National cuisine of Brazil
There are huge territories here, and culinary preferences in different regions vary greatly. The national cuisine of Brazil was formed, first of all, under the influence of the Portuguese, but Africans and Asians also contributed. Combined with the range of products that are produced on local farms, in the mountains and on the coast, the traditional food in Brazil is rich, tasty and the highlight of a tourist trip.
This is the king of Brazilian cuisines. It will be offered to you both in modest street cafes and in prestigious establishments. Feijoada is a national dish popular in all regions of Brazil. This is a hearty stew of black beans, sausages and pork chunks.
The traditional recipe calls for feijoada to be cooked within a day. This includes soaking beans and marinating pork. Most Brazilians go to restaurants and bars on Wednesdays and Saturdays to eat feijoada. There is a lighter version, with less meat – caldino de feijoa.
The birthplace of vatapa is the state of Bahia, and the best variations of its preparation can be tasted here. Vatapa is an everyday dish for Brazilians, but an exotic treat for visitors to the country.
In Brazil, rice and bean dishes are popular, they are inexpensive, and by adding original spices they acquire a unique taste. A great example is bushido: rice, green beans, cheese, vegetables. Sometimes beef is added.
but the basis is two ingredients – rice and beans (the literal translation of the name is “dance for two”). All this is poured with melted butter and hot sauce. The dish is common in the east of the country. Argentines claim to be its inventors, but Brazil considers bushido a national dish.
It’s not just stewed fish. Mukeka strikes with its bright color when a hot clay pot opens in front of a restaurant visitor, releasing a cloud of fragrant steam. The states of Bahia and Espírito Santo dispute the authorship of this dish, and serve different, but equally tasty versions.
The easiest cooking method is stewing fish with tomatoes, onions and coriander. In Espírito Santo, it is customary to add annatto seeds to the mukeca for a bright red color, while in Bahia they serve a heavier version made with palm oil, pepper and coconut milk.
A prominent representative of Brazil’s national cuisine is a hot soup made from tucupi (cassava sauce), tapioca (cassava flour) and dried shrimp, plus green jambu leaf, which causes numbness or tingling in the mouth. Brazilians say it’s the best hangover cure.
Despite the hot climate, grilled or barbecued meat is popular in Brazil. Moreover, Brazilians prefer to use larger pieces, up to a whole pork carcass. Seasonings for such a dish are not provided, only salt. the meat is fried until almost completely degreased, and the tender pink flesh melts in your mouth.
In Brazil, there are many light “quick” snacks that you can eat with your hands and on the go. For example, torresmo are crispy fried pork skins. They are served with feijoada or eat beer with them. Pao de quejos – small fluffy balls of cassava flour bread with cheese – are popular street foods in Sao Paulo and Rio.
Condiments and sauces
Here it is, the Asian zest in the national food of Brazil. Spicy is the first sign of Brazilian food. Spices are used not only to create the original taste of the dish, but for disinfection, which is important in hot climates. Brazilians often use peppers: chili, black pepper, paprika, malagueta and jalapeno. Herbs are also used as spices: coriander, cumin. Sauces are prepared on their basis: chimichuri, salgadinho, different types of ketchups.
Cachaça is a strong alcohol, in fact, moonshine made from sugar cane. It has a terrible smell, but it is he who is an indicator of the naturalness of the product. On the basis of cachaça, the famous Brazilian caparinha cocktail is made, adding lime juice and sugar or coconut milk to it, as well as cayujinno with cashew nuts. Among non-alcoholic cocktails, guarana from the fruit of the same name and lime-based suis lemonade are popular.
This purple berry is almost ubiquitous in the traditional cuisine of Brazil. It is used as a marinade for fish and meat, ice cream is made from it and added to cocktails, used for sweet pastries and, finally, they make moonshine and brew beer with acai.
Coffee is the pride of Brazil. There is a whole separate culture of its consumption. So, most Brazilians ignore coffee machines, believing that they spoil the taste of a natural drink. However, they prefer to put a lot of sugar in it, since Brazilian coffee grown in the lowlands has a rather bitter taste. It is most often served in tiny cups of demitasses, and the average Brazilian can drink about 10 such servings a day without fear of heart problems. It is common to add milk to coffee, but not cream.
The national cuisine of Brazil also includes many sweets. For coffee in any institution, the visitor will be offered one of the desserts. The most popular is brigadeiros, a kind of truffle made from condensed milk with cocoa, sprinkled with chocolate.
The taste of such a dessert is extremely sugary, but the Brazilians adore it. Quindim is another sweet made from eggs, sugar and coconut, baked in the form of a cake and topped with custard. Goyabada is a guava paste with sugar that is eaten just like that or used to make cheesecakes.