FIFA 2018: Brazil On Our Plates
We've put together a too-hard-to-resist list of 5 must-try Brazilian foods that are sure to delight your taste buds, expand your palate and help you learn more about Brazilian cuisine.
If asked before the quarterfinal face-off between Brazil and Belgium to predict which team will win and if you say Brazil, you’re not alone. Even though their performance at FIFA Football World Cup 2018 has been lacking compared to Belgium, who have scored a total of 12 goals so far, we’re still rooting for Brazil.
While you (and us) can’t wait to see Brazil take home the cup, take some time to learn more about the country. A melting-pot of various cultures and influences is best represented in Brazil’s food. If you’re new to Brazilian cuisine, worry not! We’ve done the homework for you–here’s a low-down on the five must-try dishes from Brazil.
Quindim (pronounced keen-deen)
Your trip to Brazil will be incomplete without this sweet, creamy and rich dessert. Made using egg yolks, sugar, ground coconut, butter and other additional ingredients that vary from recipe to recipe, this sweet treat is anything but ordinary. One bite of these yellow coloured, nutty bits of heaven, and you’ll be transported to a tropical paradise. Usually baked either in small muffin moulds or a large ring mould, the recipe is believed to be of Portuguese origin. When in Brazil, quindim is found in almost all local shops. What’s best, if you happen to befriend a Brazilian, they’ll be more than happy to treat you to some freshly made quindim.
Coxinhas (pronounced koh-sheen-yah)
Paging all potato lovers. You just cannot leave Brazil until you’ve treated yourself to these rain-drop shaped ‘little thighs’, coated with wheat flour and deep-fried, making them quite a hit amongst the locals. The Brazilian version of croquette, coxinhas are very popular amongst the locals. A particular favourite is the ones stuffed with chicken and catupiry, a Brazilian cream cheese brand. These tasty morsels also won the heart of British TV chef Nigella Lawson during her visit to São Paulo in 2013. Charming that they were, she even went on to post her own take on the traditional recipe and called them “pear-shaped chicken croquettes”.
Açaí (pronounced ah-sigh-ee)
Made from frozen açai berries, it’s quite a common sighting in granolas, smoothies, juices, sorbets or with cut banana slices. A superfood in its own right due to low sugar content, antioxidant properties and a good source of fats, proteins and vitamins, the Brazilians sure know how to marry health with taste. The most common way of embracing the goodness of açai is in the form of a granola bowl–where yoghurt and berries come together. This along with the other variations can be easily found in many street kiosks, juice bars, and even some cafés. While this berry mostly finds its way into sweet dishes, it is at times even used to enhance the flavour of certain savoury Amazonian dishes such as sauces and dressings.
Feijoada (pronounced fey-zhoo-ah-dah)
If you like your food hot and spicy, feijoada is your dish. Often termed as Brazil’s national dish, it is a stew made of black beans, chilli and meat that may be beef or pork, including offals. Influenced by Portuguese cooking, this dish is typically served alongside rice and or farofa. Feijoada is slow-cooked dish usually served at a leisurely Saturday affair. Brazilian comfort food at its best, eh?
Caipirinha (pronounced kai-purr-reen-yah)
Say hello to Caipirinha–Brazil’s national cocktail made with the country’s popular and indigenous spirit, cachaça (a rum-like distillate). Don’t commit the mistake of calling it ‘Brazilian rum’ as unlike rum (made from molasses), this spirit is made from fermented sugarcane juice. The simple drink is prepared using half a lime that’s cut into wedges and is then muddled with sugar and then topped with cachaça and ice. While this usually makes for a refreshing summertime drink, you may be lucky enough to find it all-year round.
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