Eat Your Way Around Brazil!

As a large country that spans different terrain and a variety of cultures, the food in Brazil can vary dramatically region to region.

Dec 2015 - Feijoada
(source: Wikimedia Commons)

In the north, the dishes of the Amazon focus around the use of plants, herbs, meats and freshwater fish that are native to this remote and largely inaccessible region. In Bahia, the Creole influence is very obvious, where dishes maintain a fruity and Caribbean base often with a variety of spices thrown in. Whilst in the south, the Brazilian Churrasco is a firm favourite, and is essentially, a Brazilian barbecue where a huge selection of grilled meats including beef, pork and chicken are eaten.

Top Brazilian dishes:

Feijoada

This is a classic Brazilian dish that is appreciated throughout the country. It is the Brazilian equivalent of the Sunday roast, however it is traditionally eaten on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It is a mix of different cuts of pork, smoked sausage and black beans, all thrown together in a rich and hearty stew. It is served alongside sliced orange, greens or kale, rice and toasted cassava flour.

Dec 2015 - Comida Brasileira

Moqueca

Both the regions of Bahia and Espirito Santo lay claim to the origin of this popular dish. It is a seafood based stew cooked with tomatoes, onions and coriander. In Bahia they add coconut milk, peppers, garlic and palm oil, which creates a dense, fragrant dish. In Espirito Santo, they add annatto seeds, which create a natural red food colouring, so the dish can look incredibly different. Some variations add chilli to give it a bit of a kick.

Dec 2015 - Moqueca
(source: Wikimedia Commons)

Açaí

Açaí is a berry that is indigenous to the Amazonian rainforest. It is considered super healthy, as it is high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and low in sugar with energy boosting properties. Traditionally in Brazil it is eaten for breakfast, where it is blended into a frozen puree. It is sometimes topped with granola and fruits, most commonly bananas. Throughout Brazil, there are plenty of juice bars and cafes where you can try this tasty Amazonian calorific breakfast.

Dec 2015 - Acai
(source: Wikimedia Commons)

Street snacks

There are plenty of street vendors, bars and roadside cafes that will offer a variety of traditional Brazilian street snacks. Try Coxinha de Frango, a breaded potato-based deep fried snack, filled with chicken, vegetables and Catupiry (a type of cream cheese). Another basic, yet delicious, savoury snack is Pão de Queijo; in simple terms this is cheesy bread, served in bite size dough balls. If you fancy something sweet, the Brigadeiro is Brazil’s answer to the chocolate truffle - it is somewhat less refined but just as tasty. Brigadeiro is a mix of condensed milk, cocoa and butter all mixed together and rolled in sprinkles.

Dec 2015 - Brigadeiro

Churrasco

The churrasco is a Brazilian barbecue where a huge variety of meats are grilled or roasted and served in huge volumes. Picanha is the most popular cut of Brazilian beef, and is served medium/well done in thick, juicy chunks on skewers. Other favoured cuts include Costela premium (ribs), Fraldinha (flank), Bife Ancho (rib eye steak), as well as other meats including pork, lamb and chicken. It is also common to seeing skewers of chicken hearts being shared among families.

Dec 2015 - Churrasco
(source: Wikimedia Commons)

Health concerns

- Remember to always drink bottled or filtered water in Brazil, as not all tap water is sterilised.

- Ensure your food is cooked thoroughly, as bacteria can live in uncooked foods (particularly meats) and can cause stomach upsets.

- Choose restaurants and street vendors that appear busy. If they are busy, it is more likely that food will be fresh as stock will need to be replaced often.

- If you do get sick, make sure you keep hydrated by drinking lots of bottled water, and rehydration salts can help replace lost minerals. We sell Tummy Kits in our clinics, and carrying one can help make sure you are well prepared.

Vaccinations are also required prior to visiting Brazil. The recommended vaccines depend on the parts you are visiting, the length and style of your trip. Book your appointment with us now to discuss your trip in detail with one of our specialist travel health nurses.

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