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Apr 4, 2006 04:37 AM

Info about Brazilian Marmitex (da rosa) and ... sure ... Salgadinhos?

  • r

I seem to be in some sort of Brazilian food vortex.

Today I walked into what I anticipated to be the worst Italian pizza place in the USA and instead found a Brazilian restaurant and grocery. Saturday I stumbled across a place that sells Salgadinhos, Brazilian snacks

The pizza guy said about 8,000 Brazilians live in my neighborhood and there are about a dozen Brazilian stores.

Ya know, I lived here over a year and had no clue about this. Maybe my Spanish isn't as bad as I thought. Maybe everyone's been speaking Portuguese.

I know nada about Brazilian food. This is uncharted food territory for me. Nada probably isn't the correct word in Portuguese either.

So, the pizza place is selling amoung other things something called Brazilian Marmitex (da rosa).

The English ain't so great here. I guess I could order it and be surprised, but I'd appreciate any info I can get.

Could not find much on the web. There's this link below, but it doesn't seem to say too much.

Somewhere else it defined Marmitex as a small round aluminum cooking pan with closeable lid commonly used by Brazilian workers.

Whatever this is it costs $8.50 with dessert and soda.

Anyway, also given that I may have a wealth of Brazilian food around me, what are interesting things to seek out? What Salgadinhos (snacks) are the best? What should be avoided? I know I like those little cheese puffs.

Thanks for any help out there.


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  1. The most common snack, at least here in Bahia, is bolinhos de peixe or fish balls -- crumb coated, deep-fried balls of fish and a starch filler. Sometimes they are actually ball shaped (small, like a golf ball) sometimes they are bigger and more football shaped. They usually are not served with a condiment, but when they are very hot and fresh they go really well with an icy cold beer.

    There are other bolinhos or croquettes, plain potato (batata) and other starches like aipim, and cheese (queijo). Along the same line are coxinhas, usually an inverted cone shape with chicken and catupiry cheese.

    Another fairly common thing to see is cooked kibbe in little football shapes, thanks to the middle eastern immigrants to Brazil. You may see esfihas, like small pizzas with various toppings. One of the fast food chains is Brazil is middle eastern, so these are pretty widely known.

    You may find acaraje which are deep fried bean cakes, sometimes served with dried shrimp and/or hot sauce. Traditionally these are fried in dende (palm) oil. I don't love these, I find them too dense and heavy. But if your Brazilians are not from Bahia you may not see these.

    Then to some people, salgadinhos means little snacks on puff pastry or baguette toasts. My local bakery usually has 6 or 7 types, like puff pastry diamonds with half an olive.

    If you can get a take out menu we can help translate.

    But I've never heard of Marmitex, I'll look through my Brazilian books when I get home tonight.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Chilanga

      The way I'm finding it used on the web suggests it's a kind of meal, rather than a kind of food. It seems to get listed with 'breakfast, lunch, dinner, marmitex' sort of thing. A marmita is a pot, so I wonder if it means something like a 'boxed lunch' - a 'potted snack' or something?

      1. re: Chilanga

        More than you wanted to know about Marmitex...

        According to, Marmitex is a brand of disposable aluminum food containers; the brand name is apparently so widely used it has become generic, like saying Xeroxing for photocopying. Marmita refers to a metal pan associated with the lower classes, Marmitex is supposed to sound more glamorous. In case there are any real Portuguese speakers out there, here is the text:

        Um internauta escreveu perguntando o porquê de "marmitex", já que os dicionários só registram o verbete "marmita". O termo surgiu com a marmita descartável, cuja marca devia ser "Marmitex", como são "Pirex" e "Panex". Como usar a marca no lugar do produto é um processo de formação de palavras em nossa língua, passamos a usar o neologismo: gilete por lâmina de barbear, brama por cerveja, ramona por grampo, xérox por fotocópia.
        Também há uma certa dose de "marketing" na nova nomenclatura. Segundo Célio Pinheiro, presidente da Academia Araçatubense de Letras, a palavra "marmita" está no domínio das classes populares. Quem usa marmita é bóia-fria. Mudar para "marmitex" foi um recurso usado para valorizar mais o produto, a classe média gosta de "glamour".

        So you see ads for bulk quantities of Marmitex containers, and then you also see restaurants advertising "Marmitex" which means a meal served in these containers, see the link below. This restaurant is in Sao Paulo state, so maybe it is a term more commonly used in other parts of the country. Really, I'd never heard of it here in the North East part of Brazil.

        But it doesn't answer the da rosa part (maybe the container will be pink?) or tell us exactly what will be in the container. You'll have to try one and let us know.


        1. re: Chilanga

          There is never more than I want to know about anything. Thanks so much for the info.

          It turned out that Marmitex was a hot boxed lunch with salad and soda served, in Richmond, California in styrofoam containers.

          And ... uh ... Rosa is "the nice girl from Brazil who makes the marmitex".

          And it was magnificant marmitex. So much better than the picture in that link you provided. The details are below.

          Thanks again for the information


      2. My common staples I always get from Brazilian grocery stores are: salted beef (mexicans have it too but I like Brazilian version better - fattier better cuts of beef - gotta soak them for a long time though, pretty salty), guava paste and a case of guarana soda (favorite brand - Antarctica), if you noticed most energy drinks contain guarana but they go as high as $4 per skinny can, but here you get real deal cheap. I also like their coconut pastes (I think they could be good as dessert toppings). I like the one with guava. Most Brazilian sweets are way too sweet for me though.