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The best of Brazilian cuisine

Top dishes to try, local cuisine in Brazil
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Foodies will thrive in Brazil, considering it has one of the most famous cuisines known to man, complete with a variety of well-known and local dishes to choose from all over the country. The cuisine in Brazil has many influences ranging from African, European, and Asian and is an absolute treat for anyone traveling around this stunning country.

We have got you covered if you are wondering what to eat while you are there or what to expect from the local food available around the country. However, it can always come in very handy to connect with a local ‘Brazil Destination Expert,’ who can advise you on some traditional regional l meals as you move around. 

Let the inspiration begin!

Many of you might have heard about the world-famous ‘Brazilian BBQ’ because it is available globally. Many restaurants are dedicated to serving a range of Brazilian meats barbequed to perfection. However, if you thought this was all Brazil had to offer, you would be wrong because there are a variety of delicious meals (and drinks) to taste along your travels, and we can’t wait to tell you all about them. 

Here are the best dishes and drinks to try.

On the go

Empanada:

The best of Brazilian cuisine
Photo by Delfina Iacub on Unsplash

As one of the most famous street foods in Brazil, you will not miss your chance to taste one of these traditional snacks. These are filled with olives and shredded chicken and can be found at street vendors, restaurants, and even gas stations, so chances are, if you have a long day ahead of you, you might grab a couple of these throughout the day. 

Coxinhas:

The best of Brazilian cuisine
https://www.thespruceeats.com/coxinha-brazilian-chicken-croquettes-3029668 | Photo: The Spruce

These teardrops-shaped Brazilian snacks are made up of shredded chicken meat covered in dough, which is then battered and deep-fried. After a few caipirinhas, this makes for a delicious evening snack and is one of the most famous street food snacks you can find. 

Prawn Skewers:

The best of Brazilian cuisine
https://fridaymagazine.ae/food/recipes/brazilian-beach-prawn-skewers-1.2125932 | Photo by: Anaz Thacharpadikkal

Brazilians may be famous for barbequing meat, but you can also find many prawn skewers around the place, which taste so fresh and good, straight off the barbeque. If you are looking for a healthy and fresh snack, this is the one to go to and can be found on many Brazilian beaches, where beach vendors will come to you.

Acaraje:

The best of Brazilian cuisine

This black-eyed pea fritter is typical of the region of Bahia in northeast Brazil, mainly in Salvador, and is trendy street food for both locals and tourists. It might look and taste familiar to you if you had tasted West African food before because this snack was brought by enslaved West Africans to Brazil and is still a trendy snack in Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, etc.

Bolinho de Bacalhau:

The best of Brazilian cuisine
Photo: https://tasteporto.com/recipe-delicious-bolinhos-de-bacalhau-codfish-series/

Bacalhau, or salted cod, is very popular in Portugal and is considered one of their national dishes, so it was pretty standard that when Portugal colonized Brazil, they brought their culinary influences with them, and this is one of them. This snack involves salted cod, potatoes, eggs, parsley, onion, and nutmeg and is known as the salted cod croquette or salted cod fritter.

Meals

Farofa:

The best of Brazilian cuisine

This is a typical Brazilian meal, and although it can be bought pre-made, it is best cooked homemade, so if you get the chance to taste fresh Farofa, don’t pass it up. It is made from toasted cassava or cornflour mix and contains some smoked meat, salt, and plenty of spices, making it a delicious Brazilian food option. 

Feijoada:

The best of Brazilian cuisine

If you know a bit of Portuguese, you might have already guessed what the main ingredient of this traditional dish is – beans. This dish came about from salves in Brazil, who were used to making meals out of the leftovers they received, and so they conjured up Feijoada, which has become a staple food in Brazil and the festive national food of the country. It is known as the Brazilian stew and combines beef, beans, and pork with kale mixed with bacon bits and a side of rice. 

Moqueca de Camarao:

The best of Brazilian cuisine
Photo: https://www.receitasagora.com.br/receitas/moqueca-de-camarao-baiana/

This dish, typical of the region of Bahia, can be found everywhere and is such a delicious treat. It contains prawns, coconut oil, milk, and mixed vegetables, which make up one of Brazil’s best-loved stews.

Picanha:

This is THE most popular cut of steak in Brazil and all of South America, so much so that other countries have adopted it into their cuisine, offering it in international restaurants worldwide. Brazil is known for its meat, and picanha cannot be overlooked if you are a meat lover, so keep an eye out for this.

The best of Brazilian cuisine

As Brazilian BBQ is such a popular thing both in Brazil and around the world, you might have even tried picanha once or twice if you have been to one of these places, considering this is a favorite at most Brazilian steakhouses. Like any meal around the world, though, it is best from the source, so be sure to get some barbequed picanha, during your travels.

Drinks

Caipirinha:

The best of Brazilian cuisine

This is, of course, Brazil’s national cocktail, and you won’t even have to look for it because it is displayed on every menu around the country, and the world too. It is made using the spirit cachaca (which we will get to a bit later), sugar, and lime, all mixed to create a drink like no other, which has become world-famous.

Brazilian Erva Mate:

The best of Brazilian cuisine
Photo by Antonio Werner on Unsplash

Otherwise known as Chimarrao, this Brazilian green tea called Erva Mate is Portuguese for Yerba Mate, which can be found in neighboring countries and is a real social custom. However, the main traditions and folklore behind the drink vary from country to country, and in Brazil, there is a lot to learn about this traditional drink. 

Guarana Juice:

Guarana Juice
Photo: https://bigseventravel.com/popular-brazilian-drinks/

Guarana is a plant native to the Amazon, and you might recognize this name from energy drinks and such, considering it is widely used as an addition to caffeine. Drinking too much of this is unsafe because of the levels of caffeine, but don’t hesitate to try some pure guarana juice in moderation while you are in Brazil. It is rich in antioxidants, promotes weight loss, reduces fatigue, and boosts energy levels, so is it any wonder that this is the most common juice in Brazil.

Cachaca:

The best of Brazilian cuisine

This sugar cane spirit goes way back to 1532 and is produced exclusively in Brazil, meaning that it is something you should not skip out on during your travels. It is the leading spirit in the signature cocktail Caipirinha and is widely enjoyed by locals and tourists all over the country. 

Coffee (of course):

The best of Brazilian cuisine

Brazil is the world’s largest producer of coffee, so if you are a fan of drinking coffee, you will be in your element here, tasting the coffee and learning the history of the production. It is so popular because it has many different beans, flavors, and aromas, so it is not uncommon to taste coffee with flavors of chocolate and nuts and then move to another region and try one with citrus flavors. That is the beauty of coffee production in Brazil. There are so many regions and climates in this vast country that impact coffee.

Do not miss this Coffee Experience trip if coffee is your thing. 

Sweet

Canjica:

The best of Brazilian cuisine

This sweet dessert consists of white corn mixed with coconut and condensed milk to make it ultra-creamy and topped with some cinnamon for extra flavor. This is traditionally eaten at the June Festival but can be found everywhere in the country, thankfully. 

Brigadeiro:

The best of Brazilian cuisine

If you have a sweet tooth, don’t forget to get your hands on these chocolate truffles covered in sprinkles. An absolute treat after one of Brazil’s main meals. 

Acai:

The best of Brazilian cuisine

This superfood, which has taken the world by storm, is trendy in Brazil and can be found near the coast. It can be eaten in smoothies or as an Acai bowl with granola and fruit, so whatever your choice, you can be sure you are getting all the goodness.

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