Before going to Brazil, I checked a lot of “Brazilian foods you must try”-lists and I noticed they were all pretty much listing very similar things. Sure, Açaí (very healthy super fruit), Feijoada (Brazils national dish) and Brigadeiros (little condensed milk and chocolate balls) are definitely worth a try, but there is a lot more to Brazilian food than that. It’s really hard to just pick 10 foods since it feels that all I have been doing in Brazil was eating one amazing dish after the other!
1. Cachorro Quente
I love hot dogs. But I really love brazilian type hot dogs.
Brazilian Hot Dogs can often be bought in small food vans on busy streets and they are super popular! They are not only cheap but they are also filled to the brink with so many delicious things.
If you order a “Completo Cachorro Quente”, which means a hot dog that’s dressed with everything, you will get the following fillings: mashed potato, vinaigrette, bacon bits, salad and shoestring potatos or batata palha for that bit of extra crunch. The one we got costed less than 4 pounds (5$) and was so big, that two people could have easily shared it. But of course I finished it all on my own 😉
2. Lula à Doré
Lula à Doré are deepfried calamri rings and they are such a hit on the beach! The squid is fresh and comes usually with a dipping sauce and a bit of lemon juice. It’s great as a starter, side dish or just as a snack in between dipping into the ocean or sunbathing.
3. Pão de queijo
No Brazilian food list is complete without Pão de queijo. I am so glad I can’t buy them in the U.K, as I otherwise wouldn’t be able to fit in my clothes in not time!
Pão de queijo are little cheese balls that can bought in Padarias (Brazilian bakeries). They taste best when freshly made, when they are especially soft and airy. The cheese in it just melts in your mouth and it’s hard not to overeat them and start questioning your self control…
I am not too fussed about ham and cheese sandwiches (unlike my boyfriend who goes nuts over them) but I can give credit where credit is due.
Misto- Quente is quite common in Brazil and you can get them nearly everywhere. I think what makes this sandwich for me is the pão frances, the french bread (which isn’t really french bread though) that is often used with it. I love soft bread and pão frances was one of the best ones I ever had! It’s a simple and cheap dish but if you like cheese-ham sandwiches I am sure you will absolutely adore this Brazilian version!
5. O Prato Feito
O Prato Feitu means “complete plate”, loosely translated and it commonly refers to a dish that consists of a main protein of your choice and a few side dishes. These are often rice, chips and salada– not a real salad, most likely just a few salad leaves and a tomato.
It is commonly served in inexpensive restaurants during lunch time and it’s very popular with Brazilians, particularly blue-collar workers. It’s definitely worth ordering one Prato Feito in a seemly looking restaurant at least once. It might not be the most impressive meal you’ll ever have but it’s inexpensive, tasty and it’s what most Brazilians eat, making it an indispensable part of you Brazilian food experience.
During my time in Brazil I discovered so many new fruits that I had never tried. Some were really odd but I loved most of them.
You can find fruit markets everywhere in Brazil and I wholly recommend to just go and explore them and try whatever you don’t know 😉
Some of the fruits I recommend:
The Jabuticaba– tastes like grapes but sweeter and it’s also bigger. You also don’t eat the skin so you just have to suck out the flesh with you tongue.
Maracujá– Maracujá isn’t the most uncommon fruit, but they taste so much better in Brazil than any I have eaten in Europe. It’s one of the most popular fruits there so you won’t have any trouble finding it.
Caju– At first I kind of liked it but I slowly started disliking it. Something about the flavour really puts me off but hey, who would have thought that the Cashew tree also has fruits! Caju is often used to make Brazilian sweets and even honey.
Guarana– My absolute favorite. For me, there is nothing better than Guarana flavored things. The Guarana is native to the Amazon and has a high concentration of caffeine, which makes it a great substitute for coffee. It’s also sweet and juicy!
Cassave or Maniok is woody plant native to South America and is cultivated for its edible starchy stalk root. The taste is very similar to that of a potato and the root is heavily featured in a lot of Brazilian dishes. It is often made into flour and lightly roasted, turning it into farofa which is used on rice and beans and in the Brazilian national dish feijoada.
Farofa is often mixed with small bits of bacon and fried with garlic and salt to give a bit more flavor.
It’s very Brazilian and if you like it you can basically just use it on top of all sorts of dishes.
8. Maniok Fries
Made out of Maniok, Maniok fries taste like a mix between normal potato and sweet-potato fries. They are absolutely delicious when freshly made and even better when topped with a bit of salt and Parmesan.
I usually wouldn’t put “Pizza” on any “foods to try in a different country list” but a lot of my Brazilian friends insisted that Brazilian Pizza toppings are just too good to be left out.
Some of these toppings are:
Calabresa with Calabresa sausage. The special thing with this topping is that there is no cheese.
Catupiry con palmito– Catupiry is a certain type of cheese and palmtio is the heart of palm.
If you want to try all the different types of Pizza that Brazil has to offer you can visit an “All you can eat Pizza restaurant”. These are really popular in Brazil and you will be able to find the weirdest, yet oddly delicious pizza topping combinations there. Of course they also serve sweet dessert pizzas.
Brazil is just the place for meat lovers. As I wrote before, a visit in a Churrascaria is an absolute must when you come to Brazil. There you get meat sliced straight from the skewer and the best thing? You can eat as much as you want! Churrascarias are all you can eat meat and buffet restaurants. They offer huge variety of different cuts of meat and even chicken hearts are commonly found there!
I didn’t see Churros on any lists. Maybe that’s because they are actually Spanish/ Portuguese?
Well for me, I didn’t know about Churros before visiting Brazil and they are a big thing there. I fell in love with Churros straight away, as I love sweet things and a Churro is just the epitome of sweet.
There are usually sold in small food trucks and you can get them in different flavors or a mix of everything. Totally recommended, even if they aren’t actually Brazilian!