What is Brazilian Pizza?
- rworange Dec 25, 2005 04:31 PM
Searching around on the web I found a lot of differnt thoughts. Mainly it seems thin crusted with less sauce and unique toppings.
Or is that just nonsence? I was reading there is a large Italian population in Brazil. So is the fame of the pizza just tied to the population and it is no differant than pizza anywhere?
This link from a Framingham, Mass place seems to focus on the toppings (corn, raisins, hard-boiled eggs and hearts of palm) rather than the crust.
However, the link below which has some excellent pictures of Brazlillian food, has a picture of a pizza which looks nothing like the US places I surfed that had pizza pics.
So what makes a pizza Brazilian?
This picture is from a SF pizza place.
As a side note, there is also something called Peruvian pizza, a dish offered for a short time at a new Peruvian rotisserie chicken joint near where I live. Unfortunately, because nobody ordered it, the owner stopped making them. He told me it would have toppings that include tropical fruit.
The key difference I recall between Brazilian pizza and what I'm accustomed to is the lack of tomato sauce. At best a very, very thin layer of basically ketchup is added under the toppings. Corn, eggs, meats we wouldn't normally put on pizza are all quite common things to find on Brazilian pizzas.
Corn, by the way, is fantastic on pizza. It's slightly sweet, provides a bit of crunch, but it's not hard. It's a lovely colour contrast to the many red things we usually put on pizza. Really, all around quite good.
Brazilian pizza is some of the worst pizza I've ever been exposed to in my life. Living down there (in Southern Brazil) for a summer and traveling with a group, we were forced to experience the pizza there approximately 6-10 times, all at different places around the Southern part of the country. The crust is thin, not well cooked (sometimes it was raw), and the toppings are quite unique. They will throw anything on it. The fruit pizzas were better than the savory, but honestly, there was nothing to write home about regarding any of the pizza there. Brazil needs to stick to churrasco :)
Putting ketchup (or "catch-up," as the packets pronounce) on it, from my recent experiences in Rio.
Not the best pizza, IMHO.
Connected w/other's comments on "weird" toppings, I had something while there called the "x-tudo," (pronounced "shees-tudo"). It's a hamburger topped with (are you ready!?):
shredded raw carrots and beets, canned peas, corn, ham, salami, boiled quail eggs, raisins, "special sauce," cheese, and maybe something else I'm forgetting.
It wasn't horrible, exactly, but I wouldn't order it again - too many disparate flavors that just didn't work together, for me.
Very cool. You may have solved a mystery for me. A local pizza place is selling something called a Brazilian X Salada. It is under the section with sandwiches and burgers. I can see them changing the name slightly so that with all those veggies on it the word salad gives an indication of what to expect.
From the pronuciation and description, I'll bet that's what this may be. Now I have to think about whether I want to give it a try or not.
Thanks for the info about the x-tudo(sheeze-tudo). I had one today. This new pizza place near me seems to sell Brazilian street food.
The only thing they had today was the x-salada, which after Googling the web, really was an x-tudo.
My understanding is that an x-salada is just a hamburger with lettuce and tomato on it. However an x-tudo means hamburger with everything.
My sandwich had everything burger, sliced hot dog, bacon, fried egg, cheese (maybe mozzarella), canned corn, lettuce, tomato and fried potato stiks (gave it a nice crunch). Served on the side were two squeeze bottles with catsup and mayonnaise. Looked like an x-Dagwood.
What does that x mean? It seems like there are a lot of sandwiches with an x in front like x-egg. Heres a link to pictures of some.
There is a blog (all in Portuguese, I assume), that has pictures of x-saladas around the world.
The English isnt that great at the pizza place. So any info on the following would help. The link below has pictures of a lot of these snack foods.
Im thinking this means pie and is some sort of turnover. Picture and recipe in Portuguese.
Another turnover/mini pie? Here an ENGLISH recipe and picture (whew
However, there seem to be shops just devoted to empadas in Brazil serving sweet and savory versions. This is a link to one that looks like a franchise.
It seems that empadas are also sold from carts.
These seem to be deep-fried triangular thingies stuffed with chicken and shaped like chicken drumsticks. Heres an English version recipe with picture.
Crème de Morango
Not coming up with anything on this except for hand cream (I think). I was told this was a strawberry milkshake.
Crème de Maracuja
Ok ... passion fruit ... passion fruit milkshake? That sounds interesting.
X means cheese. X sounds like cheese in portuguese, so instead of writing cheeseburger it is written X burger. All variations start with X, like X salada, X bacon, X tudo (tudo means ALL they serve on the other burgers) , X frango (chicken breast) , X Frangao (Frangao means big chicken but in reality is a X tudo version with a chicken breast), X calabresa ( Calabresa sausage). These are the most common ones. But you can literally choose on burger places hundreds of toppings, you name it they serve it. Weird but surprisingly good is mashed potatoes on theburger .
What makes people choose their burger places down here is really the quality of their assortment of mayos (plain, garlic and green onions are the most popular) and the quality of the bacon. I choose mine solely on the best homemade mayo available and make sure I have at least two different squeeze bottles on my table.
The Brazilian pizzerias in the Bay Area offer very similar specialty pies and the only difference that I've noticed is that tomato slices are used instead of a sauce (and no ketchup!) and the toppings can be unusual. Besides the aforementioned corn, hard boiled egg slices, and hearts of palm, other common toppings include linguica sausage or slices of chicken breast (both are increasingly common at regular pizzerias), and the very odd catupiry cheese, which is a type of cream cheese.
From my experience, while some Brazilian pizza joints offer unique toppings, it is merely the Brazilian ownership and community pride that make a pizza Brazilian pizza. In Framingham , Mass, with a large Brazilian population, the signs say Brazilian Pizza, but the pizzas inside are unremarkable versions of the standard fare.
I had pizza in Brasil (at one of those cheesy cafes that line the Copacabana) and it looked absolutely nothing like that picture. The basic difference that I remember is that the crust is VERY thin and droopy and they use no tomato sauce. Just cheese and garlic are the staples. I don't remember eggs or anything like that on the pizza. Actually, I thought it was very good....and I certainly never saw Ketchup!!
Of course there could be some sort of Brasilian-American mutation of it here.
Another twist to the Brazilian Pizza story is the pizza rodizio -- you sit down, flip a sign to green and the waiters bring slices of different types of pizza until you flip the sign to red. It's like Fogo de Chao but for pizza instead of meat. Cheap, filling, but not very good (unlike the meat rodizios, which I quite like).
Brazilians are very proud of their pizza but in my experience here in Salvador and in Sao Paulo even the best versions are mediocre. Mostly it is a problem with the crust - often undercooked, usually thin but droopy, always cooked in an aluminum pie pan. Even though the toppings are odd, it all turns out bland, hence the reason so many places serve squeeze bottles of ketchup and mustard to spread on it. The only unique combination that is good is the catupiry cheese and chicken, especially if you take it home and sprinkle it liberally with hot sauce.
The best pizza in town is Pizza Hut, mostly because the crust is better than anywhere else. I'm not kidding.
Well I spend alot of time these days in the "Ironbound" quarter of Newark, NJ. It's one of the thickest populations of Brazilians as well as Spanish and Portuguese in the U.S. There is a brazilian pizza joint I frequent on Wilson Ave. approximately between Ferry St. (where Wilson Ave. starts) and Marne St. for any mapquesters... I'm not sure of the exact address. It's a small two or three table stop-and-grab-a-slice or pick-up and run home kind of place. No ambiance really... the old man who runs the place sits and paces about with his bombilla and mate and hot water kettle and passes it around with his buds as they drop in. Young kids serve it up from behind the counter. But their pizza closely resembles the pie in the picture posted here. Wide variety of ingredients. I've never attempted to order anything particular. I simply walk in and point to the various slices in the display case. Mounded very high with all kinds of ingredients... crust is ample without being hyper-Sicilian... I especially like the various ricottas and goat cheeses I seemed to taste with chicken, portuguese sausage, sliced hard boiled eggs, smoked ham... all on one slice... I drop by every chance I get... a typical slice is 3-4 bucks and is plenty ample for me even when I'm pretty hungry. I've never ordered a whole pie. The Brazilians do similar things with their sandwiches too... very unusual combinations of things on their sandwiches. There are a variety of sandwich and bakery places throughout the Ironbound. One of my favorites is on the corner of Ferry and Chambers. I can't remember the name of it- it might be "Alta Hora" but I'm not sure. Extensive list of all kinds of sandwiches you won't see at the food court in the "mall."
In response to previous postings, the "x" (pronounced "shees" in Brazilian Portuguese) means--you guessed it--cheese! So a "x-salada" is a cheesy salad, while a "x-tudo" (tudo = everything) is a cheese slice "all the way." Can't say I'm a big Brazilian pizza lover, but I hope this helps everyone decode Brazilian fast food menus in the future.
Well, cool ... thanks. I'll never forget how to pronounce that x again and stop calling it a ex-tudo.
Given your info and googling around someone wrote that "some decades back, Brazilians started hearing the word "cheese burger" and "cheese bacon burger" and so forth in American television shows. "Cheese" doesn't really sound like the Portuguese name for cheese (queijo, pronounced something like key-gju, but we really don't have anything like the Portuguese j in English). Cheese does sound like the Portuguese name for the letter X. What is an X burger? Who knows? But it sounded stylish because it was in all the American movies and television shows that are distributed here by the American owned entertainment companies here. Therefore, all over Brazil you can now find all types of X burgers for sale. This includes x-bacon, x-calabresa, x-frango, and x-tudo."
The story above, about the "x" sandwiches, seems to be correct. Our brazilian "x"s, (pronunced similar as saying cheeses in english) are supposed to come from american cheese -burgers. only that brazilians, as you well put in this topic about brazilian pizza, love to mix LOTS of very different flavors in the same food. in this case, they modified the american cheese burger by adding toppings to it: first some kinds of salad (lettuce, tomato, peas, corn, etc...), then fried or hard-boiled egg, potato sticks and so on. then, they started to change the hamburger for other kinds of meat (chicken, some kinds of sausages, etc) and, in some cases, just to add two or more meats in the same sandwiches. that's how the "x-tudo" was created, i think. they just kept adding things to the sandwich. and that's also why sometimes you have one "x-salada" and if you have it in a different place next time, it will be pretty different. there's no recipe to it, the "cooks" just do as they please...
as for the pizza, being brazilian, and having eaten pizza in many places of brazil and around the world (including in the US, in England and in Italy), I think it's all a matter of taste. I like some pizzerias in Brazil, and some I don't like. I'm not a fan of "rodizio" (usually you eat too much and the quality of the pizza is not the best) and I prefer thicker crust, but you have to search a little and you can find many good places to eat a good pizza. Again, sometimes you have to get used to this brazilian habit of mixing a lot of flavors in the same dish, so you'll find pizza with as much as 8 (sometimes more) different toppings, which i imagine can be quite confusing for foreigners that are not used to this.
anyways, i hope you all can forgive my english.
Rodizio means that you stay at the table, chatting, eating, drinking... and people will be walking around with random pizza flavours offering to people. You just eat and say yes and no when they offer you. Oh, and you can eat as much as you want.
After a while they will start offering the sweet pizzas, kinda like a dessert. It's the best bit if you ask me. Chocolate pizzas are awesome, sometimes they come with vanilla ice-cream. Others include caramel, bananas, strawberries, etc.
A Brazilian barbecue restaurant is usually server as a rodizio as well. Same stuff, but with big chunks of meat in sticks being cut on your plate.
I'd describe good Brazilian-style pizza as having a thin, crisp, slightly sweet and flaky "cracker" crust, a sauce that is more on the sweet side rather than spicy or garlicky, and in some cases with very Brazilian combinations of toppings. One of my favorites is the frango y Caitupiry, which involves finely shredded bits of chicken and Brazilian/Arab-style cream cheese. It can be very good, albeit pretty different from any of the major styles in the US.
Last night my Brazilian neighbor invited me over for what she said was "Brazilian Pizza" -- It was SO good!!! I tried to get all of the ingredients, but she doesn't speak much English. She used a store bought ready made crust, but confirmed that with more time she would have made her own thin crust. She spread ketchup and mayonaise on the crust, covered it with shredded ham, mozzerella cheese and sliced tomatoes. Then baked as usual. Everytime I go to her house she has made something deliciously fattening and it always seems to incorporate mayonaise and ketchup. She showed me the mayo jar, it's a Brazilian brand that is more tangy than the American versions which tend to be sweet. I'm sure that as with any country different regions prepare food in different ways. Think of how many types of pizza there are in the U.S -- Chicago, Greek, thin crust, thick, brick oven, California, etc. I'm sure Brazil has a million different varieties too, but this one was simple and fabulous - I will certainly be making it again!!
I've eaten a lot of pizza in brazil and I love it. It's somewhat like a neopolitan style in terms of thickness, but typically they use thinly sliced tomatos under the cheese instead of a tomato sauce. I'd also say that the cheese is generally saltier as are my two favorite toppings: ham and linguica. It's very normal to have a pizza come out cut into little squares which you can eat with a toothpick. And yes, where my family is from they like catsup on their pizzas, though a friend of mine from Sao Paulo says she's never heard of it before where's she's from.
Just got back from Brazil where I had pizza in both Sao Paulo and Rio that knocked the socks off any pizza I've had in the US or Italy. Thin crust, very little (but very good) sauce, and toppings like carpaccio, prosciutto, arugula, palm hearts. It's really outstanding.
I am pretty amazed both that someone brought this thread back 5 years post to just make one comment and impressed that rworange spent Christmas day initially researching it (that is dedicated chowhounding). In any case, I have a couple of pictures from a pizzeria in Brazil which I figured were worth posting as the external links may not stand the test of time.
Pizza in Brazil is a social food, although there is take-out and delivery, its common to go out as a group or on a date for pizza and its almost exclusively an evening food -- Brazilian's in the US often think its weird when American's order pizza for lunch. Although there are exceptions lunch is a commonly large meal, so dinner in Brazil can be lighter and both pizza and "lanches" are seen as economical occasion foods. The number of pizzerias is also increasing, part of this is that its attractive business wise: you can charge R$30+ for a large pizza using ingredients which store well and cooks in 2-5 minutes or charge the same for a plate of fried fish or a steak which comes with a bunch of sides. There also is an influx of Brazilians returning from working in the US, Canada or Europe looking to start businesses, many of them have worked in a pizzeria or just want to start one for the reasons above. And there are good and bad pizzerias. Gas pizzerias are probably the most common, although there are a lot more wood fired pizza ovens in Brazil than the US (fired by eucalyptus wood primarily). Luckily there aren't as many frozen reheated pizzas, but there are lousy modern things like the "pizza cone."
The toppings _are_ different. The most common toppings are seasoned shredded chicken breast and ham. Hearts of palm is a unique ingredient (and much better in Brazil) and olives are regularly used as a garnish, as mentioned corn and peas are common. Whereas pepperoni and Italian sausage are common in the US, calabrese (cured sausage), bacon or "saluminho" (like sopressata) would be used in Brazil. Ketchup is not used and I would say a cooked tomato sauce is more common, whereas in the US the trend is definately toward uncooked sauces. Things like shrimp and salt cod which would be minimally cooked, are seasoned and cooked with tomato sauce, paprika before putting on pizza. Catupiry a thickened cream product is put on some pizzas. One thing which is a bit weird is picking Italian city names seemingly at random and associating them with fillings which don't have anything to do with them (such as a tuna pizza called "napolitana") but that happens in the US (I have seen "cuban" tuna pannini's before). But often there is a margarita pizza with fresh basil (manjericao), but outside of capital cities fresh mozzarella wouldn't be common (and bufala a capital city thing only). Eggs are added to some pizzas, but not all and many clients ask for them to be omitted. Each pizzeria tends to come up with one or two house pizzas with a lot of ingredients and it seems like half the clients choose those, but there are plenty of simple pizzas (its not uncommon for a pizzeria to have a 30-40 different pre-selected pizza options).
The crust is often thinner, but not always, you can sometimes get the crust filled with catupiry although I am not a fan. There can be cheese underneath the sauce and over the toppings. In the US vegetables are often fried first, in Brazil when they are used onion and green pepper seem to be usually put on raw. Its generally eaten on a plate with fork and knife, not folded. Like other snack foods, many Brazilian's squeeze both ketchup and mayo onto pizza and take out shops will also provide mustard although its use is much less common.
With Brazilian pizzerias in the US it can be even more of a mix and I don't know of any wood fired ones. Few of the operators have actually owned a pizza place in Brazil, many of them actually have more experience with US pizza. So their styles may reflect where they worked (greek pizza place, place using par-baked skins) or the recipe of the existing shop they bought and many continue producing US pizzas, adding one or two Brazilian options with a lot of toppings. You shouldn't use them as a barometer of pizza in Brazil. In any case, if you post on the local boards you should be able to get a pointer to a local alternative (Chriscillas's in Everett is a good bet in the Boston area).