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Aug 25, 2008 12:49 PM

Brazilian Food?

In a couple of weeks my wife and I are having people over for dinner and we're supposed to do a Brazilian theme. Apparently it was a tradition in college to spin a globe, land on a random country, and cook food from said country. They're re-instituting the tradition and Brazil came up first.

I've never been to Brazil and I honestly don't know what the heck they eat down there. Can anyone give me any guidance on recipes? I've been to a few Brazilian BBQ restaurants, but I don't think I can cook that much meat!

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  1. I can't give you recipes - you'll need to google them, I suppose - but typical dinners at the home of a Brazilian friend of ours include:

    - feijoada (black bean stew filled with various pieces of pork and sausage - like a Brazilian version of cassoulet - it's kind of like the national dish)
    - farofa (manioc flour, pan roasted with tiny bits of onion and other vegetables, sometimes with very little bits of bacon - very dry - it soaks up the juices of whatever else you're having)
    - salt cod in some form or another - after the initial prep (soaking, rinsing, soaking again - our friend sometimes flakes the fish into pieces, layers it with thinly-sliced potatoes and onions and cooks it in the oven in - I don't know - maybe chicken broth?
    - I don't know if it's typically Brazilian or just our friend's preference, but she's not big on big desserts. Her favorite is sliced oranges and their zest in a bowl of orange liquor. Sometimes served alone, sometimes it accompanies simple vanilla ice cream.

    1. Ditto on Deenso's suggestions, especially the feijoada. I've seen people use the farofa more as a condiment.
      Another typically famous dish is vatapa, a fish/coconut soup.
      I'd say capyberra, but that may be difficult to get in North America...

      Just a suggestion, maybe round up some brazillian beer or get a bottle of cachaca and make caipirinhas with lime, sugar, and ice.

      1. Deesno's suggestions are good. Feijoada is the national dish served on Saturdays in Restaurants. Farofa - I usually make it with come egg, some bacon, some onion. It is used to sprinkle on top of food like feijoada or rice and beans.( My DIL is from Rio and best friends live in San Paulo). Flan is a typical dessert; also passionfruit mousse.
        There is a very good Feijoida recipe in the New American Basics Cookbook called carnival Feijoida. I have made it and it is very good. I will look at my Brazilian cookbook and consult with my DIL and see if I can come up with any other ideas.
        Oh and caiparinhas are a must for alcoholic drinks- limes muddled with sugar and cashasa mixed in. Very delicious.

        1 Reply
        1. re: emilief

          if you can get hold of dende oil, Moqueca is a great spicy dish from Bahia, (usually made with seafood), involving coconut milk..

        2. Brazilian food involves canned corn and bad pizza.

          Seriously though, while the signature dish is feijoada a good version involves a lot of effort which is why it is often just a weekend dish. Also authenticity would require pig parts like ears. Here's an American-friendly ... North American ... version from Chow recipes

          I’d take one or two approaches,



          Bolineo de bacalhau - Cod Fish Croquette


          Black bean soup


          Green salad with hearts of palm

          Main course

          Moranga – A squash stuffed with seafood. Here are some photos

          Served with Rice, black beans, farofa (with bacon … throw some bacon in those beans too)

          Condiment dishes of different colored pimento, tiny Brazilian peppers. I think this is what keeps Brazilians from dying from all that fried food, meat and palm oil. More about them


          Pudim de coco - Coconut Flan


          Passion fruit Mousse

          Coffee using Brazilian beans

          Brazilian black beer
          Caipirinhas - cachaça cocktail … or you could have a straight cachaça tasting … though finding quality cachaça isn’t easy. A chow recipe

          If you don’t think people would go for cod fish I can suggest other appetizers. Another approach to take

          BRAZILIAN STREET SNACKS AND BBQ (not the rodizo type)

          Snacks – Salgadinhos

          There are tons of these, the most common being …

          coxinha (fried chicken croquettes), risoli (fried cheese croquettes) pao de queijo (cheese bread) and kibe (minted beef croquettes).


          Have some green salad and toppings like hearts of palm and canned corn to top the greens.

          Grilled meats

          Pull out your little BBQ grill to make Brazilian kebabs, Brazilian hot dogs and Brazilian (X-Tudo … sort of sounds like cheese tudo)

          Of course you must have as sides of Rice, black beans, farofa

          Brazilian kebabs or meat skewers (espetinhos) are like any other beef or chicken kabobs, a little different marinade.

          No kidding about Brazilians liking canned corn. The hot dogs are topped with potao sticks, corn kernels and hot sauce.

          The X-tudo is a deadly thing of beauty … starting with the humble hamburger patty and topped with bacon, hot dog, corn, peas, pineapple, fried egg, melted, potato sticks, cheese, lettuce, onions, and tomato … seriously. A local blogger on the Brazilian burger with photo.

          This site has some great pictures of many of the snacks, kebabs, hot dogs and xtudo … and a bunch of other ideas.

          Another snack site


          Sweet Brazilian dessert pizza

          Topped with things like cheese, white chocolate, raisins, peaches, plums, and condensed milk

          Brazilian black beer
          Boxed Brazilian juices … acai is pretty popular these days anywhere
          Canned Brazilian sodas (which I’m not a fan of)
          Or you can make smoothies out of Brazilian juices. Here’s my post about the snacks and smoothies at a local snack shop

          This doesn’t have to be complicated. Looking at your Chow profile (My Chow) it seems you are either from Boston or Manhattan. If it is Boston, there are TONS of Brazilian bakeries (especially around Framingham) where you can pick up snack foods and pastries. If in Manhattan, that link above with the hot dogs and snacks is located in Palisades, NJ and I think there are a bunch of Brazilian bakeries in one or more of the bouroughs.

          BTW, I’m not Brazilian and have never been to Brazil. It is just that the local Brazilian population in the SF Bay Area has been expanding and I just got interested in trying out everything new that opened. So I could be just blowing steam here.

          I've referenced this wiki article from time to time.

          1. If you live in the Boston area there are many portugese bakeries in Framingham and Cambridge where you can order slhingados for appetizers. Also, for moqueca- (sp?) there is a restaurant called that in Cambridge that makes the traditional moquieca- a fish stew- you could probably have them make it for you. Also, if you have access to a Brazilian grocer you want to have guarana on hand (Brazilian soft drink sort of like coke).

            1 Reply
            1. re: emilief

              Guarana is amazing.. got addicted to the stuff in Brazil.