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Apr 10, 2011 03:39 PM

How popular is Brazilian food?

I lived in the US for quite a while and the churrascarias were the only thing people knew where I lived, very remote areas on the mountains of WV and in Tahoe,CA. I can understand why churrascarias are so popular, an all you can eat place that actually serves good food can't go wrong.

But what about the other typical foods? How spread is it around the country?

If you ever been to Brazil, what was your favorite (s) food?

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  1. In NYC a lot of people are familiar with Rodizio thanks to the thriving communities of Brazilians in Queens. You pair that with AYCE meat for cheap, and suddenly you've become very popular.
    There are other restaurants that offer more than just rodizio and there you can get acaraje, salpicão, moqueca de camarão, and feijoada just to name a few. Brazilian food is in NYC and I don't think it's leaving any time soon.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Cheese Boy

      That's amazing! I knew churrascarias were popular, but I was unaware of the other dishes you mentioned were available in New York. Acarajé and Moqueca are true Brazilian-African foods that are way different and even exotic to most Brazilians.

      1. re: Cheese Boy

        In the days before rodizio, Brazlian places in NYC wre much more fish-seafood oriented, withstrong Portuguese colors, esp. in the many varieties of bacalhau on offer, washed down with vinho verde. Feijoada, yes, but I mostly remember fondly great plates of bacalhau gomes-de-sa, with boiled potatoes, olives, onions, and hard boiled eggs at simple places along what was "Little Brazil"s W 47 St.

        1. re: bob96

          Bob, this is the type of food I consider being a staple here. You can find these dishes all over the country, not that you won't find churrascarias, but churrascarias are more a serving style than a cuisine. Wonderful to know you tried these dishes.

          1. re: ssalvador.marcel

            What I wouldn't give for another plate of that bacalhau--maybe in Newark, NJ, where Brazilians have moved into the old Portuguese Ironbound neighborhood.

            1. re: bob96

              I'm sure you'll a very similar dish in portuguese restaurant if not the same dish, specially on easter.

        2. re: Cheese Boy

          i know these dishes! have had them in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Had them more than I've had churrasqueria, actually....

          1. re: mariacarmen

            @mariacarmen - that's great news. I'm trying to map some of the exotic Brazilian food in the US.

        3. We have just one restaurant here that claims to be Brazilian other than the numerous churrascarias. I've never been to any of the latter and have no interest in that sort of feeding; do they serve any typical Brazilian sides (couvee?) at places like that.

          We had a small buffet, Cariocas, for a short time, and it was a very good little hole-in-the-wall. I was introduced to farofa and loved it, also vinagrette although I thought that was the name of the salad at the time. Otherwise the cook emphasized that the dishes were hers - 'my potato salad,' 'my fried chicken,' etc., so I don't know how common these dishes are in Brazil. She was a very good cook; her milanesa was possibly the best I ever had.

          The surviving place Emporio, is much more upscale. I have been several times and love the feijoada, also the pao de queijo, empanadas, especially de palmita and camaron. Other dishes have not been as impressive and I can't stay away from the feijoada. The restaurant doesn't get much buzz on local boards or review sites but is always busy when I'm there. It is on the far west side. One dish that does get mentioned is the Shrimp Muqueca (sp?) which I have not tried. I did try the peixada and it wasn't nearly as impressive as the feijoada. I did have the Xingu and Palma Louca and was very impressed with the XIngu; both are now carried at Spec's, the local mega-liquor store chain, at several locations.

          I'm sure we have other restaurants that are 'South American' that will offer some dishes they claim to be Brazilian, but we have much bigger communities here of Central American countries and northern South American countries like Colombia and Venezuela than the countries farther south.

          Here's the link for Emporio so you can see what they offer:

          1 Reply
          1. re: brucesw

            Their menu is a mix of most Brazilian cuisines, which is mainly divided in four regions (south , southeast, north and northeast) North and Northeast being the most exotic. Shrimp muqueca is from the Northeast (Bahia) and is very distinct due to the red palm oil (dende). You'll be surprised how different and pleasant the taste is. The slaves brought the oil from Africa and still remains popular in northern Africa. Xingu is a dark -sweet beer that is not very popular down here even though you can find them everywhere.

            You can also try to make your own muqueca, it is very easy to make all you need is find red palm oil in an african market or online.


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