Forget the Brazilian barbecue! Although it is one of the things Brazil is famous for – along with soccer and samba – these eight foods are what’s really worth travelling for a taste. From sweet to savory, filled with cheese to covered in chocolate, Brazilians know how to make mouths water. So take my word as a local – grab a spoon, hold onto your passport and dig right into this list of the best of Brazilian food:
I bet any local will tell you that brigadeiro is a mandatory Brazilian food to try. The chocolate-caramel dessert can be eaten by itself or rolled up in sprinkles. You can find it anywhere, even in gourmet versions, like cherry or whisky flavored. Either way, it’s impossible to eat only one!
Pastel is a deep fried thin dough filled with anything you want. Yes, that’s right, anything you want. The most popoular one is the cheese pastel, but there’s also palm heart, corn, even brocolli. And, like a lot of Brazilian foods, pastel can also be eaten as dessert – like banana, Romeo and Juliet (white cheese and guava paste), and, of course, brigadeiro!
Tapioca is a cassava flour that’s poured onto a frying pan until it looks like a tortilla, and then is filled and folded in half. Tapioca is served hot and it can be sweet or salty – it is also very healthy, gluten and fat free, and full of vitamins. My advice: Just be careful with the fillings!
For this sweet treat, the açaí berry is blended with guaraná berry juice and served cold with the toppings of your choice – banana, condensed milk, granola, strawberries, your call. Açaí is heavy in calories, but it is a super food – it will give you energy, nutrients and vitamins to last the whole day. Plus, it is incredibly delicious!
Pão de queijo
You might have heard of this one before. Pão de queijo is a bread made with cheese – not filled or topped, but made with it in its dough. It is mostly eaten plain, but you can pair it with brigadeiro (there it goes again!) or requeijão, the Brazilian version of cream cheese.
Acarajé is a savory bean paste cake, deep fried and usually served with peppers or caruru, an okra stew, It is most common on the north side of Brazil, where it is sold on the streets in small carts, hand made by the baianas, who are women dressed in traditional clothes.
Paçoca is a very simple dessert: just grind peanuts and sugar together. That’s it. You can eat it with a spoon or press it into a square or ball – second option is the most popular, by far, when the paçoca will crumble in your mouth.
Last but not least, another sweet or savory treat: Pamonha is a dough made from corn – the sweet one is eaten by itself, while the savory one is sometimes topped with cheese. Piracicaba, a city in the middle of São Paulo, has the most famous pamonhas, but you’ll find amazing ones anywhere!
So I hope you see that there is fabulous vegetarian Brazilian food to choose from!