There’s this beautiful country in South America called Brazil — maybe you’ve heard of it. Well, if you haven’t, here’s a secret: It has the best food (and people) in the world.
The traditional food of Brazil is a combination of many different cultural inheritances that have mixed and created a very interesting and unique cuisine.
Originally, the food of Brazil was created by the native indigenous, who have given most of the main roots of the actual gastronomy of the country.
They planted manioc (a root vegetable like a potato) from which Brazilians learned to make tapioca and farofa , ground manioc, which is similar to fine breadcrumbs. It is toasted in oil and butter and sprinkled over rice, beans, meat, and fish.
When the Portuguese colonized Brazil, their gastronomy mixed with the traditional indigenous dishes. Then, during the times of slavery, Africans brought their gastronomy to Brazil as well, adding it to the combination of indigenous and Portuguese cuisine. However, these gastronomies didn’t completely merge, in most cases they coexisted.
Then, many other immigrants arrived as well: Lebanese, Germans, Italians, Japanese, Spanish, and many more, adding their dishes to the gastronomy of Brazil as well. This way, the actual gastronomy of Brazil is the result of a combination of cultures and dishes of many different origins.
In the state of Bahia, you’ll find a lot of African influences. More towards the south, you may stumble upon some German-influenced dishes. A couple of Brazilian favorites even hail from the Middle East.
Here’s everything you need to know about Brazilians’ heavenly cuisine.
Brazilians know that there is never an inappropriate time to devour as many miniature cheesy breads as your stomach can handle, called Pão de Queijo. An accompanying cup of coffee will do wonders for your soul.
Let’s be real, orange juice is so basic. Did you know cashew juice is a thing that exists and that it’s unbelievably delicious? Take a cue from the Brazilians who are sipping on everything from cashew, guava,passion fruit and more.
Coffee: that isn’t strong enough is referred to as in Brazil, which translates to “tea-coffee.” A true testament to the fact that they don’t believe in weak brews or tea, really.They thrive on the traditional , which are espressos with a splash of hot water.
Feijoada: is a black bean and meat stew It’s a hearty, chili-like dish but with a wider variety of meats and seasonings. Serve with rice, collard greens and orange slices for optimum Brazilian-ness. The lesser known , also a traditional meat stew, is equally delicious and undoubtedly worth several tastes.
Acarajé: Consider a black-eyed pea falafel deep fried in palm oil and filled with a dried shrimp and cashew cream called . They call this goodness . And although it may be considered one of the most fattening foods in the world, it’s at least also one of the tastiest. Other dishes include a coconut milk shrimp stew known as , a coconut milk fish stew known as , a clam and rice dish reminiscent of paella known as and a multi-fish stew known as . Enjoy!
Tapioca: a popular street food, is similar to a crepe and comes filled with either sweet or savory goodness. These tapioca treats are made from manioc flour, the same thing that’s used to prepare Farofa. Brazilians love their manioc flour.
Churrasco: chunks of beef cooked on a metal skewer over hot coals, is another favorite. Sometimes the beef is soaked in a mixture of vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic before cooking. This “Brazilian barbecue” is served with rice, potato salad, polenta (fried corn mush), or, occasionally, a fried banana. Gaúchos (cowboys) living in the region of Rio Grande do Sul especially.
Guaraná: the berry is known to be a natural source of caffeine and energy, and the sweetness of its flavor is actually quite “addicting.” Brazil has a soda made from this stuff, and it’s heaven in a can.
Natural coconut water: does wonders for your body and health, not to mention the occasional hangover. Can you imagine living in a place where you could walk down the street with a fresh coconut in hand? That pretty much sums it up…