...like a Brazilian
One of your day best moment : lunch time ! Let’s discover Brazilian gastronomy : feijoada, barbecue, stewed fish… You’ll be surprised by the food Brazil has to offer – big ration, big enough to be shared.
Here a quick scan of Brazilian typical food, to try and share under a sunshade, listening to samba…
Feijão & feijoada
MOST Brazilian meal ever : feijoada ! Feijão (bean) is as vital as bread for French. A long preparation is mandatory in order to cook feijoada, more an hour cooking time in a pressure cooker. Add some rice and “farofa” – manioc flour + lardons + scrambled eggs, and you have the basis of Brazilian food.
The difference between feijao and feijoada is that in a feijoada you can find salted meats : pork ribs and ears, lardons, sausage “calabresa”…
The best thing to taste feijoada, is to assist a samba school training where they serve traditional feijoada, following pandeiro rhythm.
Barbecue is an institution in Brazil. Usually, family Sunday is THE day to have a barbecue, with many kind of meats. Served with beer “bem gelada”, churrasco takes the whole afternoon, with plenty of sausages, chicken wigs, pork ribs etc. as well as garlic bread and “molho inglês”, an onion salad, tomatoes, and green pepper.
Churrascaria restaurants are offering meat “rodizio” which is unlimited. The meat is salted and cooked enough, if you prefer bloody meat, advise “mal passado”.
This name is for an aperitif to pick at when you’re partying. The most famous are “bolinho de bacalhau, pastel de camarão, aipim com carne seca, linguiça, calabresa...” It exists for any kind of taste, and each stand has its own specialty. Moreover, a contest is organized every year to elect the city best pétiscos. Everyone can vote and see the winner list on “comida di buteco” website.
Laying down on the beach, with a delightful caipirinha, you can’t resist to these breaded and fried fishes, like “manjubinha”. Served with green lemon and a cocktail sausage, a big plate worth R$30 and can be ordered in any “barracas” you can see at the top of the beach, especially in the wilder beaches, western Rio. At Ipanema, skewers are sold, but Cariocas beware of the freshness...
Moquecas & caldeiradas
Typical from fishermen village, it is a stewed meal made with fish and seafood. The secret, is that the fish stew in a terra cotta pan “panela de barro” with coconut milk, onions, pepper, tomatoes and a bit spicy… The final result is delicious ! The moqueca is only served with fish whereas caldeirada add shrimps, squids, octopus and mussels.
Every week, Marcela make me taste a new tropical fruit, I had never heard talked about before : Cajú, jaca, acerola, jabuticaba, abil, saputí… As natural juice, “vitamina” (smoothie), mousse or pie, or directly from the trees, you’ll try those fruits everywhere. Some of them have particular property : maracujá makes you sleepy, acerola has twenty times more C vitamin that an orange...
Salgados, empadas & pastéis
Sold in padarias, or in sentry boxes in the streets, are snacks that can or be delicious or awful, it depends on who is cooking it. If you wish to taste good empanadas, you can rely on “Empada Carioca” network. Camarão (shrimp) and frango (chicken) are unmissable. Pastéis are a sort of pancakes gathered like half-moon, stuffed and fried… Salgados is for all of the others salted pastries : coxinha de frango, joelho, croissant (never plain, usually ham/cheese)… It’s on you to taste, with a refresco, a diluted juice, that can be made wih maracujá, manga, cajú...
Açaí is a fruit from the Nordeste region, whose pulp is extracted and frozen. Then, a bit of chocolate and muesli is added, and here is a wonderful taste. Açaí is said to have many properties : gives a nice skin, good for losing weight, helps digestion…
You can find it everywhere, on the streets or in some padarias.