There’s way more to Brazilian food than rice and beans, churrascarias, and cachaça, so we’ve put together a list of must-try Brazilian foods that will delight your tastebuds, expand your palate, and impress your clients (through your extensive knowledge of authentic Brazilian fare)! From small bites and entreés, to street food and dessert… Brazilian cuisine has something for everyone!
A cone containing chicken and mashed potatoes, coated with flour and deep-fried, the coxinha is omnipresent at service stations and padarias. Practically a full meal, it’s especially delicious when made with catupiry, a type of cream cheese that’s sealed inside the coxinha.
The brigadeiro is Brazil’s less chic, and more delicious, answer to the chocolate truffle. It consists of a super simple recipe: simmer condensed milk with cocoa powder, then whisk it in butter, and roll it in chocolate sprinkles. It’s that easy! They’re also served at every kind of party, from kids’ birthdays to weddings. We have a video with a step by step recipe! Check it out.
Açaí is a superfood berry, native to the Amazon, used to make fruit bowls and smoothies. Traditionally eaten by indigenous tribes for energy, the hard purple berry is also used in savory Amazonian dishes (as yummy fish sauce, for example). In cities, it’s mostly served as a sweet, frozen sorbet that’s topped with granola and fruit. We have a video showing you how the pros make it.
This crushed black-eyed pea ball, fried in palm oil and stuffed with shrimp and vinaigrette, is one of northeastern Brazil’s most traditional snacks. It’s also one of the most calorie-laden. But don’t let that deter you — it’s delicious! Fun fact: Acarajé originated in Bahia, where many flavors have their roots in African cooking.
5) Pão de Queijo
You can’t go wrong when you mix two of the world’s favorite foods: cheese and bread. Hailing from the state of Minas Gerais, pão de queijo is a crispy-on-the-outside, soft-and-chewy-on-the-inside roll of cheesy, gluten-free bread made from tapioca flour, eggs, and grated cheese. Though they’re traditionally small and served at breakfast, you can now find them at any time of the day, in fist-sized rolls stuffed with anything from more cheese to dulce de leche.
Here is great news: You can buy Pão de Queijo mix at Amazon.com. Simply mix with water and eggs, and you will have delicious pão de queijo at home.
Think of a light, airy dough ball, filled with anything from cheese, beef, or even “pizza flavor,” and deep fried. That’s pastel, and it’s delicious! They started being sold in street markets, but can now be found in bars and restaurants — with all sorts of creative flavors you can only imagine!
Tapioca is a flour that comes from the manioc root, and it’s sold as a white, somewhat sticky powder. A frying pan’s heat turns it into a stiff, crepe-like crust, which can then be filled with savory or sweet fillings; everything from cheese and meat, to bananas and chocolate. They were once a traditionally northeastern delicacy, but are now all the rage as both street and health food.
Have you tried any of these? What’s your favorite traditional Brazilian food? Let us know in the comments below!
Interested in learning food vocabulary in Portuguese? Visit our free online flashcards:
- Fresh fruit anyone? Learn 35 Fruits in Portuguese
- Breakfast in Brazil: Order in Portuguese
- Veggies and herbs in Portuguese