Brazil is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 million people, Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest country by area and the sixth-most populous.
It is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations. It is one of the world’s major breadbaskets, being the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years.
Brazilian cuisine was developed from Portuguese, African, Native American, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, and German influences. It varies greatly by region, reflecting the country’s mix of native and immigrant populations, and its continental size as well.
Below is a list of some popular Brazilian dishes:
Feijoada (The Brazillian Soul Food)
Feijoada is a stew of beans with beef and pork. The basic ingredients of feijoada are beans with fresh pork or beef. As a celebratory dish, feijoada is traditionally served on Saturday afternoons or Sunday lunch and intended to be a leisurely midday meal. The meal is usually eaten among extended family and paired with an event like watching a soccer game or other social event. Because of the dish’s heavy ingredients and rich flavors, feijoada is viewed as Brazilian soul food.
Brazil’s National Drink
Cachaça is a distilled spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice. Also known as pinga, caninha, and other names, it is the most popular spirit among distilled alcoholic beverages in Brazil. It is the main ingredient in Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail.
Barbecued meat is a Brazilian specialty. Picanha (rump) is the most popular cut and it is seasoned with only salt before it is cooked to perfection. The thick layer of fat is charred and the tender, pink, smokey middle falls apart in your mouth.
Moqueca is a delicious fish stew that is served piping hot in a clay pot. There are various regional variations of the dish but the basic ingredients are fish, tomatoes, onions, and coriander (though this doesn’t do it justice!). In some places, coconut milk is used to make the sauce creamier.
Acarajé is another dish from Bahia and it’s made from black-eyed peas which are mashed with chopped onions, seasoned with salt and pepper, and then deep-fried in palm oil.
Pão de queijo
The Brazilian “cheese bread” originates from the Minas Gerais, a region in the south. The dough is made from cassava flour and queijo Minas, a Brazilian soft cheese. They can be eaten at any time of the day as a snack and they are also popular for breakfast, served with cheese and jam.
Brigadeiro is a decadent Brazilian dessert made by heating three key ingredients together – unsalted butter, cocoa powder, and condensed milk, which are then rolled into a small ball, similar in shape to a truffle.