If you’re planning to spend your vacation in Brazil, you’re probably thinking of the attractions you’ll visit and the activities you’ll take part in. Doing this is important, but remember that exploring local sights and signing up for extreme sports aren’t the only ways to enjoy your trip. To gain a deeper understanding of Brazil and appreciate this South American country, you have to dive into the local cuisine and relish every unique flavour and texture. Here are some of the things you should put on your “Must Eat and Drink” list:
You haven’t been to Brazil if you won’t have a bowl of feijoada. This thick, rich stew is made of black beans, beef and sausage slices (which is then served with rice and topped with farofa, or fried cassava flour) is warm and comforting and dispels any thoughts of homesickness you might have. Want to enjoy a more traditional version of this dish? Opt for feijoada that’s made from beef tongue and pig’s ears and feet.
Craving of warm, soulful food that reminds you of Brazil’s gorgeous beaches? If you do, moqueca is the right dish for you. Its basic ingredients include fish and/or seafood, onions, coriander and tomatoes. Baianos spice it up with peppers, palm oil and coconut milk, while the folks from Capixabas serve a lighter version with urucum (which gives the stew a reddish hue).
Brazilian cuisine isn’t just about filling, savoury dishes; it also features lots of fantastic desserts that satisfy the locals’ sweet tooth (and yours, too!). One of the best sweet treats available is brigadeiro, a type of truffle made of chocolate, condensed cream and chocolate sprinkles.
This drink (which is made from fermented sugarcane juice) is the main ingredient of Brazil’s national cocktail, the popular caipirinha. But cachaca isn’t just an ingredient: it can also be enjoyed straight up (particularly the golden varieties) for an especially strong kick. Give these foods and drinks a try to make your Brazilian vacation complete!
Photos by: André Ribeiro, Jennifer Woodard Maderazo, Mayra Chiachia, Colleen Taugher