28 Popular Brazilian Foods You Must Eat
Brazilian Food is Good
Brazil is the largest country in South American continent. It is comprised of various regions. Brazilian cuisine is famous for its taste and it varies with the availability of natural crops in different regions. It is mainly influenced by American Indian and Portuguese cuisine. Coffee is the national beverage of Brazil and Caipirinha is the national cocktail.
Brazilian Food Facts
Cachaça is made using fermented sugarcane juice. It is best known as the fiery kick in caipirinhas – Brazil’s national cocktail. While caipirinhas are often made with uncoloured, unaged cachaças, there are many better-quality golden varieties, aged in wood barrels, and sipped straight up by aficionados.
Acarajé (pronounced a-ka-ra-zjeh) originated in Bahia, in Brazil’s North-East, where the flavours have strong roots in African cooking.
Acarajé is high in calories. This street snack is a deep-fried patty of crushed black-eyed peas, palm oil and pureed onions, deep fried in yet more palm oil and then sliced open and stuffed with dried shrimp and vatapá – a rich and spicy puree of prawns, bread, cashew nuts and other ingredients.
Acarajé is at its best when made on the spot, served piping hot from the vat of oil, with a liberal dash of chilli sauce.
Feijoada means "bean" in Portugal. This Portugal dish is the national food of Brazil; it is consumed the length and breadth of Brazil. Feijoada is a hearty stew of beans, beef and pork.
Usually black turtle beans are used to cook Feijoada. It is traditionally consumed with rice. Common side dishes include chopped fried collard greens, roasted coarse cassava flour, sliced orange, deep fried bananas, pork rinds and hot pepper sauce.
Feijoada is a labor of love. Between soaking beans and desalting pork, it takes one day to make this stew. That is why most Brazilians go out to restaurants and bars to eat it – and only ever on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
A classic example of Brazil’s miscegenation, this glossy yellow sweet originated in Bahia. Quindim is derived from the word kintiti meaning ‘delicacy’ in kikongo language (spoken in the Congo and Angola).
Quindim is made with eggs, sugar and coconut (with butter a common addition). Baked in cupcake-sized moulds, the bottom is toasted and golden, dense with grated coconut, while the top is a smooth, firm custard that sticks pleasingly to the roof of the mouth. The recipe was inspired by the Portuguese love affair with egg yolks in sweets and pastries.
Caruru do Para
It is a popular cuisine in the northern parts of this great country. It is a one part meal of dried shrimp, dende oil, tomato, onion, okra, and cilantro.
Brazilian cuisine does not disappoint sea food lovers. Moqueca (pronounced moo-kek-a) is a delicious sea food stew. Moqueca is no ordinary fish stew. It is served with theatrical flourish as the piping hot clay pot is uncovered at the table amidst clouds of fragrant steam.
There are two variants of Moqueca. They are Moqueca Capixaba and Moqueca Baiana. This is because both Baianos (residents of Bahia, in the North-East) and Capixabas (from the neighbouring state of Espírito Santo) both lay claim to the origins of the dish, and both serve up equally tasty variations.
At its simplest, fish and/or seafood are stewed in diced tomatoes, onions and coriander. The Capixabas add a natural red food colouring urucum (annatto seeds), while the Baianos serve a heavier version, with dendê (palm oil), peppers and coconut milk. This teamed with rice, farofa (fried manioc flour – ideal for mopping up juices) and pirão (a spicy, manioc flour fish porridge, that’s far tastier than it sounds).
Pato no tucupi (Duck in tucupi)
This traditional Brazilian dish is popular among people from Para. It is found mostly in the area around Belém, the capital of Para. It is served with white rice and manioc flour.
Sopa de Palmito (Cream of Palm Heart Soup)
This mouth watering appetizer is very popular in Brazil.
This soup which is made from potato and kale is high in nutrition. It is generally served with spicy chourco sausage and bora (a slice of thick cornmeal bread).
This tasty Brazilian dish contains coconut milk, palm oil, bread, shrimp and pea nuts. This is very popular in the north eastern parts of Brazil. It is normally consumed with white rice or with Acaraje (dish made from black eyed peas).
This popular salad is prepared using Romaine lettuce, tomato, onion, hearts of palm, garbanzo beans, parsley and olive oil.
This dish made from small lobsters are popular for their delicious tails.
Casquinha de Siri
This dish is prepared by stuffing crab shells with a mixture of minced crab meat, hot pepper and cilantro. It is topped with grated cheese.
Pão de Queijo (Brazilian cheese buns)
Pão de Queijo brings cheese and bread, two staple favourites worldwide, together in glorious union. They are crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.
These tasty little gluten-free cheese buns are made with tapioca flour, eggs and grated queijo Minas (a cow’s milk cheese from the state of Minas Gerais), rolled into small balls.
You will also find pão de queijo in fist-sized rolls – or even the size of a cake – stuffed with anything from yet more cheese or cream cheese to various meaty fillings. They are normally consumed as breakfast, but you can enjoy this moreish snack at any time.
Acai (pronouned a-sa-ee) is a superfood. Consumed by indigenous tribes for energy, these hard purple berries are also used in Amazonian cooking, as a sauce with fish.
A clever marketing campaign in the 1980s thrust Acai berries into the spotlight as the energy snack of choice for surfers in Rio de Janeiro.
These delicious berries are harvested in Brazilian rain forests. They are very popular in Brazil. Rich in antioxidants, they have great nutritional value. Acai berries benefits are many.
Acai berry is 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 Brazil. You can even buy açaí vodka, and açaí beer.
Tutu a Mineira
This delectable dish is made with onion, garlic, beans, salt, pepper and parsley. It is normally served with rice, chili, sausage, onions and hard boiled eggs.
Bolinhos de Bacalhau
Brazilians have this good tasting appetizer with a glass of cold beer.
Bobo de Camarao
Brazil offers this tasty dish for shrimp lovers. This dish is prepared using dried shrimp, palm oil, manioc meal, coconut milk and nuts.
This delectable dish is prepared using ground yellow or white cornmeal. It is classified as a peasant food. It is frequently consumed with meats and ragù, cheese like Gorgonzola, or condiments like mostarda d'uva, a grape-and-nut jam from Piedmont.
Polenta can either be consumed freshly cooked or it can be cooled and then sliced and fried, grilled, or baked. Most of the high end restaurants serve this popular dish in Brazil.
Strogonoff de Camarao (Shrimp Strogonoff)
This delicious dish is very popular in and around Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil.
This simple yet tasty salad is prepared by sprinkling salt, pepper and sugar on fresh orange slices. This is very popular all over the country.
This chocolate bonbon is Brazil's answer to chocolate truffle. It is made of butter, sweetened condensed milk and cocoa powder. It is easy to make. The sweet balls are made by simmering condensed milk with cocoa powder, then whisking in butter and shaping the mix into balls before rolling in chocolate sprinkles.
Guaranteed to give an instant sugar high, they’re cloyingly sweet for some palates. Brazilians won’t hear a word against them though. This chocolate candy is normally served during birthday parties.
Creme de Abacate (Avocado cream)
This tasty dessert is popular all over Brazil.
This dish is prepared using potatoes, salt cod, black olives, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, onions and peppers.
Beijinho means "Little kiss" in Portuguese. It is a delectable candy made using grated coconut, sweetened condensed milk and butter. A clove is stuck at the top. It is very popular in birthday parties.
Biscoitos de Maizena (Cornstarch cookies)
This light-weight cookie is made with corn starch. It is available in most of the pastry shops and supermarkets in Brazil.
Coxinha means "Little thigh". This snack is very popular in Brazil. It is prepared using shredded chicken, spices, potato and wheat flour. Some variants use manioc instead of potato.
Many chefs worldwide are of the opinion that Brazil is the champion of barbecue. While each and everyone of us has a different approach – from cuts to accompaniments – some things do not change; the ogre-sized quantities of meat, best appreciated at your own pace, and with an elasticated waistband.
In Brazil, premium cuts are seasoned with 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 and chicken hearts sharing space on the grill, while in churrascarías all manner of meats on skewers, from pork to lamb and wild boar, will be sliced by waiters straight onto your plate.
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Brazil, I'm totally obsessed. I've been going since I was 17, and the first time I went, I fell in love with it.— Candice Swanepoel