The Life and Music of Baden Powell

By Pedro Souza
November 28, 2017

The guitar is an instrument that has inspired millions of people all over the world, giving birth to a plethora of musicians that took the instrument to its limits and created new forms, some more enduring than others. Among this legion of guitar players, few musicians have been able to play the instrument with as much mastery, intimacy and passion as Baden Powell de Aquino, more commonly known as Baden Powell.

Born in 1937, Powell was named after the founder of the scouting movement by his father, who used to be a boy scout. At the age of seven, he started playing the guitar when his father taught him a few basic chords. The young Powell quickly fell in love with the instrument, and soon learned everything his father could teach. The next year, he began to take classes from Jayme Florence, who used to play with legendary MPB musician Benedito Lacerda.

Powell learned very quickly, and at 9 years old he competed in a musical contest named “Papel Carbono”, which was played in the famous radio network “Rádio Nacional”. With his cover of Dilmerando Reis’ “magoado”, he was awarded first place in his category, which made him even more motivated to dedicate himself to playing guitar. At 13 years old he finished his guitar course, having had contact with many great musicians. He started then playing as a professional, playing for a cache in many different venues.

After finishing high school, Baden started playing at the orchestra of the “Rádio Nacional”, travelling through Brazil and playing through the country. In the fifties, he joined the trio of a pianist named Ed Lincoln, playing with them in a venue in Copacabana named Boite Plaza. As Powell made a name for himself, he started composing and playing with many musicians, such as Nilo Queiroz, Aloysio de Oliveira and Ruy Guerra. From this period, many of his hits were born; songs like “Não é Bem Assím”, “Rosa Flor”, “Vou Por Aí” and “Samba Triste”, which remains one of his most popular songs.

In the sixties, his life would change when he was visited by legendary poet and lyricist Vinicius de Moraes while playing a concert in Copacabana. Moraes called out to Powell and proposed that they write a few songs together. Soon, they would spend three months together in Moraes’ apartment with a tape recorder, a guitar and plenty of whiskey. This was the start of a legendary partnership, which resulted in some of Baden’s best works. It was from this partnership that the “afro-sambas” were born, albums that mixed classical samba with African rhythms and lyrics that were heavily influenced by African-Brazilian religion candomblé.

Still in the sixties, Powell would begin to make international tours and spread his music through the world. While he lived, he took the guitar to a new level, exploring a variety of styles such as jazz, bossa nova, MPB and samba. When he died in 2000, he had produced more than 40 albums, as well as a countless single recordings with some of the best musicians of his time. Though the man is gone, he has left some of the most beautiful guitar songs that have ever been recorded, and his memory lives on in every one that was inspired and touched by his music.

18 Astonishing Facts About the Amazon Rainforest

By Pedro Souza
November 28, 2017

Covering most the northwest of Brazil as well as parts of Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Chile, Suriname, Guyana and French Guyana, the Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world. This forest has always fascinated and inspired those who have seen its beauty and amazing biodiversity. To get you better acquainted with it, we have compiled some facts about this wonderful forest.

Running through 8 countries from the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean and passing through the Amazon Rainforest, the Amazon River is the largest river in the world in terms of volume. It deposits 12.6 million liters of water per minute in the Atlantic Ocean. It is also the second longest river in the world, standing behind only the Nile River in Egypt.

The forest took more than 50 million years to form.

It is believed that more than 5 million people inhabited the Amazon Rainforest at one point. By 1980 its population stood at less than 200,000. Nowadays, there is an estimated 2,500 people inhabiting the forest.

Archeological evidence found inside a cave known as Caverna da Pedra Pintada (Cave of the Painted Rock) suggest that humans settled in the Amazon at least 11,200 years ago.

The Amazon Basin covers an area of 7,000,000 square kilometers, of which 5,500,000 square kilometers are covered by rainforest. Currently, the Amazon Rainforest represents half of all the world’s rainforests. In fact it is so large that if it was a country it would be the 9th largest in the world.

It is estimated that the Amazon Rainforest has over 390 billion trees. Unfortunately, that number decreases every day.

There are more fish species in the Amazon rainforest than in all of Europe. Fish play a key role in the diet and life of many of the forest’s inhabitants.

In 1542, Spanish explorer and conquistador Francisco de Orellana became the first European to travel the length of the Amazon River.

The Amazon rainforest is the most biodiverse forest in the world. So far, biologists have already catalogued around 2.5 million insects, 2,200 fishes, 1,300 birds, 430 amphibians, 40,000 plants, 380 reptiles and 430 mammals that live in it.

A third of all bird species discovered so far live in the Amazon Rainforest.

There are around 215 ethnic groups living in the Amazon Rainforest, speaking over 170 different languages.

More than 70% of the deforestation of the forest is currently caused by cattle ranching.

The forest is sometimes referred to as the “lungs of the planet” because it produces around 20% of the world’s oxygen.

There are around 3,000 known edible fruits species in the amazon, of which only 200 are cultivated. The natives eat around 1,500 of all these species.

An estimated 50 tribes that have never had any contact with civilization live in the Amazon Rainforest.

The loudest creature in the Amazon rainforest is the Toucan, which can be heard from almost a kilometer away.

A single hectare of the Amazon Rainforest hold around 900 tons of living plants.

The Amazon rainforest receives around 3 meters of rainfall every year.

Amazing Animals That Inhabit the Amazon Rainforest (Part 1)

By Pedro Souza
October 31, 2017

Covering a great part of the northwest of Brazil, the Amazon rainforest is one of the most biodiverse environments in the world. A plethora of incredible animal and life species inhabit this gargantuan forest, hundreds of thousands of them still undiscovered. Below, we have compiled some of the most fascinating animals that live in it.

Green Anaconda: Growing up to 9 meters long and weighing as much as 200 kilos, the green anaconda is the largest snake in the world. Lurking in the Amazon River, this enormous reptile kills its prey by coiling around it and squeezing it until it dies of suffocation, swallowing it whole after it is dead. While it usually preys on mid-sized mammals such as wild pigs and capybara, it has been known to kill cows, alligators, jaguars and even humans in rare cases. Despite its capacity of eating large animals, it does not eat very often, and can live without hunting for weeks or even months after a large prey.

Electric Eel: Despite its name, this fascinating animal is not really an eel, but a fish that inhabits murky streams in the Amazon and Orinocos basins. Growing up to 2.5 meters long, it can generate 600 volts of electricity in a single discharge from its specialized organs filled with cells known as electrocytes. The electric eel uses this ability for stunning its prey and for defending itself against predators. Humans are also in danger of being electrocuted it they accidentally touch this animal, though deaths are very rare.

Poison Dart Frogs: The poison dart frogs are not a single species, but rather a group of frog species that inhabit the Amazon Rainforest. These frogs are some of the most beautiful animals in the forest, displaying brightly colored patterns across their skin. As beautiful as they are, these frogs are colored precisely to signal the fact that they are extremely venomous. Through their skins, they secrete a powerful venom that paralyzes its prey and can cause heart failure within minutes. The indigenous peoples of the Amazon have been using these frogs for a long time to poison their darts, which aided them in hunting. This is where their name came from.

Harpy Eagle: Known in Brazil as gavião real (royal hawk), the harpy eagle is the largest and most powerful raptor in the Americas, weighing up to 10kg. This fierce predator has claws that can grow up to 13 centimeters, which it uses to snatch and kill sloths, squirrels, rabbits, birds, armadillos and even capybaras and deer. Unfortunately, destruction of its natural habitat is making this majestic animal disappear. In Central America the harpy eagle is almost gone, but in Brazil it is found in many parts of the country.

Brazilian Wandering Spider: There are eight species of the Brazilian wandering spider, which is a common animal in the Amazon Rainforest. These spiders are not only among the most venomous spiders in the world but they are also extremely aggressive, attacking if they feel threatened. Their venom is a powerful neurotoxin, which causes extreme pain, loss of muscle control and breathing problems, which can lead to death by asphyxiation. They get their name from the fact that they can be seen wandering across the ground at night. During the day, these spiders prefer to hide inside termite mounds or under rocks and barks.

Trails in the State of Rio de Janeiro for the Outdoors Lovers

By Pedro Souza
October 31, 2017

Rio de Janeiro is indeed a beautiful state. Being home to an array of dazzling beaches and arguably the most beautiful city in the country, it also has much more to offer. If you are a fan the outdoors and know how to appreciate a good day hiking, there are many trails available for you to choose. To help you with your choice, we have selected some of the best trails in the state.

1: Trilha da Pedra Bonita
Right next to the city of Rio de Janeiro Lies Pedra Bonita, a rock formation that has become a popular point for hang-gliders. The Pedra also offers a stunning view to the city of Rio, which is sure to delight anyone that is willing to take the trail. The trail itself goes up to the Pedra through the thick Atlantic Jungle, which is teeming with wild animals. While the trail is quite steep, it takes only about 40 minutes, and is a great option if you want to bring your family for a fun evening. To get there by car, you should take the Lagoa Barra road in the south of the city and take the entrance that leads to Joá. After driving for a while in the Estrada das Canoas road, a sign will point the way to Pedra Bonita. If you would rather go by bus, you can take the line 448 from Maracaí to Conrado, which passes through the entrance to the trail’s parking lot.

2: Mirante Excelsior
Located in the Parque Floresta da Tijuca, the Mirante Excelsior is a bucolic semi-abandoned lookout with an amazing view. The way to the lookout was once paved, but hasn’t been maintained since around 1945. Little remains of the pavement nowadays, making it mostly a trail. On the way, which takes around one hour, visitors can appreciate the scenery and the lush vegetation that surrounds it. The large canopy of the trees add to the beauty of the place, giving the impression that one is in a natural cathedral. The scenery at the top doesn’t disappoint as well, offering a wide view of the mountains in the area, the city of Rio and the Guanabara Bay. To get there, you have to drive to the Parque Floresta Tijuca, passing through the main gate at a square. After that, drive until a place called “Barracão”, where the entrance to the trail is located.

3: Cachoeira Conde D’eu Trail
A geographical accident of the Paquequer river, The Cachoeira Conde D’eu waterfall is truly a wonder to behold. Falling from a height of 127 meters, it is the highest free-falling waterfall in the state of Rio. When the water hits the well at the bottom, it sends a spray upwards that turns into a rainbow on sunny days, adding to the beauty of what is a dazzling sight in itself. The waterfall is located near the Dona Mariana district, in the town of Sumidouro. To get there, one needs to take the road RJ-148 from Sumidouro and then follow the signs pointing to the waterfall. At one point, it is impossible to go ahead by car, and this is where the trail begins. Going through the thick vegetation, you can hear the sound of wild animals and the constant rumble of the waterfall in the background. At the end of the trail, you can bathe in the waters and get some relief from the heat.

Things To Do in Curitiba

By Pedro Souza
October 3, 2017

The seventh largest city in Brazil, Curitiba, is the capital of the state of Paraná. Known for its excellent planning, Curitiba is one of the best places to live in Brazil, as well as a great place to visit as well. If you plan on going there, take a look at our recommendations and make the most of your trip:

Botanical Garden: One of the trademarks of Curitiba, the Botanical Garden was inaugurated in 1991. The purpose of the place is to keep a collection of scientific cataloged native species, which can be seen in a large glass and iron greenhouse. The surrounding area boasts beautiful natural attractions, with lakes and native forests with plenty of trails one can hike. Whether you want to find out more about native plant species, enjoy some time hiking or simply contemplate nature, this place is worth a visit.

Oscar Niemeyer Museum: Oscar Niemeyer is known as the greatest architect in the history of Brazil. With a design planned by Niemeyer and a name in honor of his memory, the Niemeyer museum is focused on visual arts, architecture and design. Not only is the museum itself fascinating, but it also holds many exhibits. If you enjoy architecture, arts, or beauty, this is a place you shouldn’t miss.

Wire Opera House: One of the most curious sights of Curitiba, the Wire Opera House is a theater house that was inaugurated in 1992 in the Pedreiras Park. Its name comes from its structure, which is made out of steel tubes that give it a fragile appearance. The place not only features many art spectacles, but it is also located in a lake surrounded by the endemic vegetation from the Atlantic Forest, which makes the place itself a dazzling sight.

Historic District: In the city’s historic district, you will have the opportunity of seeing constructions from the 18th and 19th century. Sights like the Red House and the Church of St. Francis offer a glimpse back into the city’s historical past. The oldest construction in the city, Casa Romário Martins, has turned into a tourist information center, which is a good starting point for visitors. Another spot worth visiting there is the Curitiba’s Memorial, which offers arts exhibits, plays and musical presentations.

Santa Felicidade: Known as the restaurant district of Curitiba, Santa Felicidade is the right place for those that can appreciate a good meal. There, one can eat Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Arab, Spanish, French, Italian, Brazilian food and much more. In the Bosque Italiano (Italian Woods) one can eat the best Italian food around, as well as enjoy celebrations of the Italian community such as the Wine & polenta festival that takes place in july.

Ukrainian Memorial: The state of Paraná received an influx of Ukranian immigrants in the 19th century that has had many influences in the area. One of these influences is the Ukrainian Memorial, which is located in the Tingui Park. Composed by a traditional Ukrainian house, an outdoor stage, an entrance and a replica of the Miguel Arcanjo Church, it is dedicated to the preservation of Ukranian culture. On Saturdays, one can also enjoy traditional Ukrainian festivals and cultural activities that take place in the memorial.

Slangs and Expressions from Maranhão

By Pedro Souza
October 3, 2017

Known for the beauty of its idyllic beaches and sand dunes, Maranhão is definitely a state worth visiting. For you to get acquainted with the local language, we have compiled some “Maranhense” slangs and expressions.

Brocado: “A Maranhense” doesn’t get hungry, he gets “brocado”.
Maguaça: A “maguaça” ia a person that is extremely drunk or a mistake made by a drunk person.
Piqueno/piquena: A modified version of the word “pequeno/pequena” (little), this is how people call young boys/girls in Maranhão.
Caguetar: To snitch on someone.
Pois é (so it is): An expression used when agreeing with what someone is saying.
Meu chapa (my “chapa”): An informal and affectionate way way of referring to a friend.
Marrapá!: An expressions of surprise.
Encabuloso: Something different, or changed.
Ralado (scraped): Something that is not worth it or that is boring or low quality is “ralado”.
Mangar: To “mangar” someone is to make fun of that person.
Esparroso: Something that attracts attention is “esparroso”.
Zilado: Things are not fast in Maranhão, they are “ziladas”.
Lascado: When someone is in deep trouble that person is “lascado”.
Fuá: In Maranhão people don’t make a mess, they make a “fuá”.
Aziar: To ruin something.
Galudo: An arrogant or cocky person.
Se amostrar: To show off.
Cabuloso: Something bizarre or shocking.
Arrilado: To be “arrilado” is to be anguished.
Bagaceira: Maranhenses don’t go to the party, they go to the “bagaceira”.
Arremedar: To copy something or someone.
Mucura: A “mucura” is something ugly.
Escangalhar: To “escangalhar” something is to break it. Fulero: Something of bad quality.
Ferro (Iron): Something you enjoy or admire.
Canhenga: A stingy person.
Na roça (In the fields): As strange as it sounds, to be “in the fields” means to be jobless in Maranhão.
Gazear: To skip or to miss something.
Azuretado: A person that is confused or daydreaming.
Quebrar a cabeça (to break the head): When you have to think intensively to solve a problem, you have to break your head over it.
Ser o bicho cacau (to be the cacao animal): To be the “bicho cacau” is to be the best.
Lacolá: A place that is very far away is “lacolá”.
Enfarento: Someone who is easy to make fun of.
Fuxicar: In Maranhão people don’t gossip, they “fuxicam”.
Marmoço: A positive affirmation one might hear after asking a question.
Pucardiquê: This word is a shortened way of saying “por causa de que” (because of what?). It is a way of asking “why”.
Gaiato: A funny person.
Dicumê: A shortened version of “de comer” (for eating), this is a local expression for “food”.
Paia: Something boring or not worth it.
Se acomodar (to accommodate oneself): To get quiet.
Bater beira (to hit an edge): To “hit an edge” in Maranhão is to take a walk with no destination.
Na pedra (in the rock): When you are in need of something, you are “in the rock”.

Charming, Beautiful and Bucolic: Come Visit Paraty!

By Pedro Souza
September 4, 2017

In the Corredor Verde (Green Corridor), an exuberant corridor that runs along the coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro, one will find the city of Paraty. Settled in the 15th century by the Portuguese, Paraty was part of the Royal Road, which was a route used to transport gold during the colonial times. When the inner roads were opened in the late 19th century, the city was forgotten and froze in time. It was later discovered as a tourist destination and has now become one of the most popular coastal cities in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

With a population of less than 40,000, the city has a bucolic atmosphere, with well-preserved colonial-style houses, cobblestone-paved streets and fishing boats floating gently in the sea. The city is famous for its historical district, where one can appreciate the colonial-era architecture of the buildings, some of which haven’t changed for more than 200 years. No motor vehicles are allowed in this part of the city, but this shouldn’t be a problem. It is very easy to get around Paraty by foot. The fact that there are no cars driving through the historical district also make it a very pleasurable place to stroll around.

One of the main attractions of the city are the churches that abound there, such as the Capela de Santa Rita (Chapel of Saint Rita), Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosário e São Benedito (Church of Our Lady of Rosary and Saint Benedict) and the Capela de Nossa Senhora das Dores (Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows) among others. Among the historical constructions are also two forts that are worth a visit: Forte Paratiba and Forte Defensor.

There are also many boat rides available in Paraty. You can simply take a boat ride through the bay and watch the city from a different point of view. Or you can explore one of the many islands and pristine beaches that surround Paraty. Maybe you would rather go snorkeling or scuba-diving. In many boat rides you can ask for a snorkel mask and for fish food, so you can feed the fish while you float around and appreciate the view underwater. Another way of enjoying the sea is taking kayaking tours, of which there are plenty available. With a rented kayak you can take a trip to a secluded beach or to one of the islands around the city.

If you are the adventurer type, you can also explore one of the trails around the city, which is surrounded by a lush rainforest. You can take trails through the Atlantic Forest that will lead you to beautiful views and to an array of beaches, such as the well-known Praia do Sono. If you don’t want to risk getting lost, you can rent a guide in the city. Some companies offer guides that speak English, so the language barrier shouldn’t be a problem.

During the summer holidays, Paraty gets extremely lively as people from other cities and even foreigners converge to appreciate the city. For those that want to want to meet new people and do some partying as well, this is the best time of the year to visit. If you would rather visit it when it is quieter to appreciate the city’s charming beauty and the surrounding nature, you might want to avoid it at this time. Regardless of what attracts you to Paraty, however, I’m sure you will soon fall in love with it.

Slangs and Expressions From the State of Paraná

By Pedro Souza
September 4, 2017

In the south of Brazil lies Paraná, a state famous for its araucaria forests and for the Iguaçu Falls, which is one of the most dazzling sights in Brazil. These and other wonders await you if you ever decide to explore Paraná. If you do, it might be a good idea to get acquainted with the local language. With this in mind, we have made a compilation of slangs and expressions from Paraná.

Piá: The paranaense way of referring to a little boy.
Piá de prédio (Building’s piá): Someone that rarely spends any time outdoors.
Gambiarra: Something that is improvised or not well made.
Curitiboca: A person that complains about everything.
Jururu: A quiet person.
Gasosa (Gassy): This is how people from Paraná refer to soft drinks.
Jojoca: An expression for the hiccups.
Ciar: To be jealous of.
Mundeado: Someone that is well travelled.
Pinchar: To throw.
Pança: A common slang in some other states as well, a “pança” is a belly.
Avacalhar: To demoralize or to make a mess out of something.
Baita: Something very large.
Bedelhar: To intrude into someone else’s business.
Desgarrado: To be desgarrado is to be lost.
Esquentado (Heated): A person with a short temper.
Garrar: To start something.
Aí que a porca torce o rabo (This is where the pig twists its tail): A moment when someone has to face some hardship or difficulty.
Ficar na moita (To be in the bush): To be in the bush is to await silently for something.
Enjerizado: In a bad mood.
Entojado: Cocky or arrogant.
Massa (Mass): Something that is cool or fun.
Prosa: Someone that enjoys talking or/and talks a lot. In other states, “prosa” often means talk.
Volteada: A short walk or ride.
Zuar: To make fun of.
Apagar o pito (To put down the fire in the pipe): To calm down.
Procurar sarna para coçar (To look for an itch to scratch): To look for trouble.
Soltar a lingua (To let the tongue loose): When a person is unable to keep a secret, that person has let the tongue loose.
Barata tonta (Dizzy cockroach): A dumb or dim-witted person might get called a “barata tonta” in Paraná.
Mosca de cavalo (Horse fly): A horse fly is a bothersome person.
Por os pontos nos Is (To put the points in the I’s): To make things clear or to solve an issue. Boanoitou: An expression used to communicate that night has arrived.
Jaguará: An ordinary thing.
Descolar (To unglue): To “unglue” something means to acquire it. If you have a pack of cigarettes for example, a smoker with no cigarettes might ask you to “unglue” a cigarette for him.
Dinheirudo: A person who is fairly wealthy but often complains about money.
Destrocar (To un-trade): Weird as it sounds, “untrading” refers to the act of trading.
Galinha de porão (Basement’s chicken): A person that doesn’t spend much time outdoors and therefore, becomes really White.

Museums to Visit in Rio de Janeiro

By Pedro Souza
August 8, 2017

Rio de Janeiro is known worldwide for its scenic beauty, warm beaches and vibrant carnival. These are all worth a visit, but the “cidade maravilhosa” has a lot more to offer. Rio’s cultural life, for example, is rich and diverse. To help you in delving into this less known side of Rio, we have made a compilation of 4 of the best museums to visit.

1. Museu de Arte do Rio (Rio’s Art Museum): In march 2013, the Museu de Arte do Rio was inaugurated in the neighborhood of Porto Maravilha in celebration of the city’s 448th anniversary. With an area of 15 km2 divided into 8 different galleries, the museum is dedicated to the visual arts. Walking through its galleries, one can appreciate exhibitions featuring the works of artists such as Tarsila do Amaral, Kurt Klagsbrunn, Rossini Perez and much more. Apart from the exhibitions, the museum is also a space for workshops, courses, seminars and other activities. Tickets can be bought for R$8, but the museum is open for free visits on Tuesdays.

2. Museu Histórico Nacional (National Historical Museum): If you are a history enthusiast, visiting this museum is a must for you. Inaugurated in 1922, the Museu Histórico Nacional has a collection of more than 300,000 items, which include the largest numismatic collection in Latin America. In an area of 20 km2, the museum holds more than 25 permanent and non-permanent exhibitions, where one can take a walk through the corridors of time and explore the rich history of Brazil. On the ground floor, one can also relax eating a snack or drinking a coffee or visit the stores. To look at the museum’s schedule and check when the exhibits are taking place, go to their official website (

3. Museu Aeroespacial (Aerospatial Museum): If you are interested in aeronautics, then this is the museum for you. Inaugurated in 1976 inside the UNIPA’s (Air Force University) campus, this museum is dedicated to the preservation and divulsion of activities related to the history of Brazilian aeronautics. Every year, 60,000 people visit the museum to take a tour through the history of Brazilian aeronautics and to study the museum’s bibliographical records which contain more than 5,000 works, as well as a historical archive with written documents, photos, videos and much more. The museum is open from Tuesdays to Fridays from 9:00 to 15:00, and on weekends and holidays from 9:30 am to 16:00.

4. Museu Casa do Pontal (Pontal House Museum): Founded in 1986 by French painter Jacques Van de Beuque, the Museu Casa do Pontal is the most important museum of popular art in the country. In an area of 1.5 km2, the museum holds permanent exhibitions composed from a collection of more than 8,000 art pieces from over 200 different Brazilian artists, as well as temporary exhibitions. Divided according to themes, these exhibitions display depictions of many aspects of rural and urban life such as festivities, daily activities and religious and cultural manifestations. Besides having one of the most fascinating art collections in the country, the museum itself has a beautiful space, with luxurious gardens where one can relax and appreciate nature. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 to 17:00, with tickets at the maximum price of R$10 for permanent exhibitions and R$4 for temporary exhibitions.

The Indigenous Influence in Brazilian Cuisine

By Pedro Souza
August 8, 2017

The indigenous people of Brazil have been here long before Pedro Álvares Cabral arrived in 1500 on an expedition. Through the years they have been systematically marginalized, living now mostly in the edges of society. Yet, Brazilian culture as a whole has assimilated much from indigenous peoples. This influence is observable in many areas, from the language, which has incorporated many native words into Portuguese, to the habit of taking showers daily. Yet, in few areas is the native influence as alive as in Brazilian cuisine.

Brazilians not only eat many dishes learned from the natives, but they have also assimilated ingredients from traditional indigenous culinary and incorporated them in the culinary traditions that have arrived with immigration from other countries. Now, it is impossible to separate indigenous culinary from the Brazilian culinary tradition as a whole.

One of the ingredients traditionally used by indigenous peoples that is now widely used through the whole country is cassava, a tuberous root very rich in carbohydrates that grows in the tropics. The use of cassava based-dishes is arguably the greatest contribution to Brazilian cuisine. Natives use cassava to make flour, which they then use in many different dishes. They mix it with meat for example to make a dish called paçoca. Later, a sweet version of paçoca was developed with sugar and peanuts or cashew nuts instead of meat, which has become more popular than the original dish.

They also use cassava to make a flatbread named biju, which can be eaten with different fillings. Nowdays, biju is a pretty common dish, especially in the northern part of the country. Another cassava-based dish is the mingau, a porridge which the basis of the diet of the native people. Another cassava-based dish is pirão, a broth made of fish and cassava flour and eaten as a side dish in the northeast of the country.

Another ingredient that was an important part of their diet is corn. They not only used it to make an array of dishes, but also to produce an alcoholic beverage known as cauim. One of the native corn-based dishes that was incorporated and mixed with foreign influence is canjica. The original version consisted simply of a corn paste, but the Portuguese have added sugar and cinnamon to turn it into a delicious dessert. They are also the creators of pamonha, a corn cake wrapped in banana leaves that is often sold as street food. Also, as surprising as it sounds, natives also used to make their own version of popcorn.

These dishes and ingredients are the most noticeable contribution from the natives in Brazilian cuisine, but the indigenous influence in Brazilian culinary is noticeable all throughout the country. It can be noticed for example in the use of native fruits such as açai, guaraná, araça and cubiu, as well as in vegetables such as caruru and taiba. Mainstream cuisine is also rediscovering ingredients and recipes that have remained fairly marginalized. In the melting pot that is Brazilian cuisine, the legacy of the indigenous peoples remains one of the most important influences.