10 popular Brazilian dishes worth trying
Brazil truly has it all. Big cities like Sao Paulo and Rio are famous for their unique culture, uniqueness and nightlife. And thousands of kilometers of coastline, superb countryside landscapes and hearty cuisine will delight you! We have selected 10 must-try dishes in Brazil.
Both Brazil and Argentina consider themselves the masters of South American barbecue. Although everyone has their own approach to preparation – from cutting to garnishing, there is still something in common. Large cuts of meat are best cooked at low temperatures.
In a home barbecue, sausages, curd cheese (queijo coalho – fried cheese on sticks) and chicken hearts are fried on the grill, while steaks (churrascarias – barbecue in the style of a Steakhouse restaurant in London) and all types of meat on skewers: from pork, to lamb and wild boar, the waiters will cut and serve before your eyes.
Moqueca (pronounced moo-kek-ah)
Moqueca is more than just a fish stew. It is ceremonially served to the table in an open clay pot so that you can feel its exquisite aroma.
In its simplest form, fish and/or seafood are stewed in a sauce made from diced tomatoes, onions and coriander. Residents of Espirito Santo add natural food coloring annatto (fudge tree seeds), while Baian cuisine offers a more complex version with dende (palm oil), pepper and coconut milk.
Cachaca began to be made from fermented sugar cane juice back in the 1500s. Usually, colorless, unaged cane juice is added to these cocktails. Although there are about a thousand high-quality golden varieties of cachaça, aged in wooden barrels, which are sipped by fans of this drink.
To help you get rid of a hangover in the morning: Guarana (sweet carbonated energy drink), Agua de Coco (coconut water, which is best drunk straight from the coconut) and Caldo de Cana (freshly squeezed sugar cane juice).
Brazilian sweets are not inferior to chocolate truffles. They are so easy to prepare, and the children themselves will be happy to keep you company. To make the sweet balls, boiling condensed milk is mixed with cocoa powder, then beaten in butter and rolled into chocolate balls. Instant sugar ensures that even gourmets will not get tired of this dish. However, you won’t hear anything against it from Brazilians.
Choux buns with cheese
In Brazil, cheese and bread, two favorite foods around the world, were combined into the ultimate dish Pao de queijo (cheese buns).
These balls come in a variety of sizes, from small Pau di Queijo to cake-sized buns, and are filled with anything from cheese or cream cheese to a variety of meat fillings.
Acaraje (pronounced A-ka-rah-zhe)
This is one of the highest calorie street snacks I have had the pleasure of trying. Acarajé was invented in the state of Bahia, in northeastern Brazil, because the aromas of African cuisine are clearly discernible. This is an excellent dish, served piping hot in a cup with butter and a little chilli sauce.
Another delicacy from Bahia is the brilliant yellowish and sweet quindim. It is made simply from eggs, sugar and coconut (often butter is added). The resulting baked cake has a thick golden crust with coconut flakes, the top is spread with cream, which then sticks pleasantly in the mouth. The Portuguese love for egg yolks in sweets and baked goods inspired them to create the quindim recipe.
Acai (pronounced Ah-sa-ee)
Of the thousands of fruits in the Amazon, Acai is the most famous berry due to its health benefits. Traditionally, local tribes consumed it for energy. Also, dark blue berries are often used in Brazilian cuisine to make sauce for fish.
In the 1980s, a well-thought-out marketing campaign brought it into the limelight by promoting the berry as a great energy snack for surfers in glamorous Rio de Janeiro. Served as a sweet frozen dessert, sometimes garnished with pieces of muesli and banana or in concentrated juices.
You will find this delicacy in every café, bakery, herbal bar and supermarket throughout the country. You can even buy vodka or acai beer.
One of the few dishes that is eaten throughout Brazil. Feijoada is a hearty stew of black beans, sausages and pieces of pork of varying quality, traditionally made from pork feet and meat trimmings. This dish is made with love, the old fashioned way – almost 24 hours, soaking the beans and preserving the meat.
Most Brazilians go to restaurants only to try feijoada, and only on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Rice, cabbage, orange slices, farofa (toast made from cassava flour), and popcorn are served along with cachaca drink to improve digestion.
Fried bar snacks
Brazil’s favorite beer is served so cold that pieces of ice stick to the bottle. Beer offers a wide range of fried foods, be it creamy pasteis – crispy pastries filled with cheese or minced beef or hearts of palm; crispy cassava bars, bolinhos (“little balls”) cookies, often made from salted cod.
You might like the coxinha (very fluffy) pies with shredded chicken and mashed potatoes, flattened and topped with golden croutons.