Going to Brazil? Want to know what Brazilians eat and what is in stall for you? Read on for a quick guide to food in Brazil.
Every country has its staple diet and Brazil is no different. Food in Brazil revolves around three key things, 1) arroz which is white rice, 2) feijao which are black beans and 3) farinha which is like flour. It is very hard to try and avoid eating these although they do come in different shapes and sizes. These are usually eaten with either red meat, chicken or fish.
Restaurants in Brazil
When you are on the move or out and about there are lots of different choices in terms of where to spot for some food in Brazil. A lanchonete is like a snack bar where you can by things like sandwiches, hamburgers, pastries and other ready-made snacks to fill a whole in the stomach.
Restaurantes are where you go for sit-down meals. Here you can order anything from quick snacks to buffets to expensive set menus. Pizzarias are obviously where you go to get a pizza, although most also sell pasta.
At a charrascarias you can eat all the BBQ meat you want and lots of other food for a fixed price, what would be called an ” all you can eat.” Surprisingly, these are also a reasonable option for vegetarians as they usually have decent salad bars. You may come across a serving system called rodizio which are typical in charrascarias whereby the waiter will come round and keep offering you food until you can eat no more.
Meals in Brazil
Breakfast, known as cafe is usually eaten between 6 and 8.30 a.m. The food at a typical Brazilian hotel breakfast will not differ much from anywhere else in the world and include the standard coffee, juice, bread, cheese, cereal, eggs and fruit. Lunch is the main meal of the day in Brazil and is usually eaten between 11.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m. Dinner (jantar) is very much like lunch in terms of the food eaten and can take place anytime from 7 p.m. onwards. If you are visiting any of the big cities in Brazil, like Rio or Sao Paulo, you will notice most people don’t bother with dinner until 10 p.m.
Regional Brazilian Food
Although to the untrained eye it may all seem the same, food in Brazil varies from region to region. For example, in the Northern interior there is a heavy Indian influence while in the Northeast it is an African one. The main dish is also region based; in the Amazon fish is the staple while in the south meat, and lots of it, is the norm.
Popular Brazilian Dishes
Below we have listed a few of the more famous dishes of Brazil.
Barreado: meats and spices cooked in a clay pot for 24 hours and served with banana and farofa.
Carangueijada: cooked crab (whole)
Caruru: a good example of a food brought from Africa to Brazil. This is made with ladies fingers (okra) and onions, shrimp, peppers and oil.
Cozido: a stew with potatoes, carrots and vegetables.
Dourado: freshwater fish.
Feijoada: Brazil’s national dish. A meat stew with rice and a bowl of beans.
Xinxim de galinha: chicken flavoured with garlic, salt and lemon.