5 FOODS TO TRY IN BRAZIL
Brazilian culture is a diverse mix that reflects the country’s history of colonization, slavery, and immigration.
The main component of feijoada is beans and rice, but these are no ordinary beans. Traditional feijoada is made of black beans cooked in a thick sauce with meat, such as sausage, ribs, and dried pork or beef. Feijoada is typically served with the following four items: collard greens that have been lightly cooked, orange slices, fried bananas, and farofa, or toasted cassava flour that adds a crunchy texture to the meal.
Brazilians purchase the fish for special occasions and often serve it baked with potatoes, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and olives.
The Brazilian barbecue often consists of barbecued steak and sausage plus the common Brazilian condiment, vinagrete, a mix of finely chopped tomatoes, onions and herbs in olive oil, vinegar, salt, and lime juice. It’s then eaten with mini baguettes. Of course, freshly prepared caipirinhas, or drinks made with alcohol, lime juice, and sugar, are usually served at any barbecue.
Four of the most common salgados are pão de queijo, esfiha, coxinha, and empadinhas, but Brazil has a complex food scene, so a visit to the country’s various regions will leave you with many more options. You can find these tasty snacks at botecos (cafés where coffee, beer, and snacks are served) or at outdoor markets.
Pão de queijo (cheese bread) is warm balls of bread filled with soft cheese. Esfiha is a bread pocket filled with ground beef, herbs, onions, and tomato; sometimes a vegetarian version with collard greens and cheese is available. Esfihas are often served open-faced like a small pizza. Coxinha is a triangle-shaped snack of savory shredded chicken covered in dough and deep-fried. Empadinhas are like small pot pies typically filled with hearts of palm and a savory sauce.
Common fillings are “pizza” (mozzarella cheese, tomato, and basil), bacalhau (salted cod with herbs and onion), and carne (ground beef and hard-boiled eggs). Pasteis can be purchased at a pastelaria or almost any outdoor market.
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