, shaped into a rough cone shape, or &ldquodrumstick&rdquo to imitate a chicken leg. Then it becomes a &ldquocoxinha&rdquo, or small chicken leg.

I love coxinha. Every time I&rsquom in Brazil, I run to a Brazilian snack bar to feed my taste buds! Meeting my friends to catch up around a plate of coxinha and cold beers make the perfect Brazilian easy-going style happy hour.

Acarajé

I was excited to learn about Acarajé, a delicacy from Bahia and a favorite Brazilians street food snack. It originated during the colonial times in Brazil and was introduced by Nigerian slaves.

It is basically a fritter made out of dough from black-eyed peas, ground dried shrimp, and onion. These fritters are deep-fried in dendê, palm oil, and cut in half.

Each of these fluffy yet crunchy dough balls is filled with different sauces, vegetables, or sometimes boiled, unpeeled shrimps or shrimp paste.

Caipirinha

While technically not a Brazilian dish, you cannot come to Brazil without having a Caipirinha. Horrible legend has it that it was once invented for the slaves as they would suffer from only drinking cachaça. By adding limes and sugar, it would basically become a somewhat nutritious meal. I am not sure if the legend is true or not and needless to say, you cannot live off Caipirinha alone but they do make for an incredibly potent cocktail hour companion.


Canjica is a bowl of whole pieces of white corn mixed with milk, a splash of coconut milk and condensed milk to make a creamy, enviable dessert with sprinkles of cinnamon on top. It is usually served during the annual June Festival, yet as it is too tasty to save for just once a year, it’s easy to find year round.

Super-food açaí is traditional in Brazil, especially in coastal cities where it is a common post-beach snack. Try it plain as sorbet, or ask for banana, strawberry or granola to be added in to take it to a whole new level of tastiness. Açaí can also be found as a smoothie, a juice, in powder or even added into a main meal using its raw, berry form.


8. Papaya Cream

Creme de Papaya, or Papaya cream, is a refreshing and fruity treat made with just 4 ingredients.

Combining the goodness of sweet papaya, vanilla ice cream, condensed milk, and an optional creme de cassis, you&rsquoll get a sweet, thick, and creamy treat that will take you to tropical paradise.

According to stories, papaya cream was invented as a way to make use of over-ripe papayas. What a genius way to avoid waste!


Don’t leave Brazil without trying…

1. Barbecued meat

In Brazil, premium cuts (the most popular being picanha, or rump cap) are seasoned with no more than a liberal shake of coarse salt, before being grilled to pink perfection over charcoal (or wood, if you’re doing it the old-fashioned Southern way). Home barbecues will see sausages, queijo coalho (squeaky cheese on a stick) and chicken hearts sharing space on the grill, while in churrascarias (barbecue-style steakhouses), all manner of meats on skewers – from pork to lamb and wild boar – will be sliced by waiters straight onto your plate.

2. Moqueca (pronounced moo-kek-a)

3. Cachaça

For the morning after, clear your head with a Guaraná Antarctica (a sweet, fizzy soft drink), an água de coco (coconut water, best sipped straight from the coconut) or caldo de cana (freshly pressed sugarcane juice).

4. Brigadeiros

5. Pão de queijo

6. Acarajé (pronounced a-ka-ra-zjeh)

One of the most calorie-laden street snacks I’ve ever had the good fortune to try, acarajé is a deep-fried patty of crushed black-eyed peas, palm oil and puréed onions, deep-fried in yet more palm oil before being sliced open and stuffed with dried shrimp and vatapá – a rich and spicy purée of prawns, bread, cashew nuts and other ingredients. The dish originated in Bahia, in Brazil’s north-east, where flavours have strong roots in African cooking. Acarajé is at its best when served piping hot, fresh from the vat of oil, with a liberal dash of chilli sauce.

7. Quindim

8. Açaí (pronouned a-sa-ee)

Of all the Amazon’s fruits, the açaí is perhaps the best known, thanks to its superfood status. Traditionally eaten by indigenous tribes as a source of energy, the hard purple berry is also used in Amazonian cooking as a sauce to accompany fish. A clever marketing campaign in the ’80s thrust it into the spotlight as the energy snack of choice for surfers in glamorous Rio de Janeiro. Served as a sweet, gloopy, frozen sorbet, sometimes topped with granola and slices of banana, or whizzed up in juices, it can found in every café, bakery, juice bar and supermarket across the country. You can even buy açaí vodka, and açaí beer.

9. Feijoada

Try making your own… Feijoada or try our take on this hearty one-pot with our Brazilian pork stew with corn dumplings.

10. Fried bar snacks

Try making your own… pastel de palmito or crispy chicken coxinhas.

Check out even more mouth-watering travel guides…

Are you a fan of Brazilian cuisine? Do you agree with our selection or have we missed your favourite? Share your must-try dishes below…

Catherine Balston is a food & travel writer based in São Paulo.


From North to South: 15 typical dishes of Brazilian gastronomy

The classic duo “rice and beans” and products derived from cassava cover a large part of the food base in the country, but traditional Brazilian food goes much further…

Check out some examples in this list with the main typical dishes of each region of Brazil.

Feijoada

Wednesday and Saturday are consecrated Feijoada days for Brazilians! Its origin is still much discussed, but it is assumed that the dish is an adaptation of Portuguese Stew, since this type of recipe was quite common in Europe (like Puchero in Spain and Cassoulet in France).

The Brazilian version is made with black beans, several cuts of pork and beef, onions and garlic, being “religiously” accompanied by rice, stir-fried collard greens, farofa (toasted cassava flour), pork rinds, orange slices and vinaigrette.

Moqueca

The moqueca fish stew is one of the most well-known dishes in Brazil, its origin is still the subject of much dispute between Bahia and Espírito Santo states. The most common recipes use local fish and crustaceans, such as shrimp, crabs and lobster and are traditionally made in clay pots.

Difference between Moqueca Baiana and Moqueca Capixaba

The moqueca baiana is made with bell peppers, coconut milk and palm oil (dendê), while the moqueca capixaba, from Espírito Santo state, uses annatto oil (which gives a reddish colour) rather than dendê, in addition to being less spicy.

Acarajé

A must-do program if you go to Salvador is to eat Acarajé. The dish has an African origin, the word Acarajé originates from the Iorubá language: Àkàrà means fireball and Je means to eat. It’s a dumpling made with black-eyed beans, fried in palm oil and stuffed with shrimp, vatapá (a creamy paste made with dry shrimp, coconut milk, peanuts and palm oil), caruru (okra stew that also takes shrimp) and pepper sauce. This delicacy is typically sold by the ‘Baianas of Acarajé’, dressed in traditional clothing.

Curiosity: The Office of the Baianas of Acarajé was recognized as National Heritage and inscribed in the Book of Knowledge in 2005 by the National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute (IPHAN).

Pato no Tucupi

Pato no Tucupi is a typical dish from Pará (a state in northern Brazil) and takes duck meat (pato) with regional ingredients such as tucupi (yellow broth extracted from the root of manioc, a technique of indigenous wisdom) and jambu leaf, which causes a slight numbness in the mouth when consumed. A Pará tradition is to eat Pato no Tucupi on the day of Círio de Nazaré, a religious festival that takes place in the city of Belém in October.

Tacacá

Tacacá is a traditional dish from the Amazon region and is a popular street-food in the states of Pará and Amazonas. The delicacy is also made with tucupi and jambu, with the addition of dried prawns, chicory, hydrated tapioca gum (in Tupi Guarani language tacacá means gum), as well as various spices such as sweet pepper, garlic, parsley and green onions. Even on hot days, this full-bodied broth is consumed very hot.

Baião de Dois

Originating in Ceará, one of the most famous northeastern dishes in Brazil is Baião de Dois, an unbeatable combination of rice and beans, which can be green, black-eyed or cowpea. In the recipe, rice is prepared in the already cooked bean broth, being a great way to use leftover beans. The ingredients can vary according to the region, the most common being bacon, dried meat, coalho cheese, cilantro and chives.

Arroz com Pequi

Rice with Pequi is a traditional dish from Goiás cuisine, where the main ingredient is Pequi, a fruit with yellowish flesh and very aromatic native to the cerrado. In this recipe, the fruit can be used in flakes or whole – care must be taken with the thorns present in its core (in Tupi Guarani Pequi means prickly skin).

Arroz Carreteiro

This dish originated in the Rio Grande do Sul and its name means ‘carter’s rice’ because the recipe was made by carters who took along their journeys rice, jerky, onion, salt and of course, the iron pan. Currently, the Arroz a Carreteiro can also be made with ground meat and barbecue leftovers, being a great way to avoid waste.

Feijão Tropeiro

Like the Arroz a Carreteiro, Feijão Tropeiro (Tropeiro Beans) was also a dish of “nomads”, since it was consumed by muleteers during the 18th and 20th centuries, called Tropeiros. The main ingredients of the Tropeiro Beans recipe are beans, dried meat (jerky), bacon, manioc flour or corn and salt, all easy ingredients to be taken by travellers during their long journeys. Tropeiro beans are very popular in the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Goiás.

Paçoca de Carne Seca

Paçoca de Carne Seca has an indigenous influence from the making of paçoca by punching manioc flour in a pestle (in Tupi Guarani the word means “crumble”). The tropeiros also helped to spread the consumption of paçoca, after all, the preparation did not spoil during the long trips. The basic ingredients are cassava flour and dried meat plus the extras, which vary according to the region. Examples are coriander and Manteiga de garrafa (local type of clarified butter) in the northeast and pine nuts in the south.

Barreado

Barreado is a traditional dish from the coast of Paraná (cities of Morretes, Antonina and Paranaguá) made with beef, bacon, onion, garlic and various spices such as bay leaf, parsley, green onion, cumin and black pepper. The name comes from the expression ‘barrear the pan’ which means to seal the clay pot with manioc flour to prevent steam from escaping through the lid. The meat is cooked for several hours over low heat, which makes it extremely tender and with a full-bodied broth. The barreado is served with rice, manioc flour and banana (fried or raw).

Galinhada

The galinhada, typical food of Minas Gerais and Goiás, is a heritage from the time of the Bandeirantes in the 17th century. This traditional and comforting dish consists of rice and chicken. In the Minas Gerais version, it takes pieces of chicken, bell peppers, parsley and green onions, while the Goiás version is made with cuts of chicken (thighs and drumsticks), pequi and guariroba, a type of palm heart.

Frango ao molho pardo

Frango ao molho pardo, which means chicken in brown sauce, is one of the most famous foods of Minas Gerais gastronomy, a famous Portuguese dish taken to Brazil and adapted by the colonizers (in Portugal it is called Galinha à Cabidela). In the delicacy, the chicken is sautéed and then covered with a brown sauce, made with chicken blood (nowadays, some people use red wine), vinegar, tomatoes and peppers.

Virado à Paulista

Virado à Paulista is traditionally served on Mondays and declared intangible heritage in the state of São Paulo. The relevance of the dish dates back to the 17th century, serving as food for the Bandeirantes during their expeditions. The recipe was a combination of beans, dried meat, bacon and manioca or masa flour, currently accompanied by rice, pork chop, collard greens, fried plantains and a fried egg. Virado à Paulista is similar to Tutu from Minas Gerais, but tutu is made with ground beans while Virado is made with whole grains.

Camarão na Moranga

This dish, which means ‘shrimp in the pumpkin’, was invented in the city of Ubatuba, located on the coast of São Paulo. It consists of a creamy prawns stew that is served in a large roasted pumpkin (without the seeds).


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