Olympic Gastronomy: Top Brazilian Foods and Recipes
While the 2016 Rio Olympics are in full swing, we feel obliged to introduce you to the most special, surprising and delicious examples of Brazilian gastronomy. Those lucky ones who got to visit the event are now enjoying the great variety of exotic foods! But as many sports fans are following the developments of the Olympics from home, we decided to prepare a review of the top foods one must try in Brazil and supplement it with recipes of five easy-to-cook dishes from Brazilian cuisine!
For the healthy eating enthusiasts, here’s a short list of exotic Brazilian fruit.
Fruta do conde is a very sweet, fragrant fruit also known as custard apple. Its flesh is creamy white to light yellow in color, it taste, as the name suggests, is very similar to custard. If you are lucky to find fruta do conde in a local supermarket, cut it in half and eat fresh, scooping the flesh with a spoon, but tossing the seeds.
Tangerines are anything but a novelty for the world, but they are deeply Brazilian in nature - here they are the most popular ingredient in most fresh juice bars.
Açaí fruit is a very popular smoothie ingredient. It is reddish-purple in color, combines well with other fruit and even granola!
For those who have a sweet tooth, Brazil is a real treasure! Discover the exotic tastes of Brazilian desserts.
If you like the taste of coconut, you should definitely try beijinho de coco, which is a coconut truffle made with condensed milk, or quindim – an intensely yellow baked dessert made with ground coconut, egg yolks and sugar. You can try the Quindim recipe and enjoy the pretty glistening surface and gentle sweet taste of the upturned dessert.
Speaking of truffles, Brazil can treat you to another variety called brigadeiro. These are made with condensed milk, powdered chocolate, butter, and coated with chocolate sprinkles.
To those who are concerned about the intake of cholesterol Brazil can offer paçoca - a candy made of ground peanuts, sugar, salt, and cassawa flour. Its peculiar dry texture and delicate taste make it one of the most beloved Brazilian sweets.
Another healthy dessert with a truly romantic name – Romeu e Julieta – is canapés made with guava paste and soft white cheese.
If hunger already seems overwhelming, but it’s too early to have dinner, you can munch on one of these delicious Brazilian snacks.
Not everything that looks like a chicken leg is a chicken leg in Brazil. It can be coxinha – shredded chicken meat covered in dough, shaped like a chicken leg and deep fried.
What seems to be French fries is not always potato as well. It can be mandioca frita, or fried yucca.
Mouth-watering, fluffy pao de queijo are sure to be another surprise for you – these cheese buns are made with sour tapioca flour, which gives them a very unusual taste. You can try and cook them following the directions of this Pao de Queijo recipe.
The word ‘pastel’ immediately calls arts and gentle colors to mind, but in Brazil pastel is a fried pastry pocket with various fillings (cheese, shrimp, meat, beans) or nothing at all inside – its taste is amazing as it is! You can cook your own delicious pockets – just use this Pastel recipe!
When time comes to try a more substantial dish, you can resort to the ideas of Brazilian main dishes.
Brazilian Main Dishes
A hearty Brazilian casserole made with salted pork or beef products, bacon, at least two types of smoked sausage, beef jerkey, and black beans is known as feijoada. It is also a national dish of Rio de Janeiro – the heart of the 2016 Olympics! The recipe varies by the region; in some you can find cabbage, okra, pumpkin or even banana! You can try our Feijoada recipe - this lighter, adapted version is sure to be a superstar of an Olympics-themed dinner!
Moqueca casserole (or soup) is made with saltwater fish (shark or swordfish being the most common choices), coconut milk, onions, tomatoes, garlic, coriander and palm oil. All ingredients are cooked slowly in a terra-cotta pot – its thickness helps to achieve the desired pronounced taste of the dish.
Last, but not least: a twist on familiar BBQ! Known as picanha, this is a barbecued (or grilled) meat – a dish that can only be cooked from the most prized cut. You can try the Picanha recipe at your next family cookout!
Add variety to your meals by cooking some of the Brazilian dishes listed above and feel the heat of the competition!