Brazilian cuisine

Brazilian cuisine . In Brazil the cuisine is very regionalized, so each area has its own typical dishes. It is the result of a mixture of various European, indigenous and African ingredients .


[ hide ]

  • 1 History
  • 2 typical dishes
  • 3 Other typical Brazilian dishes
  • 4 Feijoada
  • 5 Folklore and food superstitions
  • 6 Drinks
    • 1 Most popular drinks in Brazil
  • 7 Popular Brazilian Desserts
  • 8 cheeses
  • 9 Source


In the colonial period the Portuguese assimilated the ingredients of the natives of Africa , Asia and America to survive in strange lands, although it was also done out of curiosity. In Brazil, domestic food production was limited, since the economy was focused on exports. The colonial gastronomy of that time could be divided into four streams: that of the sugar coast; that of the north ; that of the sides that left from Vila de Piratininga; and the fourth, of the livestock.

For the north, the inhabitants depended more on indigenous knowledge to survive than on the harvest itself: drugs of sertão, for this reason their diet included exotic dishes and ingredients such as fish meat: pirarucu, meat of jacarés (alligators), turtles —as well as their eggs— and peixe-boi, from which butter was also made , and fruits . In the regions near Vila de São Paulo do Piratininga the cultivation of sugar cane was inadequate , the economy turned inland, to obtain gold , precious stonesand market with the arrest of the indigenous people, for this reason a subsistence livestock system was implemented. The tupis plantation system – where small strategic areas are cultivated – was taken advantage of by the travelers: an area was planted so that there would be food when they returned from the trip. History influences the cuisine of each region.

Typical dishes

Typical dish

Eating habits vary considerably from region to region according to history, so much so that it is normal for the Brazilians themselves at one end to be unaware of the dishes at the opposite end. Thus, on the coast of the Northeast Region of Brazil there is a great influence of African cuisine, it is worth mentioning the acarajé , the vatapá and the pepper mold; In the North Region of Brazil there is a greater influence of the indigenous people, it is noted in the use of cassava and fish; In the Southeast Region of Brazil there are various dishes such as the feijão tropeiro closely linked to the bandeirantes, in Minas Gerais , and to pizza in São Paulo, influence of Italian immigrants; and in the South Region of Brazil there is a strong influence of Italian cuisine that can be seen in dishes such as polenta, as well as German cuisine. The churrasco is typical of Rio Grande do Sur.

North The dishes from the north of Brazil are more influenced by indigenous ingredients. Dishes include picadinho de jacaré (dish made with jacaré meat, Lagarto or “Alligator”), or pirarucu de casaca, prepared with olives , eggs and cheiro-verde, tacacá, açaí, or non-tucupi duck, consumed generally at the time of the Círio de Nossa Senhora de Nazaré, as well as the maniçoba.

Northeast The characteristic dishes of the Northeast Region of Brazil include vatapá, moqueca (both with mollusks and palm oil ), acarajé (a kind of white bean bun and fried onion in oil with shrimp , vermelha pepper, taken by the Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional as material heritage in 2004 , and caruru (quiabo and chestnuts, shrimp, pepper and garlic), is of indigenous origin adapted by slaves and sarapatel. Other common foods are farofa, paçoca, canjica, pamonha, carne-de-sol, buchado de bode, queijo coalho and rapadura. A bun originally from Pernambuco, and which later spread throughout the country, which is the bolo de rolo, made with wheat flour . The Maranhão, which resembles cuxá based on African cuisine, vinagreira. On the coast, however, there is less influence on African cuisine, seafood and constant tropical fruits abound in the region’s dishes. The best known are mango , mamões, goiabas, oranges , passion fruit, abacaxis, fruit-do-conde, cajus (the fruit of the chestnut).

Central-West Pequi is very popular in the cuisine of the state of Goiás and is generally served with rice . Fish and meat from the region’s haciendas dominate the menu, along with soybeans , rice, millet and cassava.

Southeast In Minas Gerais regional dishes include corn , meat of pig , queijo mines, pão de queijo, and tropeiro feijão, Angu, the Mineira Tutu, a paste of beans with manioc flour and fried bananas. A typical meal from São Paulo and from virado à paulista, which is made with rice, tutu de feijão (bean dough with manioc flour), the couve-de-folhas made with salted pork pieces. In the city of São Paulo it is possible to find great varieties of international cuisine: Chinese and French.

The local dish in Espírito Santo is moqueca capixaba (which includes mainly fish and tomatoes ), it is different from the barely prepared Bahian dish, since it takes palm oil and coconut milk .

South In Rio Grande do Sul the churrasco is very traditional, that is, the roast beef in churrasqueiras. The traditional food of the state of Paraná is the barreado, it consists of meat cooked in clay pots, in layers placed under the ground to be cooked in the heat of the sun, this meal is served with flour.

Other typical Brazilian dishes

  • AcarajéIn Salvador de Bahía and other cities in the northeast, vendors of acarajé, the typical sandwich of the region, are a frequent postcard. With African roots, the acarajé is a bun prepared with feijao fradinho and shrimp , fried in palm oil.
  • PamonhaAlso called “pamoña” in Spanish, this preparation consists of a bun of cooked corn paste, wrapped in leaves of the same vegetable or banana. It can be prepared as a sweet snack (better known recipe) or salty, with additions such as bacon, onion and tomato. The pamonha integrates the traditional gastronomy of the Southeast region and the city of Goiania. The pamonhas in the city of Piracicaba, in San Pablo, are considered the tastiest in the country.
  • QuindimTraditional dessert from the Brazilian Northeast, made from egg yolk, grated coconut and sugar. This cream is a direct inheritance of Portuguese gastronomy, where the egg is a central ingredient. The addition of coconut is, possibly, a contribution of African slaves in the 17th century, planters of this fruit so deeply rooted in Brazilian sweets.
  • CanjicaAmong the traditional sweets of Brazil, the canjica occupies a prominent place in the country’s pastry shops, especially during the Junin festivities. It is prepared with corn, condensed milk and sugar, and is usually accompanied with coconut milk and peanuts.
  • VatapáThick mash prepared with shrimp, coconut milk and bread, considered one of the stars of Bahian gastronomy. It is flavored with various ingredients: peanuts, cashews, bell peppers, onions and ginger. It is usually used as a filling for the acarajé.
  • AcarajéIn Salvador de Bahía and other cities in the northeast, vendors of acarajé, the typical sandwich of the region, are a frequent postcard. With African roots, the acarajé is a bun prepared with feijao fradinho and shrimp, fried in palm oil.


Feijoada, a popular dish, owes its name to its main ingredient, black beans . It is a thick dish, and the accompanying garnish is made from different parts of the pork, such as feet, ears and bacon, in addition to other smoked or salted meats. Beans and meats are generally served separately, and are accompanied by chopped cabbage, rice, fried cassava flour, called farofa, and fried plantain. This dish comes from the time of the Portuguese colony. It has some similarities with the Cozido à portuguesa.

Folklore and food superstitions

Most of the Brazilian food superstitions on the table have their origin in Portuguese cuisine. Some indigenous tribes barely avoided eating their totem animals and slaves had a habit of not leaving food scraps on the plate so that they could not be used by their enemies. Based on restrictions and avoiding the mixing of different foods and drinks after eating certain foods. The fruit salad, for example, was frowned upon because of that. In the same way, the ingestion of cachaça after certain foods such as milk , mangoes , aubergines , bananas and flour or milk with pineapples. Milk should not be mixed and was believed to be bad for health. Other restrictions involve overeating as it would cause ailments, such as the consumption of sugarcane, however some drinks such as cachaça were believed to lessen the effects of the flu and colds.


The national drink is undoubtedly the caipirinha, made with cachaça ( rum from sugar cane ), sugar, juice of lemon and ice. Exotic fruit juice smoothies are very popular and a good option to cool off as they are usually accompanied by crushed ice. And of course, you have to try the excellent coffee . One of the best in the world, and that can be taken after finishing a meal. Nothing better than a “cafezinho” well loaded, without milk and with sugar.

Most popular drinks in Brazil

Coffee : It is one of the most emblematic drinks in Brazil. It is nice to drink a good coffee after a meal.

Beer : The best known are the Brahma, Antarctic and Skol brand beers .

Guarana : It is a drink that is made with fruits from the Amazon, which are attributed energizing powers. Young people often mix it with “cola” type drinks.

Batida de Coco : It is a very soft drink, highly demanded in night entertainment venues. Although tourists also often drink coconut smoothies on the beach. The basic ingredients are: coconut milk, rum and sugar.

Caipirinha : it is known as “the national drink of Brazil”. The basic ingredients are: cachaca (brandy distilled from sugar cane), lime juice, sugarand ice. Cachaça (in Portuguese, cachaça, called pinga, branquinha, caxaca, caxa or chacha) is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil. It is obtained as a product of the distillation of the juice of the fermented sugar cane. The name of cachaça comes from cagassa or cachassa and is of Spanish origin. While the majority of rums come from molasses — a by-product of sugar production after its crystallization — cachaça rum comes from cachaça, which is a by-product prior to sugar crystallization. The “Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy”, ad vocem “cachaça”, provides two meanings of “cachaza”: one meaning refers to the by-product and the other to the drink which, by metonymy, receives the same name as the by-product. The “Dictionary of the Portuguese Language 2008”, ad vocem ”

Caipiríssima is a Caribbean adaptation of the traditional Brazilian caipirinha cocktail (caipirinha), made with rum instead of cachaça.

Popular Brazilian Desserts

Some of these common Brazilian desserts are: quindim, bejinho, cocada, bread pudding, rice pudding, brigadeiro, bolo de maracuja, and pan de mel, among others. Tropical fruits are also often eaten for dessert.


Catupiry is the most popular “requeijão” type cheese in Brazil. It is originally from the state of Minas Gerais , where it was created in 1911 , developed by the Italian immigrant Mario Silvestrini. The name comes from a native Tupi-Guarani word that means “excellent”. The recipe, created by Mario, is still a secret. Catupiry is one of the most traditional products in Brazil. The rounded label and wrap reminds of “grandma’s kitchen” and evokes nostalgic feelings among Brazilians. There are 15 million catupiry consumers in Brazil, who quickly recognize the same graphic design and colors of the early 20th century , the decorative elements, and the style reminiscent of movement.Art Deco . Catupiry is a soft cheese that can be spread on toast and crackers or used in cooking. Due to its low acidity level, catupiry has become an essential ingredient in countless dishes. A large number of pasta, fish and chicken recipes use this cheese in Brazil. The term ao Catupiry (with catupiry) is widely used and refers to foods where it is an important ingredient such as in pizza or snack ingredients such as coxinhas fillings, cakes, and chips. In the state of Rio de Janeiro , catupiry is often eaten as a dessert combined with guava pâté . In the United States , catupiry can be found in Brazilian ethnic stores and Florida restaurants ,California , New York and Massachusetts , although it is difficult to find.

Queijo coalho (also referred to as Queijo de coalho) is a pasteurized cheese (Queijo) very typical of Brazilian cuisine in the Northeast Region of Brazil. It is made with fermented cow’s milk. It has a slightly salty flavor and a soft texture. It is usually considered as a very cheap and popular snack on some Brazilian beaches. It is marketed in rectangular strips flavored with oregano or garlic , it is usually eaten in Kebab “Queijo coalho! Queijo na brasa!” (“cheese on the coals”) is the incessant cry of the street vendors.

Queijo Minas Frescal is a cheese made from cow’s milk, very traditional in Brazilian cuisine. It is marketed in three varieties called: Frescal (fresh cheese), Meia-cura (semi-cured) and Cured (cured cheese). A fourth variety is called Queijo Padrão (standard cheese) and it has been made very recently. You can find this cheese in almost any store in Brazil. It is used in making pão de queijo (cheese bread).

Requeijão is a cream cheese that is made in Portugal and Brazil, made from cow, sheep or goat milk . Equivalent to cottage cheese. It is called queijo creme in European Portuguese and requeijão cremoso in Brazilian Portuguese. It is white. The texture is dense, without holes. The consistency of this cheese ranges from solid to creamy. It has a characteristic flavor, medium sour and salty. The elaboration of requeijão has been known for centuries. It is a variety of ricotaitaliana, which can be traced back to the time when shepherds made their meals over the fire in pans in the Mediterranean area, especially in Italy.. The “requeijão” has been brought to Brazil by the Portuguese during the colonial period, although in this country it is more associated with the state of Minas Gerais. Among its varieties, one can speak of requeijão do Sertão produced in the north of Brazil, which is usually used for breakfast, and requeijão comum, which is produced in São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, being used as a kind of butter on bread or as a dessert. Its most common variant is creamy requeijão, with a very creamy consistency; usually sold in plastic cups or glasses. In Portugal, the “requeijão” of Serra da Estrela is highly praised, although this product is produced throughout the country.


Leave a Comment