Eat Like a Local on Your Holiday to Brazil
Brazil is famous for many things: the famous Rio Carnival, some of the best beaches in the world and – of course – the best football in the world! But most people outside of the country don’t know anything about Brazilian food, and that’s a real shame. One of the real delights of any holiday to Brazil is trying all the local delicacies and specialities that make Brazilian food so enjoyable. Wherever you go on holiday, it’s easy to stick to bland international staples, but next time you’re in Brazil, have a go at eating like a local, and try at least some of the following Brazilian specialities…
Brazilian cuisine is much regionalised, but everywhere in the country has its own variation of Feijoada, and you barely count as Brazilian unless you eat it at least once a week. It’s often eaten as a family meal on a Sunday, like a Sunday roast in the UK, or a Biryani in India. Although it varies a little as you travel around Brazil, it’s essentially a pork and black-bean stew, which is rich, hearty and very filling. You normally have it served with white rice and a nice cold beer.
Pao de Queijo
These little cheese dumplings are commonly served either as a snack or as an hors-d’oeuvre in Brazil, and the fluffy, white little balls are tasty either way! They are made with tapioca flour and they are chewy in the same way as Japanese mocha and you can use them with a dipping sauce in a similar manner as well. If you go to an all-you-can-eat rodizio they are often served at the salad bar, so make sure you don’t fill up too much on them!
Also known as churrascarias, this is a type of restaurant rather than a food, but it showcases one of Brazilian cuisine’s real highlights: grilled meat! Brazilians certainly love their meat, and this is how they like it best: huge cuts of beef, pork and lamb, tenderly grilled on giant skewers and served nice and rare. You’ll also find some of the more unusual Brazilian specialties here, like chicken hearts, but the beef is really what it’s all about. Most rodizio restaurants are all-you-can-eat, and waiters just circulate with the aforementioned giant skewers, carving off slices for you until you’re full. As well as being incredibly tasty, it’s a real Brazil experience, and something you have to try at least once on any holiday to Brazil.
If your holiday in Brazil takes you to the north-east of the country, then a dish you’ll see on the menu everywhere in Bahia state is Moqueca Caixaba. This zingy, flavorsome fish stew is cooked with lots of vegetables (something quite unusual in Brazilian cuisine, where meat is usually served on its own) and so it’s a good way of getting in some of your five-a-day! It’s quite heavily spiced, but not too hot as it contains coconut milk, which acts to cool the dish down. The combination of the coconut milk, coriander and lemon juice gives it an almost Thai-like aroma and it’s a delicious dish to enjoy looking out over the ocean.
The one Brazilian delicacy which has really traveled across the world isn’t actually something to eat, but something to drink. The caipirinha cocktail, combining cane rum (cachaça), crushed ice, sugar, and squeezed lime juice, is served all over Brazil from fancy bars to beach side stalls and it’s the real taste of Brazil. Refreshing and intoxicating all at once, it’s no surprise that you can now drink caipirinhas everywhere from Alaska to Vladivostock!