Brazilian cuisine: Wikis

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A Brazilian breakfast.
Brazilian Pão de Queijo.
A typical brazilian Feijoada.
Brazilian Cachaça.

Brazilian cuisine, like Brazil itself, varies greatly by region. A vast country that boasts a breadth of influences, such as Amerindian, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, German, Arab, African and Japanese, Brazil's culture and cuisine are extremely distinct. Dishes such as picadinho de jacaré are quite original; the meal is made from alligator meat. The natural crops of the region also add to its singularity.

Root vegetables such as cassava (locally known as mandioca, aipim, or macaxeira), yams, and peanuts, and fruits like açaí, cupuaçu, mango, papaya, guava, orange, passionfruit, pineapple, and hog plum are among the local ingredients used in cooking. Brazilian pine nuts called pinhão grow in a tree that is abundant in the southern part of Brazil, and are a popular national snack, as well as a lucrative export. Rice and beans are an extremely common dish, as are fish, beef and pork.

Some typical dishes are caruru, which consists of sun-dried meat, beans, goat, and corn meal; feijoada, a simmered bean-and-meat dish; tutu de feijão, which is a paste of beans and mandioca flour; moqueca capixaba, which is made of fish and tomato; and chouriço, a mildly spicy sausage. Barreado, a meal from the State of Paraná, is made by putting meat in ceramic pans, and burying the pans under the soil so that the meat boils with the heat of the sun. Salgadinhos, cheese bread, pastéis and coxinha are common finger foods, while cuscuz branco, milled tapioca, is a popular dessert. Brazil is also known for its cachaça, a popular native liquor used to make in the chic Caipirinha cocktails.

Brazil is known for its gauchos, cowboy figures in the Pampas regions. A barbecue-style meat known as churrasco is thus popular in those regions. Many Brazilian restaurants that open abroad serve churrasco, so the dish is perceived in the international community as one of the main meals in the country. In actuality, the country's gigantic geographic scope creates regional differences in the cuisine, and no single dish can encompass and represent the national palate.[1]

Contents

Cuisine by Regions

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South

The Italian polenta is very popular in Southern cuisine.

The south of Brazil comprises the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. The gaúcho (cowboy of the pampa) contributed to the national cuisine with dishes made with sun- or salt-dried meats and churrasco (a Brazilian counterpart of barbecue), a meal of grilled meats on over-sized skewers. Arroz Carreteiro (rice with meat)it's another dish very common in this region.

The traditional food from the state of Paraná is the barreado, boiled meat, made in ceramic pans, often put under the soil to boil with the sun's heat is called comida.

The European immigrants (primarily from Germany, Italy, Poland and Portugal) were accustomed to a wheat-based diet, and introduced wine, leaf vegetables, and dairy products into Brazilian cuisine. When potatoes were not available they discovered how to use the native sweet manioc as a replacement. Lasagna, Chicken Stroganoff and other pasta dishes are also very popular.

Southeast

Cheese bread with coffee and a small cachaça bottle; typical products from Minas Gerais. The half-bitten pão de queijo over the saucer shows the inside aspect of it.
Feijoada, from Rio de Janeiro, is the national dish.

The Southeastern region, comprising mainly of the states of Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo, is the industrial heart of Brazil, and is home to several distinctive cooking styles for which Brazil is probably best-known.

In Minas Gerais the regional dishes include maize, pork, beans, chicken (including the very typical dish frango com quiabo, or "chicken with okra") and local soft ripened traditional cheeses. In Rio, feijoada (a black bean and meat stew rooted in the ingenuity of African slaves working in the plantations of colonial Brazil), is popular especially as a Wednesday or Saturday lunch. Also consumed frequently is feijão com arroz, or rice and beans. Traditionally, black beans are prepared in Rio, rajadinho or carioquinha (brown) beans in São Paulo, and either in Minas Gerais. Another typical food in São Paulo is the Virado à Paulista, that consists of rice, tutu de feijão (a paste of beans and manioc flour), sautéed collard greens (couve) and pork chops, typically bisteca, the pork equivalent of the T-bone steak. It is usually accompanied by pork rinds, bits of sausage, a fried egg and a fried banana. The cuisine of São Paulo shows the influence of European and Middle Eastern immigrants. The majority of immigrants in São Paulo arrived from Italy, along with many from Portugal, Japan, the Lebanon, Spain, and other nations. Hence, it is possible to find a wide array of cuisines. In the city of São Paulo, pizza is a popular dish, and sushi has entered the mainstream and can be found in regular, non-Japanese restaurants. Many Brazilians eat pasta as well.

In Espírito Santo, there is significant Italian and German influence in local dishes both savory and sweet. The state dish, though, is of Amerindian origin, and is called Moqueca Capixaba (a tomato and fish stew prepared in a clay pot). The cuisine of Minas Gerais is also strongly influential there, with many restaurants serving that fare. Farofa (a dish of toasted manioc flour with small amounts of flavoring ingredients such as pork, onions, hard boiled eggs or different vegetables), polenta, couve (collard greens), chouriço (a type of sausage that is less spicy than its cousin chorizo), tutu à mineira (a paste of beans and manioc flour) and fried bananas are examples of popular dishes from Minas Gerais.

North

The cuisine of this region, which includes the states of Acre, Amazonas, Amapá, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, and Tocantins, is heavily influenced by indigenous cuisine. In state of Pará there are several typical dishes:

Pato no tucupi (Duck in tucupi) – one of the most famous dishes from Pará. It is associated to the Círio de Nazaré, a big celebration which is like Christmas for people from Para. The dish is made with tucupi (yellow broth extracted from cassava and therefore needs to be cooked over a week), the duck, after cooking, is cut into pieces and boiled in tucupi, where is the sauce for some time. The jambu is boiled in water with salt, drained and put on the duck. It is served with white rice and manioc flour.

Tacacá: this dish is It is based on tucupi with shrimp and jambú(Acmella oleracea) and, also, garlic and chilli pepper. The dish is sold by street vendor called "tacacazeira", very common in Belém do Pará.

Caruru: made with okra, dried shrimp, alfavaca and chicory, dry and fine flour and oil from palm (dendê)After the boiled okra, the green sauce and shrimp in the water, is added to the flour and make itself homogeneous. After that, add it to the okras well drained, the shrimp already mixed with all seasoning and finally, the oil palm.

Vatapá: this is a dish also made in Bahia, but in the State of Pará does not take fish or peanuts, or Cashew nut. When the broth cooking the heads and the shells of shrimp with salt scented alfavaca, chicory, garlic and green smell, add up wheat flour and / or rice, resulting in a mess. Furthermore, if the pure coconut milk, and boiled shrimp has palm oil.

Maniçoba: the dish looks doubtful, takes at least a week to be done, as the leaf of maniva (of the cassava plant), after ground, should be boiled for at least four days with the intent to remove the hydrocyanic acid that contains. After that is added charqui, fat, tripe, calf's foot jelly, ear, foot and salted pork ribs, sausages, sausages and bunkers, basically the same ingredients of a feijoada completa. It is served with white rice, flour water and hot peppers to taste.

Several kinds of fish and seafood that citizens usually eat in their meals: Pirarucu,Arapaima, Tambaqui, Tamuatá, Acará (Pterophyllum), Tucunaré (Cichla), Gurijuba, Dourada, Pescada, Aracu, Tilápia, Gó, Pratiqueira, Sarda, Piramutaba, Filhote, Traíra, Pacu, Piranha, Mapará, and Acari.

Northeast

The Moqueca, the staple dish from the Bahia region.

The Northeast part of Brazil, mainly the states of Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, and Sergipe, comprises geographically of a narrow, fertile coastal plain with abundant rainfall where much of the population is found, an equally narrow transition zone called the Agreste, and a large semi-arid region called the Sertão, which is dominated by large cattle ranches. All kinds of tropical produce are grown on the coastal plain, with sugarcane and cacao being particularly abundant.

Within the State of Bahia the predominant cuisine is Afro-Bahian, which evolved from plantation cooks improvising on African, Amerindian, and traditional Portuguese dishes using locally available ingredients.

Typical dishes include vatapá, moqueca (both having seafood and palm oil), and acarajé (a salted muffin made with white beans, onion and fried in palm oil (dendê) which is filled with dried shrimp, red pepper and caruru (mashed okra with ground cashew nut, smoked shrimp, onion, pepper and garlic). The main staple is a plate of white rice and black beans but other common foods include farofa, paçoca, canjica, pamonha and quibebe.

In the remainder of the coastal plains there is less African influence on the food, but seafood, shellfish, Coconut and tropical fruit are menu staples. Commonly eaten tropical fruits in the North-eastern region include mango, papaya, guava, orange, passionfruit, pineapple, sweetsop, "hog-plum," Soursop, and cashew (both the fruit and the nut).

Other dishes

Coxinha is a popular Brazilian snack.
Pastel in Brazil.
Brazilian Cheese.
Caipirinha, a national drink.
  • Rice and beans is an extremely popular dish, considered basic at table; a tradition Brazil shares with several Caribbean nations.
  • Salgadinhos are small savory snacks (literally salty snacks). Similar to Spanish tapas, these are mostly sold in corner shops and a staple at working class and lower middle-class familiar celebrations. There are many types of filled and fried pastries:
    • Pão de Queijo (literally cheese bread), a typical Brazilian snack, is a small, soft roll made of manioc flour and cheese.
    • Coxinha is a chicken croquette shaped like a chicken thigh.
    • Kibe (or quibe): extremely popular, it corresponds to the Lebanese dish kibbeh and was brought to mainstream Brazilian culture by Syrian and Lebanese immigrants.
    • Esfiha: (Arabic Sfiha) Another Lebanese and middle-eastern dish, despite being a more recent addition to Brazilian cuisine they are nowadays easily found everywhere, specially in southern and southeastern regions. They are pie/cakes with fillings like beef, mutton, cheese curd, or seasoned vegetables.
    • Pastéis are small half-moon shaped pastries with a wide variety of fillings (sometimes also shaped big and in a squared form). Similar to Spanish fried empanadillas, but of Japanese origin (and brought to Brazil by the Japanese diaspora).
    • Empada are snacks that resenble pot pies in a small scale. Filled with a mix of palm hearts,peas, flour and chicken or shrimp.
  • Kaviar
  • Cuscuz branco is a dessert consisting of milled tapioca cooked with coconut milk and sugar and is the couscous equivalent of rice pudding.
  • Açaí, Cupuaçu, and many other tropical fruits are shipped from the Amazon all over the country and consumed in smoothies.
  • Cheeses: the dairy-producing state of Minas Gerais is known for such cheeses as queijo Minas, a soft, mild-flavored fresh white cheese usually sold packaged in water; requeijão, a mildly salty, silky-textured, spreadable cheese sold in glass jars and eaten on bread, and Catupiry, a soft processed cheese sold in a distinctive round wooden box.
  • Pinhão is the pine nut of the Araucaria angustifolia, a common tree of the highlands of southern Brazil. The nuts are boiled and eaten as a snack in the winter months. It is typically eaten during the festas juninas.
  • Risoto Chicken cooked with rice and sometimes vegetables is another very popular dish in the Southern of Brazil.
  • Mortadella sandwich

Also noteworthy are:

  • Pizza is also extremely popular. It is usually made in a wood-fire oven with a thin, flexible crust, very little sauce, and a number of interesting toppings. In addition to the "traditional" Italian pizza toppings, items like guava jam and cheese, banana and cinnamon, catupiry and chicken, and chocolate are available. Many Brazilians enjoy putting ketchup on pizza, and even mayonnaise and mustard may be added. Although, in the state of São Paulo and some other states where Italian influence is strong, this practice is considered "almost insulting" or "culturally demeaning." Some regions also drizzle olive oil onto pizzas.

Typical and popular desserts

Typical Cakes (Bolos)

The Brazilian chocolate candy Brigadeiro.
  • Pão de mel (honey cake, usually covered with melted chocolate)
  • Bolo de cenoura (carrot cake with chocolate cover made with butter and cocoa)
  • Bolo prestígio (chocolate cake with a coconut and milk cream filling, covered with brigadeiro)
  • Bolo de fubá (corn flour cake).
  • Bolo de milho (Brazilian-style corn cake).
  • Bolo de maracujá (passion fruit cake).
  • Bolo de mandioca (cassava cake).
  • Bolo de queijo (literally "cheese cake").
  • Bolo de laranja (orange cake).
  • Bolo de banana (banana cake is spread with cinnamon).

Other popular and/or traditional desserts

Restaurant styles

A simple and usually inexpensive option, which is also advisable for vegetarians, is comida a quilo or comida por quilo restaurants (literally "food by the kilo") where food is paid for by weight. Another common style is the all-you-can-eat restaurant where customers pay a prix fixe. In both types (known collectively as "self-services") customers usually assemble the dishes of their choice from a large buffet.

Rodizio is a common style of service, in which a prix fixe is paid, and servers circulate with food. This is common in churrascarias, resulting in an all-you-can-eat meat barbecue.

Vegetarian

Although many traditional dishes are prepared with meat or fish, it is not difficult to live on vegetarian food as well, at least in the medium and big cities of Brazil. The country has a rich supply of all kinds of fruits and vegetables. Even on the streets, one can bargain cheese buns or Pão de Queijo.

Yet, vegetarianism is not very common in Brazil. Most Brazilians are not used to vegetarians. Not every restaurant will provide vegetarian dishes and some seemingly vegetarian meals may turn out to include unwanted ingredients. Especially because sometimes "meat" is mistaken for "red meat" and some people might assume a vegetarian eats fish and chicken. Comida por quilo and all-you-can eat restaurants continuously prepare a wide range of fresh dishes and one can more easily find food there that satisfies dietary restrictions.

References

External links

See also


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