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Brazilian food - vacation memories to recook

November 05, 2018
Brazilian Buffet

When traveling to distant countries and regions, the country-specific cuisine is of course of special importance. For getting to know and appreciate new cultures, local food usually offers a perfect starting point. Exactly that applies straight to Brazil journeys.

The cuisine of Brazil - a mix of different roots

Brazilian food, like the country's landscape and population, is very diverse. Typical Brazilian dishes can differ greatly, especially in their origin. The cuisine of the Portuguese colonial masters, mainly European but also Asian immigration and slavery are mainly responsible for Brazil's culinary wealth.

The national dish of Brazil

Feijoada, a stew of black beans, pieces of beef and pork, and some other ingredients, is the national dish of Brazil. However, the dish is not only found in Brazil but also in Portugal and other former Portuguese colonies, especially in Angola. Thus, there are also different variations of the dish. The typical Brazilian variant of feijoada is usually served with side dishes consisting of rice, farofa (roasted and spiced manioc flour), and molho de pimenta, a spicy to hot pepper sauce. The origin of the national dish is in the north of Portugal and was further influenced by the slaves.

Typical Brazilian dishes of the different regions

Apart from the national court, the part of the extraordinarily large country in which one is located plays a decisive role.

Brazil's most famous recipes come from the southeast of the country. In the states belonging to this part feijoada is a very popular dish.
In the state of Minas Gerais, the preparation of cheese is particularly well known. The queijo minas (Minas cheese) is a typical Brazilian cheese, of which there are also different varieties. The pão de queijo is also from Minas Gerais, but it is one of the most famous Brazilian dishes and is now exported to many parts of the world as a baking mixture. It is a pastry made of choux pastry, made from tapioca flour and cheese.
Another well-known delicacy is tapioca. It is a kind of pancake made of tapioca flour, usually filled with hearty contents such as butter, cheese, meat, and vegetables, or sweet.

Most and at the same time the tastiest meat is consumed in the south of Brazil, especially in the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul. In this part of Brazil, livestock farming and the associated spread of meat dishes are particularly pronounced. To get a taste of it yourself, a visit to a churrascaria, a typical meat restaurant in this region, is highly recommended.
Another specialty of the gaúchos, as the inhabitants of Rio Grande do Sul are called, is the green and invigorating mate tea, called chimarrão. This is drunk with a silver drinking tube from a special vessel called the cuia. Besides, the southern part of Brazil is also cultivated with wine. The influence of European immigration is therefore particularly noticeable in the south of the country.

The northeast of the country is famous for fish and sea animals. Especially in coastal regions, many recipes are based on fish, crabs, crayfish, and lobsters. In the interior of the country, however, rice, beans, cassava, and dried meat are traditionally eaten more often. The coinage by mainly Creole but also African influences is reflected in some recipes. An extremely popular delicacy is the bolo de rolo, a roll cake with jam filling, which is a symbol and cultural heritage of the state of Pernambuco. Its origin goes back to the south coast of Portugal.

The Brazilian north and west are very extensive and sparsely populated and therefore do not have such a widespread local cuisine as the other major regions. However, freshly caught freshwater fish and exotic spices are among the main features of the Amazon menu. Indian cuisine also has an influence. Well-known dishes are for example carurú, a delicious crab dish with many ingredients, as well as tacacá, a hot served crab soup.

Specialties from Bahia

The cuisine of Bahia occupies a special position in the culinary spectrum of Brazil. It is the farthest removed from the colonial Portuguese influences on the food traditions of other regions. It has a great variety of recipes and a strong African influence. Fish, meat, and a lot of fruit are used in it.

Seafood and poultry are prepared with red dendê palm oil according to traditional African recipes. South American ingredients such as manioc, corn, and peanuts are mixed with ingredients originally from Africa such as okra, yams, and plantains to create a tasty adventure. Bahia also tends to like things a little hotter and spicier, for which cayenne and Malagueta pepper is used extensively. The latter as well as the already mentioned reddish dendê palm oil are characteristic of the state's cuisine.

One of the most famous and popular dishes of this region is moqueca, a mixture of shrimp, garlic, onions, parsley, pepper, tomatoes, and the ubiquitous palm oil. It is served with rice cooked in coconut milk. This meal also exists in different variations. For example, besides the most famous variation "Moqueca Baiana", there is the "Moqueca Capixaba". This dish is a typical example of the mixing of African and local cuisine.
Besides, the traditional dishes vatapá (seasoning paste) or acarajé (fried meatballs made from beans) are among the other specialties with a particularly high degree of popularity. Both are of African origin and are often prepared at Salvador da Bahia's street stalls and sold by hand.

The many dishes typical of Brazil reflect the strong influence of European and African recipes. Not least because of this, Brazil's cuisine can cater to a wide variety of tastes and its tasting is an absolute must for Brazil vacationers.
On top of that, the great selection of fruits in all seasons is one of its great strengths and the local markets can impressively testify to the fertility of the country. Of course, Brazilian cuisine also offers other great and well-known recipes, but you can get an impression of them yourself as always. At the latest now you know what to expect depending on your preferences and travel region.

Sources: Polyglot (Apa Guide BRAZIL), www.wikipedia.org

Source: Aventura do Brasil