Brazilian cuisine, like Brazil itself, varies greatly by region. The natural crops available in each region add to their singularity.
Root vegetables such as cassava (locally known as mandioca, aipim, or macaxeira), yams, and peanuts, and fruits like açaí, cupuaçu, mango, papaya, guava, orange, passionfruit, pineapple, and hog plum are among the local ingredients used in cooking. Brazilian pine nuts called pinhão grow in a tree that is abundant in the southern part of Brazil, and are a popular national snack, as well as a lucrative export. Rice and beans are an extremely common dish, as are fish, beef and pork.
Some typical dishes are caruru, which consists of okra, onion, dried shrimp and toasted nuts (peanuts and/or cashews) cooked with palm oil until a spread-like consistency is reached; feijoada, a simmered bean-and-meat dish; tutu de feijão, a paste of beans and cassava flour; moqueca capixaba, consisting of slow-cooked fish, tomato, onion and garlic topped with cilantro; and chouriço, a mildly spicy sausage. Salgadinhos, cheese bread, pastéis and coxinha are common finger foods, while cuscuz branco, milled tapioca, is a popular dessert. Brazil is also known for cachaça, a popular native liquor used in the CaipirẶramic pans.
The European immigrants (primarily from Germany, Italy, Poland and Portugal) were accustomed to a wheat-based diet, and introduced wine, leaf vegetables, and dairy products into Brazilian cuisine. When potatoes were not available they discovered how to use the native sweet manioc as a replacement. Lasagna and other pasta dishes are also very popular.
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