6 Brazil-iant eats
Think Brazil is all about Iguazu Falls, Rio and living it up at Carnival? Nuh-ah! Brazil tastes as good as it looks. There are the meaty churrascarias straight off the charcoal, the sweet, bright purple bowls of Acai and the hearty stacks of beans like you’ve never seen beans before. Oh and did we mention that Caipirinhas are the national cocktail? Yeah, we know. Salivating at the thought? Get there and get these Brazil-iant eats into ya!
First things first: get the pronounciation right. It’s “a-sa-ee” – not “a-kye” or “a-chai”. “A-sa-eeeeeee!”. Flaunted with modern ‘superfood’ status, it has actually been around for yonks. Indigenous tribes traditionally ate this hard purple berry commonly used in Amazonian dishes. Today’s version comes as a frozen sorbet topped with granola and fruit. Now say “y-uu-mmm”.
Churrascaria isn’t so much a 'food' but where you need to go to feast on this all-out dining experience. A type of all-you-can-eat steakhouse (or rodizio), it’s practically a way of life – equivalent to the Aussie barbeque. Sorry vegos! The Brazilians truly are meat-lovers through and through. You’ll find all kind of churrascarias across the country – cheap ones, fancy ones, specialty ones, famous ones. Pick one on par with your budget and your pickiness for juicy meat quality.
Pao de Queijo
Like bread, but love cheese more? Pop these babies into your mouth. It’s like the best of both worlds meeting in one delicious, crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside ball of heaven. Made from grated cheese and a special kind of bread made from tapioca flour, eggs and more cheese - in case it's kinda a big deal - it’s also gluten-free! Yas! Some giant-sized versions exist too that look more like a fist-sized roll with extra fillings.
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Chicken + mashed potatoes rolled around in flour and deep-fried. Coxinha is on par with the kind of greasy treats that tempt you through the foggy glass of the bain-marie at a service station on a road trip. It’s much the same in Brazil. Find these filling bites at service stations and padarias (bakeries) mostly. If you’re lucky, you might even come across the type that come with a gooey cream cheese centre, meaty fillings or a sweet, sweet twist.
Whether you’re standing on the edge of Iguazu Falls on the border with Argentina, cruising through thick jungle terrain along the Amazon or sunning yourself on the glorious northern beaches, you can’t escape a hearty bowl of Feijoada. Basically, it’s everywhere. A traditional stew of beans with beef and pork, served on rice with fresh slices of orange, it’s pretty likely you’ll find yourself tucking into this one more than once.
Ok so it’s not food, but Caipirinhas can’t be left off the list. Because: holidays! They’re the classic alcoholic beverage of choice and a national staple on the cocktail list. Made with a fiery liquor made from sugar cane, lime, sugar and ice, it hits you both sharp and sweet. It’s delicious though. And it’s dangerously easy to drink. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
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