The cuisine of Brazil is varied and rich. This is because the country has many cultural influences, like native Amerindians, Africans, Spaniards, Portuguese, Germans, Italians, Lebanese, Poles, and more. These cultures have put a mark on Brazilian food. The specialties vary from region to region, depending on the predominant cultural influences of the area. Nevertheless, the regional differences have been preserved. The different regions of Brazil can agree on the very popular national dish, the feijoada. This is a meat and bean stew and you can find it all over the country. Make sure you taste it during your trip!
Fish is a very important part of the cuisine here. A large assortment of fish is available. In the north, the huge pirarucu fish is very famous. Its delicious flesh is rather meaty. The tambaqui fish is another popular variety. A fruit and seed-eating fish, it has strong teeth that helps it crush food. Other fish worth tasting are the salmon-like dourado from the center-west region of the country and the tucunare, a type of bass.
In the southern regions, meat is the chief staple. A popular dish is the churrasco, which features all kinds of grilled meats. In some restaurants, it is served on skewers from which you select pieces. This dish is very popular in the southeast, the locals of the city of Rio de Janeiro consider it their own specialty. The southeast is also big on pork. Suckling pig roast and fried pork skins are favorites.
When it comes to breads, a great Brazilian staple is pao de queijo. These cheese rolls are made with tapioca starch and grated cheese. They are very popular in the center-west regions, as well as in the southeast and south.
Needless to mention, Brazil is a very productive agricultural hub. This is very apparent in its cuisine. When in this country, you will definitely have access to many kinds of vegetables and fruits. The people of this country are generally not big on leafy greens; they focus more on other types of vegetables, including edible tubers. Menus in restaurants offer an abundance of yams, peppers, sweet potatoes, beans, and squash. Cassava, or manioc, is the main staple. It is used both as a condiment and as a vegetable. Malagueta, which is a hot red pepper, is a usual ingredient of the Bahian cuisine of the northeast. Bahian specialties also call for coconut milk and dende, a palm oil. The fruits of Brazil are striking and colorful. Tropical fruits grow freely in the uplands and wetlands. Some of the exotic fruits are only known in the region where they grow. Therefore, it is not a bad idea to explore remote parts of Brazil and see what you can find there. The variety may be overwhelming to a tourist, but the appearances and flavors will keep interest levels up. The fruit called guarana is the chief ingredient in a very popular Brazilian beverage.
Because of the Portuguese heritage of the country, some staples like eggs and sugar are predominant in Brazilian cuisine, particularly in desserts. An example of this is a dessert called quindim. Made of eggs, sugar, and grated coconut, this upside-down specialty is a special treat.