“Information on Brazilian food & typical food in Brazil”
Brazil is a large country with a mix of culture and cuisine, each region has a different dish and with a mix of cultures of Portuguese, Europeans and other races each state has a lot to offer. Brazilian people are very healthy and they like to eat homemade food, they are not fans of fast food or frozen processed foods.
So what is the typically Brazilian food?
That is a common question asked by many tourists when it comes to food. There are some differences in Brazilian food and it varies by region. The northern part they use more spices, seafood and fruits in the food, in the South the people eat more pasta because of the Italian influence and meat, while the rest of Brazil normally keep to a more general diet.
Going to Brazil? Want to know what Brazilians eat? Read on for a quick guide to food in Brazil.
Meat: Since Brazil is the world’s largest beef and poultry exporter, the meat in Brazil is top quality. Brazilians know how to cook up a variety of meats and is almost always prepared grilled.
Churrasco is the term for a barbecue, cooked on a “churrasqueira”, a barbecue grill, often with supports for spits or skewers.
When you go to Brazil you should visit a Churrascaria, a type of steakhouse restaurant that serves a variety of grilled meats, with many offering all you can eat. The waiters move around the restaurant with the skewers, slicing meat onto the customers’s plate. This serving style is called espeto corrido or rodizio, and is quite popular in southern Brazil.
You may also be able to find this type of Brazilian steakhouse near where you live. Some examples are Fogo de Chão, Texas de Brazil & Rodizio Grill which are found throughout some of the major cities in the United States.
Arroz e Feijao (Rice & Beans): Many Brazilians eat rice with beans for lunch and dinner every day.
Feijoada: Considered the national dish of Brazil, this is a thick stew of black beans with pieces of beef and
pork added to it. There are some regional variations to it. This dish is typically served with rice, farofa, chopped collard greens (couve mineira), and peeled and sliced oranges.
Brazilians traditionaly eat it for lunch time on Saturdays or Sundays. Since Feijoada takes several hours to cook, many restaurants will offer it only a few times a week, usually on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays. However, some restaurants will serve feijoada all week long.
Torresmo: Deep fried strips of skinless pork fat, with extra virgin olive oil, and lime juice.
Moqueca: Is a seafood stew made without adding any water. Different fish and shellfish are thrown together with a mixture of onions, tomatoes, some garlic and Coriander. The recipe can vary depending on location but in general, the option for liquid include palm oil and coconut milk or olive and soy oil. It simmers for hours in a traditional clay pot and becomes a thick liquid.
Carne Assada com Linguica e Farofa: Finely sliced roast beef and spicy Brazilian sausages with farofa is a toasted manioc flour mixture.
Pão de queijo: These cheese bread rolls are found throughout the country and it can be prepared at home and also served at restaurants at breakfast or all day in a special shop but it usually eat at breakfast.
Coxinha: a common snack in Brazil which is minced chicken that is shaped like a drumstick and deep fried in a batter until it is golden brown.
Pastel: in Brazil a pastel consists of a thin pastry that is wrapped with assorted fillings and is deep fried in vegetable oil. The result is a crispy, brownish pastry. It is typically filled with beef meat, cheese, heart of palm, or chicken with catupiry cream cheese. Pastel is traditionally sold on small shops on the street or in fast food shops known as “pastelarias”. Pastel was brought to Brazil from Japanese immigrants.
Esfiha or Esfirra: this was brought to Brazil by Middle Eastern immigrants from Lebanon and Syria, most of whom settled in Sao Paulo and from there it spread throughout the entire country. An esfiha in a way is similar to a pizza, just smaller. It is basically a round of bread that is spread with any number of ingredients and cooked in an oven. It is served either open (like a pizza) or closed (like a calzone). The spicing and ingredients show evidence of the esfiha’s Middle Eastern origins, with ground meats, cumin, onions, a touch of cinnamon being common ingredients for an esfiha. There are also many other versions, including ingredients like chicken, seasoned vegetables, eggs or cream cheese.
When served fresh these taste excellent. Esfihas can be found throughout Brazil and are available at lunch stands, snack bars, and in fast food restaurants such as the popular Brazilian chain of Arabian-style fast food restaurants called Habib’s. Habib’s signature dish is the esfirra, which is served open style.
Empada: are snacks that are similar to pot pies in a small scale. These are filled with various fillings such as chicken, palm hearts or shrimp. You can find these in cafes and bakeries, as well as buy them in supermarkets.
Bolinhos de Bacalhau: are deep fried cod fish balls, served with olive oil, and fresh limes. In Brazil it is eaten as an appetizers or eaten as a snack.
Quibe: also known as kibe, was brought to Brazil from Middle Eastern immigrants of Syria and Lebanon. It has become popular in Brazil and usually Brazilians eat as a snack. It is a mixture of finely ground meat, wheat, a mixture of spices and is sometimes filled with cheese. It can be served baked, fried, or raw.
Pizza: Brazilians have adopted pizza into their national cuisines, adding their own flavors and style. Brazilians are creative with their pizzas and often come with a variety of meats or veggie toppings. Brazilian pizza tends to have little or no tomato sauce, or slices of tomato in place of sauce.
In Brazil you can eat pizza rodizio-syle (like at a churrascaria), which is basically an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. Dessert pizza are also common in Brazil with toppings like chocolate and strawberry, bananas and guava.
Typical Brazilian Desserts & Sweets
Desserts are always a delight no matter what country they come from. Below is a list of some of the typical ones
Brigadeiro: also known in some southern states in Brazil as negrinho, these sweets look similar to chocolate truffles and are very popular in Brazil and it is usually served at birthday parties or at any kind of party. This treat is made with a mix of condensed milk, butter and chocolate cocoa powder, it’s then cooked and is rolled into small balls once cold, they are covered in chocolate sprinkles. It can also be consumed unrolled, with a spoon or used as a topping or filling for cakes, brownies and other pastries.
Pudim de leite condensado: A rich and creamy flan made with eggs, sugar, milk and sweetened condensed milk. It is then baked and then a caramel sauce is put on top.
Mousse de Maracuja: also known as passion fruit mousse, this is a very popular Brazilian dessert that is made with passion fruit juice, condensed milk, and cream which are then blended together and then refrigerated to make a tasty dessert
Bolo de Fuba: A Brazilian version of cornmeal cake.
Cocada: is a traditional Brazilian sweet made mainly from coconut. Recipes may vary, but usually consists of yolks, coconut milk, condensed milk, fruit syrup and sugar.
Pamonha: This is a corn and milk paste wrapped in a corn husk and boiled. In some areas of Brazil you can find it prepared with coconut milk.
Quindim: is a delicious baked Brazilian dessert made with white sugar, eggs, shredded coconut and butter. It is a custard with a glistening surface and yellow color.
Goiabada com queijo: is Guava marmalade with cheese. It is also known in Brazil as “Romeu e Julieta” (Romeo and Juliet) because of the perfect combination of these two ingredients.
Beijinho: means “small kiss,” this treat is a mix of condensed milk, butter and coconut, it is cooked and is rolled into small balls once cold, they are covered with crystal sugar sprinkles or grated coconut on top of it.
Doce de leite: is a thick, caramel-like milk-based sauce or spread. It is prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk with sugar that is boiled down until it is concentrated into either a creamy paste, or even further into a caramel-like consistency. It is used with various sweets and desserts.
Pão de mel: honey bread or cake, usually covered with melted chocolate.
Bolo de chocolate Prestigio: Chocolate cake with a coconut and milk cream filling, covered with chocolate sprinkles and coconut.
Açaí tigela: is made from the açaí fruit from the Amazon region that is blended together with ice cubes that forms a smoothie-like dessert. It is served in a bowl or in a glass and is commonly topped with granola, strawberrys, and mixed with other fruits. It is very popular treat in Brazil and also popular among people that do fitness or sports because it considered a healthy food because there is not alot of calories and it gives a lot energy.
Brazil is one of the top fruit producing countries in the world, you can find all kinds of fruits in this country. Even fruits that are not native to Brazil and have been introduced to the country recently, such as kiwi and lychee, grow in great abundance and have become huge favorites.
Brazilians all eat a large amount of fruits that come from everywhere in Brazil because the land is very fertile, the most common type of fruits are: mango, guava, cashew fruit, pineapple, passion fruit, orange and plum, banana and more. There is also many types of exotic fruits only native to the Amazon region.
Guarana: is a small reddish berry-like fruit that is very sweet and juicy. This is an exotic fruit that comes from Amazon and is used in numerous products in Brazil such as in guarana-flovored sodas. Guarana is an effective stimulant as it contains about twice the caffeine found in coffee beans (about 2-4.5% caffeine in guarana seeds compared to 1-2% for coffee beans). Also, guarana has also been shown to increase memory and alertness.
Açaí: this fruit is a type of berry that grows on the açaí palm trees and is native to the Amazon region. Acai berries are purplish-black berries that are similar in appearance but larger than a blueberry. The fruit has been eaten by natives of the Amazon for generations.
Nowadays you can find juices and ice creams of acai everywhere in Brazil and is steadily moving into other countries.
Acai is rich in a number of vitamins and athletes have found it a good and quick source of energy and also because of the many health benefits, açaí is used in juices, smoothies, drinks, powders, supplements, energy drinks, and in weight loss products.
Caju: cashews, it is usually used to make juice and the seed of the fruit is used to make nuts, which are a popular snack.
Brazil nut: Brazil nuts are actually seeds that are inside the fruit which grow on the Brazil nut tree. Inside the fruit are 8-24 seeds that are typically 4-5 cm long. Brazil nuts grow on enormous trees in the Amazon rainforest and reach 30-45 meters (100-150 ft) high and can live from 500-1,000 years. Brazil nuts are harvested from wild trees and are a good source of some vitamins and minerals.
Typical Brazilian drinks
Cachaça: The national liquor of Brazil, is made from fermented sugarcane. Cachaça is often used to prepare the Brazilian cocktail drink caipirinha and other beverages in which cachaça is an ingredient.
Cachaça, like rum, has two varieties: unaged (white) and aged (gold). White cachaça is usually bottled immediately after distillation and tends to be cheaper. Some producers age it for up to 12 months in wooden barrels to achieve a smoother blend and aged cachaça is considered superior and is generally drinked on its own, can very in flavor. There are numerous Cachaça brands throughout different regions of Brazil, one of the most popular Cachaça brands is Cachaça 51.
Caipirinha: Considered the national cocktail, this is the most famous drink from Brazil. It is made with cachaça, sugar and lime juice.
Quentao: which means very hot”, is a Brazilian drink made of cachaca and cinnamon & ginger spices and citrus peels. It is served hot.
Cerveja: Beer! Brazilians love beer! Brazil is the world’s fourth largest market for beer. Some of the most popular beer brands in Brazil are Bohemia, Brahma, Antarctica, and Skol.
Batida: is a Brazilian cocktail drink made with the national alcoholic drink cachaça, fruit juice or coconut milk, and sugar or condensed milk. The most common fruit used in a Batida are passion fruit, coconut, pineapple, strawberry. It can be found being sold on the beach and pubs. It can be prepared blended into a smoothie-style drink or shaken with ice.
Agua de coco: coconut water, this is the clear liquid inside green (unripe) coconuts that is drank directly out of the coconut itself. Unripe coconuts contain much more liquid than ripe coconuts, so these green (unripe) coconuts are taken off the trees and opened for a sweet and mild drink. Agua de Coco can easily be found in stands on the street and on the beach.
Chimarrao: The Brazilian version of yerba mate. It is a drink made by infusing dried leaves and stems of the yerba mate plant in hot water (not boiling water which makes it bitter). It is also drank as a tea. Yerba Mate is a type of evergreen plant of the holly (family Aquifoliaceae) native to subtropical South America. The drink is made from the oval shaped leaves and stems of this plant. The drink was first used by the indigenous Guarani people and also spread by the indigenous Tupi people that lived in Southern Brazil.
Chimarrao is commonly shared among a group of friends where each person drinks from the same cup. The drink is prepared in a “cuia” (gourd) and is drank with a filtered straw called a “bomba” or “bombilla.” The cuia is refilled and passed to each guest in the circle. Everyone shares the same cuia and bomba joining in a bond of acceptance and friendship. This drink is more common in the South of Brazil.
Guaraná Antartica: this is guaraná-flavoured soft drink. Guaraná is a tropical berry that grows in the Amazon region and this soft drink contains guarana extract from this fruit. Guaraná Antartica is the second best-selling soft drink in Brazil, only behind Coca-Cola.
Caldo de Cana: is sugar cane juice where the liquid is extracted from sugar cane to make juice. It is made by grinding or squeezing sugarcane and removing (separating) the juice. The sugarcane juice can be found in street markets throughout the country. In some regions of the country, it is common to drink it mixed with fruits such as pineapple or lemon.