The Brazilian barbeque is something almost everyone eats when they visit Rio (unless you don’t eat meat). There are quite a few other dishes of interest that I will describe on this page.
The Brazilian Barbeque
In the so called churrascarias many tourists have their first encounter with the Brazilian way to eat meat. They are really proud of their picanha which in English is “cap of the rump”. In these places you pay a fixed price and can then eat as much as you like. It’s not only meat but also salads, vegetables, sushi, grilled fish and much more. Most Brazilians couldn’t afford these places so they barbeque at home. The only spice used is normally salt. A sauce made of spring onions, tomatos, onion, leaf parsley, vinegar and oil (molho da campanha) is common as accompaniment. Large quantities of beer is normally consumed, these house sessions can last for a couple of days.
Beans & Feijoada
Beans, beans and more beans! That’s how I feel sometimes . The black and brown bean has for a long time been the main source of protein for the majority of Brazilians and is on many people’s plates everyday all year round. They are most often cooked in a pressure boiler (a great time saver) and spiced with garlic and bacon. The most traditional bean dish is feijoada; it’s pretty much black beans with fatty meat (pigs ears and so on). Tasty but very heavy. If you want to read som more about this dish just click this link and you’ll get to an article I wrote on the topic.
The Portuguese brought with them the tradition to eat dried salted cod. This is quite expensive but a must at Christmas and other holidays. Imported all the way from Norway it is used in various oven-dishes. The only way I like it is like the fried fish balls you get in bars. I have written an article about Bacalhau in Brazil, just click this link to get there.
This brings us to a really good part of the food in Rio: The bar food. The above mentioned bolinho de bacalhau with a dab of chili sauce can be really good. You also have incredibly unhealthy pastrys empadas that are fantastic. You have spicy sausages calabresa as well as fried manioc aipim. The sun dried beef carne de sol is a dish from the Northeast of Brazil that can be delicious, don’t confuse it with the dried beef carne seca which is far less savoury. Together with a cold beer this all is a perfect match.
Brazilians love it sweet, if you order a coffee with no sugar they just look at you in amazement. The desserts are also normally very sweet. This doesn´t stop some of them to be really tasty. I personally can recommend the following: Passion fruit mousse mousse de maracujá, papaya cream creme de mamão, biscuit cake pavé and lime cake torta de limão. There are many more, I´m sure you’ll find your own favourites if you have a sweet tooth.
I have picked out a few restaurants if you would want to try some of the above.
– Carretão R. Visconde de Pirajá 112, Ipanema map, tel 2267-3965
– Casa da Feijoada R. Prudente de Moraes 10, Ipanema map, tel 2523-4994
When it comes to bacalhau you get it in many restaurants. The same goes for snack food although I’d like to promote the shrimp pastry empada de camarão in any of the Belmonte bars.
If you are interested in some Brazilian Food Recipes click this link, it is to my food site.