Meat and Seafood Dishes
In the Brazilian cuisine, most of the meat dishes rely on seafood that is commonly used for most meals. Fried shrimp, calamari, sea-squid, mussels and fresh fish are used for salads, stew or served with side-dishes such as rice and beans. Shrimp is the kind of meat that you will definitely encounter in most dishes, such as moqueca de camarao (shrimp stew), frigideira (seafood frittata), strogonoff de camarao (shrimp stroganoff), or even as a side dish, in the vatapá (spicy shrimp puree). Sometimes cooked in coconut milk, shrimp is the staple of Brazilian meat dishes. Pork is prepared for the lombo con farofa (roast loin of pork accompanied by toasted manioc), beef is used for stakes, while chicken is grilled or prepared in wine. Al types of meat can be prepared sautéed in coconut milk, cooked with Yuca or manioc fries, or served with farofa, a mix of manioc flour, butter and salt.
The country of Brazil has a rich supply of all kinds of fruits and vegetables, making it very easy for a vegetarian to choose ingredients for a fresh salad or even for a consistent meal. Rice and beans being the staple of this cuisine can be prepared in many ways that will satisfy all tastes. Usually, rice is simply boiled in hot water with olive oil, but more ingenious chefs may add garlic, onions, tomatoes and even black olives. Beans are an important part of the entire Brazilian cuisine, and can be used for salads, for stews or fired and served with bread. Either way, beans come in large varieties, such as brown beans (carioquinha), feijoada black beans, fradinho beans (used in traditional bahian recipe acarajé), white beans, and even chili beans. The fruit variety offers culinary possibilities for any vegetarian that can serve them as part of a fruit salad or mixed with fried rice, for a more exotic dish.
Some of the main Brazilian appetizers include the pastries fritos (fried turnovers), that may have different filings such as chicken, beef, seafood, vegetables, or cheeses. Recheio de carne is platter served with pao de queijo (cheese bread) or plain with different dipping sauces. The cheese bread can be served individually as a Brazilian appetizer and it can be made of parmesan, cheddar or mixed types of cheese. Bolinhos de bacalhau (codfish balls) is a fancy appetizer severed in restaurants together with a glass of wine, cocktails and even with a beer. Appetizers in the Brazilian cuisine may also consist of a fresh vegetable salad, or even a cream of palm heart soup, prepared with chicken stock, milk, white pepper and butter. Soups are usually served as a replacement for the first course, and are very much appreciated before the main meal, as well as platters of fruit or raw vegetables.
Brazil is a country worldwide known for its strong flavored coffee. So it’s only natural to encounter some of the best coffee specialties all over the country. However, there are other special beverages as well, that are much appreciated by Brazilians. Among special drinks, cachaça is one of the most delicious liquors that are available in all parts of the country. Cachaça is the Brazil’s native liquor, made from sugar cane, and it is the main ingredient in the national drink, the caipirinha. Brazilian beverages may sometimes consist only of fruit cocktails with no alcohol, such as fruit punches, Swiss lemonade, and the blackcow, but sometimes come available in alcoholic versions, called batidas. These alcoholic cocktails come in flavors going from peanuts, coconuts, oranges, pineapples, apples, peaches and strawberries, to mango, papaya and bananas. Some other cocktails have specific names, such as passion fruit cocktail, puma’s milk, and angel’s pee, and are usually served in bars and restaurants.
Brazilian snacks are usually represented by small portions of side dishes and they are mostly light and easy to prepare. Tutu de feijão (pinto beans puree) is appreciated as a snack and takes little time to prepare. Cornmeal porridge and beans seasoned with cassava flour are great as side dishes but served as snacks in-between meals as well. Fried pastries are sometimes available, and make for a great Brazilian snack. Acarajé is one of the most delicious fried snacks, and consists of deep fried peas wrapped in crispy dough. Other Brazilian snacks include aipim frita (yuca or manioc fries), Farofa, which can be served as a side dish as well as a snack, and the Brazilian cheese bread served sometimes as an appetizer. White rice with gorgonzola, collard greens (kale), or coconut rice are great for snacks and have a delicious taste as well. Cornstarch cookies are sweet snacks appreciated with any occasion by children and adults as well.
In the Brazilian cuisine, a lot of interesting desserts and sweets are being prepared in a specific and rather interesting way. For instance, avocado is sweetened and used as part of the dessert dishes, as creme de abacate (avocado cream), unlike any other countries, that would rather use it salted for sauces. Meringue is another delicious Brazilian dessert, usually made with strawberries and a lot of whipped cream. and solid sweets are very popular in the Brazilian cuisine and are preferred not only by children, but by grown-ups as well. Among them, biscoitos de maizena (Cornstarch cookies) are the most delicious ones and have a typical vanilla flavor. Other desserts include ice cream, cakes, and exotic fruits such as papaya, mango, açaí, cupuaçu, bananas and pineapples, mixed in that are served with liquor and whipped cream, or used for that can be served as dessert in many fancy restaurants.
Creme de abacate
Biscoitos de Maizena (Cornstarch cookies)
Quadrados de leite