The Brazilian people are not the only diverse aspect of Brazil. With Brazil being home to more than 9 different nationalities the traditional Brazilian food is just as diverse as the people. Italian, African, German and many other foreign foods have been adapted by the Brazilians and become a part of their traditional cooking.
This includes Pizza made Brazilian by the addition of Brazilian cream cheese, guava jam, chocolate, chicken and many other unusual ingredients. Sushi, truffles and Frango Com Quiabo a Brazilian style Gumbo are also dishes that have become a part of Brazilian cuisine. Frango Com Quiabo is made with chicken instead of shrimp though the shrimp version can be found in some places.
The traditional food of Brazil is Feijoada originally from Rio de Janeiro but now served nationally. Feijoada is a bean and smoked meat stew which uses black turtle beans if it is made in Rio de Janeiro, other regions make this traditional stew with white beans or red kidney beans. A lot of smoked pork and various other smoked meats, are used in this stew including sausages though pork and beef seem to be the most usual meats used. The ingredients for Feijoada are cooked together in one big stew pot and the end result is a delicious thick stew fragrant from the cumin and fresh parsley. Traditionally Feijoada does not contain vegetables but some recipes use tomatoes and greens. This dish is usually eaten at lunch time and it is served about twice a week. This dish was once considered a poor man’s stew but now it is eaten by everyone and served in the finest restaurants.
Rice is eaten regularly in Brazil and a popular food is fried balls of rice; this recipe is a delicious way to use up any leftover rice. Bread is made with cassava flour, a popular baked bread recipe is made using cassava flour and cheese.
There are many delectable desserts to be enjoyed in Brazil. Truffles are one of Brazil’s popular yet easy dishes to make; a can of sweetened condensed milk and a few tablespoons of cocoa powder or sweetened grated coconut are cooked over a low flame until the mixture is very thick and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Three tablespoons of butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla are stirred in and the mixture is chilled in the refrigerator and then a tablespoon of mix per truffle is shaped into balls using oiled or buttered hand. The truffles are then rolled in chocolate sprinkles, granulated sugar or sweetened dried coconut and kept cool until ready to serve. In Brazil these are called Brigadeiros and a single clove may be pressed into the top of each. Just don’t try to eat the clove.
Restaurant dining in Brazil can be very inexpensive as a lot of restaurants have fixed priced rates where you can have all you can eat buffets or food by the kilo. In both types of dining everything on the menu is available.
Lead photo: Fruits and vegetables of Brazil. Copyright: Marcelo Brito Filho, SXC