South America Living

A Guide To Traditional Brazilian Food & Drinks

Feijoada: The National Dish of Brazil

Feijoada: The National Dish of Brazil

Brazil boasts a wide-ranging ethnic heritage that combines native Amerindian, Portuguese, African, Italian, Spanish, German, Polish, Syrian, Lebanese, Japanese and other cultures. This diversity makes for a delicious cuisine, which varies regionally. The constant food group is rice, which Brazilians eat almost daily, mixed with onion, garlic and seafood. Since Brazil is such a huge country, it’s almost impossible to list all of the typical food found there there. However, following are some of the most common dishes and drinks that you will find:

Acarajé: A popular street food typically found in the North of Brazil, especially in the city of Salvador. Made with black-eyed peas that are rolled into balls and then deep fried in palm oil. It is then typically stuffed with shrimp, peanuts and other ingredients depending on the region.

Acaraje: A popular street food

Acaraje: A popular street food

Barreado: Meat traditionally made in a ceramic pan placed in a pit in the soil to boil with natural heat from the sun.

Bolinhos de arroz: Fried rice balls, similar to hush puppies.

Churrasco: Known as Brazilian barbecue,it is comprised of large chunks of meat cooked on skewers. When you are in Brazil you may want to visit a churrasqueria, a restaurant that her all-you-can-eat barbecued meat which is often served impaled on skewers.

Churrasco

Churrasco

Coxinha: A common snack in Brazil made of minced chicken shaped like a drumstick and then deep fried in batter until golden brown. Watch out! Sometimes there is a toothpick placed inside to represent where the bone would be.

Cururu de camarao: Shrimp and okra gumbo.

Café come leite: Hot milk and coffee, like a cafe au lait.

café come leite

café come leite

Empadinhas de palmetto: Small empanadas with a hearts-of-palm filling.

Farofa: Essential condiment for many Brazilian stews, especially feijoada.

Feijoada: The most famous and traditional of all Brazilian main courses and considered to be the national dish of Brazil, this is a thick stew of black beans with pieces of beef and pork added to it. Traditionally prepared in a clay pot.

feijoadahz

feijoadahz

Fruit: Brazilians eat a large amount of fruit that comes primarily from the Amazon. There is a wide range, including: Mango, Guava, Cashew Fruit, Pineapple, Passion Fruit, Orange, Plum and Açai. Very popular are the Sucos — or juice bars found on the street and at the beach. Think Jamba juice on steroids.

Brazilian Fruit Drinks Served at Sucos

Brazilian Fruit Drinks Served at Sucos

Guaraná: Brazil, which is the third-largest consumer of soft drinks in the world, produces several soft drink brands from guarana extract. The Portuguese word guaraná is widely used in Brazil as a reference to soft drinks containing guarana extract. Guarana in energy drinks is known to help athletes recover from strains and aches in legs. Mainly quadriceps and hamstrings.

Guaraná

Guaraná

Jambu: Green flowering herb often used in rice to create arroz de jambu, which has a bitter flavor and an anesthetic-tingly effect on the mouth and throat 

Maté: Herbal tea–like beverage traditionally served in a hollowed-out gourd and sipped through a metal bombilla, or straw

Moqueca: This seafood stew is made without adding water. Shellfish and fish are combined with a mixture of onions, tomatoes, garlic and coriander. This recipe varies greatly depending on geographics, but in general the options for liquid include palm oil, coconut milk, olive or soy oil. The stew simmers for hours in a traditional clay pot and becomes a very thick, viscous liquid — sometimes so thick that your spoon will stand right up!

Pamonha: This is a corn and milk paste wrapped in a corn husk and boiled. In some areas of Brazil you find it prepared with coconut milk.

Pão de queijo: This cheese bread typically enjoyed for breakfast or as an afternoon snack is found throughout the country prepared both in the home and served in restaurants.

Pato no tucupi: Duck soup made with manioc (also known as cassava or yucca) leaves.

Picadinho de jacaré: Found predominantly in the Northern Amazon region, this is a traditional indigenous meal made from alligator meat.

Pizza: In Southern Brazil pizza is served in gourmet restaurants with high quality ingredients; whereas in the North, where they lack strong Italian influences, it is commonly eaten with ketchup, mustard or mayonnaise — because it is not served with sauce. Dessert pizzas are common in Brazil made with toppings like chocolate, bananas, guava jam and cinnamon. 

Roupa Velha: Literally translated as Old Clothes, is made from shredded dried meat normally served with rice and manioc.

Vatapá: Originally from the North of Brazil, this is a creamy dish made from bread, shrimp and ground peanuts added to coconut milk and palm oil. It is usually served with rice.

DESSERTS

Desserts are a delight no matter what country they come from! Here are some of the typical Brazilian desserts:

Arroz doce: A simple rice pudding made with cinnamon and is often served as a simple dessert or sometimes along with the meal.

Bolo de Rolo: A thin sponge cake rolled into a log with a filling of guava.

Brigadeiro: This could be called the national dessert of Brazil. They look like balls of chocolate (think truffles). A thick mixture of condensed milk, butter and chocolate powered is rolled into balls and cooked. Once cool, they are covered in chocolate sprinkles just like a truffle. They are named after a Brigadier General that helped stop a communist coup in Brazil. They are super yummy and very popular in Brazil.

Brigadeiros: absolutely delicious!

Brigadeiros: absolutely delicious!

Canjica: Also called Mugunzá in the North of Brazil, this is a porridge cooked with milk, sugar and cinnamon. In the North, coconut milk is used.

Churros: Fried dough rolled in sugar, filled with caramel, chocolate or sweetened condensed milk.

Churros

Churros

Cuscuz branco: Tapioca pudding cooked in cocunut milk with sugar. Crazy delicious!

Goiabada: A guava paste that is made with sugar and water and typically served with cheese. This combination is called Romeo & Juliet.

Papo de anjo: A mixture of egg yolks and whites, mixed separately, and then baked in muffin tines. Afterward, they are boiled in syrup then coated in rum, vanilla or flavored with orange peel.

Quindin: Small coconut flans.

Quindin

Quindin


Did You Know?….

Avocado is considered a sweet in Brazil

Avocado is considered a sweet in Brazil

In Brazil, the avocado is considered a sweet — so don’t be surprised to see people dipping them in sugar and eating them as dessert!

Brazilian food is simply prepared, fresh and always tasty. Guaranteed you will love it!

And as always…Bon Appetit!




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