By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer
February 6, 2016
Brazilian cuisine is extremely rich and diverse, being influenced by Portuguese colonizers, African slaves, Brazilian natives and immigrants from all over the world. Below, we have compiled a list of some of the best dishes the country has to offer.
One of the most traditional Brazilian dishes, feijoada is a stew of black beans, beef and pork that is as delicious as it is caloric. Depending on where you eat feijoada, different parts of the pork are used. One can find feijoadas with pork ribs, ears, tails, sausages and much more. Some common additional ingredients are rice, farofa, oranges and kale, but one can find an enormous variety of ingredients in feijoadas from different places. This tasty stew is not only simple to make but also makes for a true feast. For those that enjoy a hearty meal and are not worried about the calories, I would recommend jumping at the opportunity to try feijoada.
Another staple from Brazilian culinary, farofa is a mixture of toasted cassava flour that is eaten through all the country. By itself, it doesn’t have much to offer, but it can be fried with many different ingredients. It also goes extremely well with rice and beans, which are the essential Brazilian foods. Some common ingredients to be cooked with farofa are sausages, eggs, bacon, onions and olives. Some also like to put in ingredients such as chopped bananas, raisins or nuts, but the farofa offers limitless possibilities of mixtures. Whether you are eating a feijoada, a fish fillet or a Brazilian-style barbecue, farofa has a lot of flavor to bring to the table.
3. Moqueca One of the most traditional dishes in the northeast of Brazil, moqueca is a seafood stew to make any mouth water. Usually served in a clay pot, moqueca is a mixture of seafood, diced tomatoes, onions and coriander. In the state of Bahia, it is usually cooked with palm oil, peppers and coconut milk. For the complete experience, moqueca should be eaten with rice, farofa and piro, a spicy mixture of manioc flour and fish. If you are a seafood lover that is willing to experiment with new flavors, then moqueca is definitely for you.
4. Arroz carreteiro (Wagoner’s Rice)
In the south of Brazil, a “carreteiro” was someone who transported goods across the country. This dish was created by these travelers using ingredients that could be preserved without refrigeration, so as to provide a tasty and nutritious food that can be prepared during their journeys. It is consists of a mixture of rice, beef jerky and onions, with some other vegetables or spices being used sometimes as well. This tasty dish quickly spread through the rest of Brazil, and is now enjoyed through all the country. While it is quite good on its own, the arroz carreteiro is at its best when served as a side dish, offering a delicious alternative for the plain rice that is usually served in Brazil.
5. Virado a Paulista While the state of São Paulo is not well known for its culinary, it is the home of this deliciousness known as the Virado a Paulista. Traditionally, this dish was made from a mix of food leftovers. Nowadays, the virado is a full plate that mixes rice, cooked beans, kale, cassava flour, sausages, pork chops and eggs sometimes. This combination is a force to be reckoned, and should leave anyone satisfied. In the city of São Paulo, it is usually served on Mondays at a fair price in restaurants and bars through the city.