Brazilian foods I love

Churrasco. I don’t know what the Brazilians do to their meat, but MAN it comes out good… moist, hot off the skillet, impossibly flavorful… my mouth waters just thinking about it. Now that I’m finally familiar with the names of the various cuts of meat, I no longer feel so clueless ordering at a churrasqueria.

“Romeo and Juliet,” which is goiabada (guava paste) w/a particular kind of crumbly white cheese. The name comes from the fact that the two go so well together – the goiabada is very sweet and the cheese is weak and salty. It’s eaten as a dessert here.

Açaí na tigela com granola e banana. Açaí is a deep purple Amazonian fruit, and “na tigela” means it’s prepared as a smooth, frozen slush. I like mine with granola and banana added, and when I was in Salvador I ate it for breakfast almost every day.

Those darn “biscoitos de polvilho” (manioc-flower biscuits): they’re crunchy and slightly salty and infinitely munchable, and so light that you can easily eat a huge bag without realizing it, hence why I no longer buy them!

Pão de queijo (cheese bread): a piece of bread about the size of a muffin with cheese baked into it.

Goiaba (guava) is possibly my favorite fruit here. The skin is green, soft, about a centimeter thick, and tangy; the interior is an extremely sweet bright pink flesh filled with crunchy seeds.

Suco de maracujá (passion fruit juice): I love all the freshly-made fruit juices in Brazil, but I think maracujá tops the list.

Quail eggs. They taste just like regular eggs, but they’re about the size of a grape. Most often found in salad bars.

Moqueca de peixe/camarão/siri/arraia: it’s a seafood stew (fish, shrimp, crab, stingray) with pepper and oil. These seafood dishes are much less common in southern Brazil, especially inland where I am now, but I had some really delicious ones on the northeast coast.

Pirão de peixe: mix of manioc meal with the fish juices, comes out like fish-flavored mashed potatoes.

Tapioca: tapioca made into a white, spongy, slightly sweet pastry-type thing… it can be eaten solo or used to make a sandwich.

Quebra-quiexo: a mix of grated coconut, honey, nuts, and apple (I think).

Milho verde: a hot, fresh ear of buttered corn sold as a snack on the streets here.

Agua de coco: coconut water. I only like it when it’s fresh from the coconut; all the canned/bottled brands I’ve tried here have tasted a little off because of the preservatives. Afterwards, you can usually get the vendor to crack open the coconut so you can eat the meat.

Mandioca: I’m not exactly sure what this is… my dictionary translates it as cassava, which I’ve never heard of… but fried mandioca with salt is way better than French fries!

Canjica: a sweet maize porridge served as a dessert. It’s surprising that I like this, considering that I don’t like arroz doce (see next list).

Fried banana with cinnamon and sugar: it’s my and Sara’s favorite new snack; Sara just bought a load of new bananas, and we are going to get fat off of them.

Cafezinho: small (maybe 30 mL), strong, sweet shot of coffee (without milk). It’s the only kind of coffee I really like.

Sonho de Valsa morango: most Brazilian-made chocolate is not that good, but these things are yummy; they’re kind of like strawberry truffles except with a crunchy part in between the filling and the chocolate covering.

Acarajé: mashed-up beans fried into a patty and served with vatapá (a fish paste), carurú (some sort of veggie mixture containing okra), pimenta (hot pepper), and sometimes salada (cold chopped up onion, tomato, and cucumber) and camarão (shrimp). I hear it’s about 700 calories – I usually eat one and call it a meal. Also the dendê oil doesn’t agree with everyone’s stomach. But it’s one of my favorite Bahian foods.