Brazil’s must-eats … if you’re there for the World Cup or Olympics

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Here are the 10 street foods, cooked dishes and desserts you really ought to try while out in Brazil for the World Cup (or Olympics in 2016!).

Brazil doesn’t have a single national cuisine. Instead, there are numerous distinct regional ones. This is as a result of two things.

First up, the sheer size of the country. Brazil, the fifth largest in the world, spans several climates and landscapes. A different combination of meats, fish, fruits, vegetables and grains are harvested in each region.

Second, Brazil’s history is a story of immigration. As a result, the country has an extremely rich ethnic mix. The cuisines of the indigenous peoples, Portuguese colonialists and West African slaves have all fused to create uniquely Brazilian dishes.

Here are the 10 street foods, cooked dishes and desserts you really ought to try while out in Brazil for the World Cup (or Olympics in 2016!).

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Feijoada

What is it?

This black bean stew filled with different pork meats is the closest thing Brazil has to a national dish. Traditionally it contains the less salubrious parts of a pig like its ears, tail and trotters, but most restaurant iterations feature bacon and smoked sausages. The meal traces back to the plantation slaves, who smuggled leftovers from their masters’ homes to make the stew. It’s served with sliced oranges, farofa (manioc), rice and shredded greens.

Where to try it?

All host cities

10 must-eats - Brazil World Cup 2014
Feijoada. Photo: Fotos GOVBA

Moqueca de peixe

What is it?

Fish stew with onions, garlic and tomato.

Where to try it?

The southeast (Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo) and Bahia (Salvador)

10 must-eats - Brazil World Cup 2014
Moqueca de peixe. Photo: nebulux76

Acarajé

What is it?

Small salted deep fried balls made with black-eyed peas and onion and fried in palm oil (dendê). Often served split in half and filled with the spicy freshly made condiment cararu.

Where to try it?

Salvador

10 must-eats - Brazil World Cup 2014
Acaraje. Photo: Claudia Baiana

Coxinha

What is it?

Golden fried chicken croquette shaped a bit like a chicken thigh.

Where to try it?

São Paulo

10 must-eats - Brazil World Cup 2014
Coxinha. Photo: Thomas Locke Hobbs

Gaucho rodizio

What is it?

A rodizio is an all-you-can-eat restaurant – waiters continually circulate around the dining room offering punters freshly cooked food. Many ridizios cook in the churrascaria (barbeque) style, where tenderly grilled cuts of beef are the prime choice.

Where to try it?

All host cities, in particular Porto Alegre (which is in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s gaucho country).

10 must-eats - Brazil World Cup 2014
Gaucho rodizio. Photo: Unique Hotels Group

Vatapá

What is it?

Afro-Brazilian shrimp curry from Bahia, with a sauce made from onions, coconut milk, peanuts and cashews that’s thickened with breadcrumbs.

Where to try it?

Salvador and Manaus

10 must-eats - Brazil World Cup 2014
Vatapa. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Pao de queijo

What is it?

Cheese bread roll – one of the most popular salgadinhos (small savoury snacks – literally translates as ‘salties’).

Where to try it?

All host cities, in particular Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo

10 must-eats - Brazil World Cup 2014
Pao de queijo. Photo: athomson

Quindim

What is it?

A ring-shaped custard dessert made with sugar, egg yolks and ground coconut.

Where to try it?

All host cities

10 must-eats - Brazil World Cup 2014
Quindim. Photo: Roberto Berlim

Passion fruit mousse

What is it?

Light and sweet mousse made with passion fruit, condensed milk and creme de leite.

Where to try it?

All host cities

10 must-eats - Brazil World Cup 2014
Passion fruit mousse. Photo: Naná Rocha

Açaí berry smoothie

What is it?

Tropical fruit from the Amazon.

Where to try it?

Manaus

10 must-eats - Brazil World Cup 2014
Acai berry smoothie. Photo: The Jake Gordon

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Brazil’s must-eats … if you’re there for the World Cup or Olympics was last modified: April 11th, 2016 by Brett Ackroyd
Author: Brett Ackroyd (1167 posts)

Brett hopes to one day reach the shores of far-flung Tristan da Cunha, the most remote of all the inhabited archipelagos on Earth…as to what he’ll do when he gets there, he hasn’t a clue. Over the last 10 years, London, New York, Cape Town and Pondicherry have all proudly been referred to as home. Now it’s Copenhagen’s turn, where he lends his travel expertise to momondo.com.