All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Brazilian Culinary for Dummies
BRAZILIAN CULINARY FOR DUMMIES
Table of Contents:
For Take Out or Delivery?……………………..14
Learning about Brazil:
Here is a chart, followed by a map of Brazil, that will assist you during the reading:
Mato Grosso do Sul
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio Grande do Norte
Rio Grande do Sul
Brazil is a country full of wonderful things, wonderful beaches and people. Who never has heard about the famous Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro or the New Year’s Eve’s fireworks at Copacabana beach? All of that is wonderful but what really stands out it’s the food. One thing that makes the Brazilian cuisine different from the other cuisines of the world, because Brazilian cuisine comes from miscegenation. North, Northeast, Midwest, Southeast and South are the regions that divide the country, each region has a different cuisine and each one has something special to show.
The South of Brazil is quite different from the other regions. The South includes the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. The states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul are the only states in Brazil that can have snow. The South is the region with the biggest European influence, compared to the other regions.
When Brazilians hear the word “South” they automatically think of the gauchos (southern cowboys), but today any person born in Rio Grande do Sul is called a gaucho. According to “Cozinha do Sul do Brasil” by Pedro Marques, the first gauchos were a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese with Natives that lived in the Pampas of Rio Grande, Uruguay and Argentina rivers. Gauchos are described as the cowboys whom spend their lives riding horses in the Pampas, lassoing cows and horses.
Gauchos are responsible for the typical Brazilian Churrasco Barbecue style, also called Churrasco. Since the gauchos used to live far from the sea, they did not have a lot of access to salt, which was used to conserve meat. The solution for this problem was the Churrasco, which is a barbecue technique that conserves the juice (blood) of the animal, and it uses the animal’s own fat to soften the meat.
Other typical gaucho dishes are the Charque (sun-dried meat) and the Chimarrão. The Charque supported long periods of time , and it could be consumed according to the gauchos’ needs. Usually, the Charque and Churrasco are served with Arroz Carreteiro and Paçoca-de-Carne-Seca. Chimarrão, a tea-like drink, is drunken almost everyday by the gauchos. Originally, the Chimarrão was drunken by the Natives that, later than, were mixed with the Europeans. Chimarrão is served in a cuia, bowl-like object made out of gourd, named Matti. The herb that makes the Chimarrão is called Mate.
One of Paraná’s main dishes is the Barreado. The Barreado is also one of the few typically Brazilian dishes from the South. The Barreado was created by a group of women that wanted to go have fun during at night, but could not go because they needed to cook their husbands’ dinner. The solution was the Barreado. This dish could be done days before; so just before they went to the bars and clubs, the women would just heat the dish up.
The Barreado’s ingredient includes meat, bacon, legumes, and water; the Barreado is done in a crock. The crock’s cover is sealed with a mixture of flour and water, or ashes and water; with this special cover, the liquid of the boiling doesn’t escape. From this complicated sealing process, a delicious broth is formed. However, the Barreado takes over 12 hours to get ready. This dish is served with toasted manioc flour. The mixture of the manioc flour and the Barreado makes a type of Pirão. It is also, traditionally, served with bananas and cachaça, alcohol drink made out of fermented sugarcane.
One famous ingredient that is often used in Paraná is the pine nut. You can see this nut a lot in St. John’s Eve’s. In the winter is consumed cooked or roasted. However, the pine nut is mainly used as a main ingredient for cakes, puddings and even Stroganoff.
All parts of Brazil had foreign influences, but the South by far had the strongest European influence. More than 1 million Germans and Italians immigrants came to the South in the 19th century.
One of the strongest European influence that came to the South were the Germans. In the 1850s, the Germans had a huge impact on the South. They brought many different types of sausages, Goulasch, Eisbein, Sauerkraut, potato salad, smoked meat and desserts like the Apfelstrudel.
The expansion of the consume of beer was another German contribution. Portuguese people brought the beer, but the Germans expanded it’s consume. Also, from the beer came the Oktoberfest, a beer festival that takes place in Blumenau, SC.
Shortly after the Germans came to the South, the Italians came. With them, the Italians, brought dishes like the Pumpkin Ravioli, Gnocchi, Cappelletti in Brodo (type of pasta in a broth) and the Cockerel with Polenta. The creation of pigs was also an Italian influence. The pork contributed with the pancetta, salami and its lard for frying.
Italians also influenced with the wine production. Before the Italians came, there was only the table wine. However, from the 1970s until now sophisticated wines in Brazil are being produced, but the Brazilian sparkling wines are the ones with a good international reputation.
The Southern desserts are unique and very different from the other regions. The most famous desserts are the Ambrosia and Sagú.
Ambrosia is made with a very large quantity of eggs, milk, sugar and few drops of lemon, so it becomes a curd-like substance. Sagú is a dessert appreciated by many gaúchos. Sagú is made out of sago, a starch extracted from the pith of sago palm stems. The sago is cooked in white wine, red wine or grape juice and can be served with vanilla ice cream or English cream.
Other important desserts are the Cucas and the Apfelstrudel. Cucas are small breads that can be made of bananas, oranges, apples or any other fruits. Cucas originated from Germany. The Apfelstrudel, an apple strudel, can be served with sorvete de creme.
“Diversity is the main characteristic of the Southeast cuisine, because of the immigrants that came in 20th century added new elements to the local cuisine,” says Rita Corsi coordinator of the gastronomy course in University of the United Metropolitans (FMU) in “Cozinha do Sudeste Brasil” by Pedro Marques. Southeastern states are São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo. In the states’ capitals there are dishes from other countries like the Sushi from Japan, Esfihas from Lebanon and the Spaghetti from Italy. São Paulo is the city with the largest variety of different countries’ cuisines. However, if one gets out of the metropoles and go to the countryside one can see the typical Southeastern cuisine.
Influences from Africans, Natives and Portuguese made the basics of the Southeastern cuisine. Mineiros and Paulistas inherited their cooking habits from African slaves. Fluminenses conserved the Portuguese tradition. Even though each of those 3 states were influenced by different types of people and cultures they have something similar, the small bars called botecos. Espírito Santo, the 4th state, is different from these other states because it conserved the Native’s cuisine and traditions.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro State had a strong Portuguese influence for 2 main reasons. First reason is that Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil from 1763 and 1960. The second reason is that Rio de Janeiro was the capital of the Portuguese Empire, period that Portuguese Court escaped from Napoleon Bonaparte, from 1808 to 1815.
“The Portuguese people, with them, brought the food that typically has lots of olive oil, eggs and fish. The Portuguese were, also, the ones that brought the famous Bacalhoada” (Pedro Marques p.2). The traditional Bacalhoada includes desalted cod fish, potatoes, olives and a lot of olive oil.
The slaves that worked for the Court learned the Portuguese cooking techniques and recipes. From this multiracial proximity came dishes like the Cozido à Carioca and the Feijoada. Also, dishes like the Picadinho de filé, Filé à cavalo and the Filé à Oswaldo Aranha, were invented. The Feijoada was made by the slaves, because they received the unwanted parts of the pork like the ears, tail and tongue. The slaves would conserve these pieces of meat in the pork’s lard, then they would cook the pieces of meat with black beans.
In the fish session came the famous Bolinho de bacalhau. Bolinho de bacalhau is a dumpling made of dried and salty cod, potatoes, flour, oil and seasoning like garlic, parsley and black pepper. The Bolinhos de bacalhau from Rio de Janeiro (city) are considered the best ones in Brazil.
The Fluminense desserts are the Quindim and the Pastél de Nata. Quindim is a dessert that is made out of eggs, sugar and shredded coconut. Pastél de nata is an egg tart pastry that goes milk cream.
São Paulo (city) has a variety of food from other countries, because immigrants came to work at the coffee farms in the late 19th century and the early 20th century. “In the 1500s period, São Paulo was influenced by the Natives, so their food didn’t include seasoning or condiments,” says Rita Corsi (Pedro Marques p.3).
Tropeiros also influenced the Southeastern cuisine. They brought the Feijão- Tropeiro, a mixture of black beans, sun-dried meat, bacon, manioc flour and collard greens. This mixture was easy to be transported and could support long trips.
“The slaves also influenced in the local cuisine by eating rice, beans and couscous. From the coffee farms came the desserts made in the tachos like the Bolo de fubá and other dishes,” claims Rita Corsi (Pedro Marques p.3).
Only after the Slave Abolition Act was when São Paulo cuisine started to acquire its current characteristics. Italian food was brought by the immigrants that came to work at the coffee farms got popular really quickly. The infinite number of pizzerias, Italian canteens, and the tradition of eating Spaghetti on Sundays, prove that Italian food and culture spread quickly.
Later came the Japanese with the Pastéis, (plural for pastél, which means pastel) whih became popular in the open-markets in São Paulo (state) ,and usually are accompanied by the sugar cane juice. Lebanese brought the Quibe (fried croquette made out of minced beef) and the Esfihas (open-faced or close meat pies made out of ground mutton).
There are many restaurants that have decided to organize Paulista dishes by the day of the week. You can find Virado à Paulista on Mondays. On Tuesdays you can find Dobradinha, a tripe stew. Feijoada is on Wednesdays and Saturdays. On Thursdays and Sundays you can find pasta (Spaghetti or Gnocchi) with tomato sauce and you can also find chicken. Finally, on Fridays you can find any typical Brazilian dish that has fish in it. Any day of the week you can find the typical rice, beans, meat, tomato and lettuce salad.
Vitória had a strong native influence. The most famous dish from Vitória and, maybe even the whole state, is the Moqueca Capixaba. The Moqueca Capixaba is different from its Baiana cousin.
The Moqueca Capixaba consists of water, fish (usually bass) and annatto. A Moqueca is a dish that consists of cooked fish, other seafood and seasonings. The only thing that differs the Moqueca Capixaba than any other Moquecas, is that the Moqueca Capixaba uses the seasonings and condiments in a more aggressive way. For example garlic and onion are cut into 4 pieces; and parsley is put as a whole. However, any Moqueca is made in a crock.
If you leave the capital, Vitória, you would see a different scenario. You would see more of the Italian and German influence, like is seen in the South. From the Italians, one would see the pumpkin ravioli and capelletti in brodo. One would also see the German eisbein, apfelstrudel and the goulasch.
Food from Minas Gerais has an intense flavor. It uses a lot of pork meat, cheese, cakes and cachaça. “The power of sugar was huge, just like the African presence,” says Rita Corsi (Pedro Marques p.5).
Pork meat is used a lot, because in the late 19th century, cows and bulls were used to plow; cowls also provided milk. The pig didn’t have any of these abilities and it was very easy to be taken care of. The slaves, then, were the ones who started using pork meat to make food. Many of the Minas Gerais dishes’ origins are similar to the Feijoada’s origin; the slaves received the unwanted parts of the animal.
Slaves gained the tradition of using corn, yucca and other types of flours from Natives, from that exchange was made the Canjiquinha com costela, Angu de fubá (dish which is like a polenta but is made out of cornmeal) and Tutu de feijão.
Vaca atolada, literally translates to jammed cow, is similar to the Feijoada. Slaves got the unwanted parts of the cow and instead of cooking with beans, they cooked it with yucca. Other specialties include the Leitão à pururuca, Chicken with okra and ora-pronóbis, which is a cactus-vine plant that the leaves are cooked with collard greens.
Some typical snacks are the Pão de queijo, Broa de milho, cakes, cheeses, fruit liquors, desserts made out of fruits and milk like the Ambrosia.
Mineiros eat 5 times a day: breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, afternoon/evening snack and dinner. Mineiros, also, drink coffee 3 times a day: morning, afternoon and an extra strong coffee at night before bed.
The Midwest has 3 of the richest biomes in Brazil: Amazon Forest, Cerrado and Pantanal. The Midwest includes 3 states: Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Goiás. The Midwest cuisine uses the dangerous pequi, very popular between the Goianos and it can leave the “beginner’s” mouth full of thorns, if not eaten correctly. According to Cozinha do Centro-Oeste Brasileiro by Pedro Marques, Midwest cuisine was influenced by Natives, Portuguese, Paulistas, Mineiros, Nordestinos and Paraguayans.
Natives collaborated by bringing their dishes that had fish and yucca in them. Portuguese collaborated with the desserts. Bandeirantes Paulistas collaborated with the dried meats and flours (made from bananas, meat or eggs). Mineiros brought dishes based on pork like the Arroz com Suã (rice with pork’s spine). Last, but not least, the Paraguayans and Spanish brought the Puchero, a stew that includes chickpeas and a grand variety of meat. In general, some cities in the 3 states eat the exotic Alligator soup.
Goiás and the Cerrado
Most of the Cerrado is found in Goiás. Cerrado cuisine came from the Goyases tribe, bandeirantes Paulistas, Mineiros and Nordestinos. Some typical dishes are the Empadão (made from potato purée, guariroba and chopped meat), Pamonha, and dishes with pequi. Some typical desserts are the Alfenim, a white “candy” made out of sugar and almond oil, and the Pastelim; however, the Goianos adapted these desserts by using local fruits. Goianos also eat, a lot, the typical Southern churrasco and the Southeastern Leitão à pururuca.
The most used ingredient in the Cerrado is the pequi. Looks like small yellow fruits and the seeds are used to make food, desserts and liquors. Some popular dishes are the Rice with pequi and the Galinhada com pequi ( rice, saffron, chicken, guariroba).
The Goianos also use the guariroba a lot. It is very bitter, but does not have an unpleasant taste. It is also one of the main dishes of the Empadão.
The Peixe na telha came from the Portuguese. It literally translates to fish on the tile; it has this name because the freshwater fish is prepared on a tile. It is served with rice and onion sauce. Another Portuguese influence is the Arroz de P**a Rica, which translates to Rich-B**ch-Rice, and it has this name because it was a rich madam’s favorite dish. It is made out of chicken, bacon, sausage, pork ribs and rice.
Mineiros influenced the Goiana cuisine with the Arroz com Suã and the Pamonha (which the sweet version is eaten in Minas Gerais and the version with cheese is eaten in Goiás). Mineiros, also, influenced the Goianos by introducing the habit of eating pork meat and Tutu de feijão.
Pequi, the Local Cuisine Passion
If you were to eat the pequi, you would eat it with your hands, you would scratch you teeth on the edible thin layer and you would not bite it; otherwise, your mouth would be full of thorns. Pequi has a yellow-greenish wrinkled skin and is the size of an orange. From the pequi, the seeds that are transformed into a pulp, then that pulp is transformed into desserts and liquors. However, the pequi is mainly used as an ingredient in entrées.
Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul (Pantanal)
Mato Grosso’s most famous dish is the Mojica de pintado, which is a soup of the mojica (a freshwater fish) with garlic, tomatoes, onions and cooked yucca plus the seasonings like parsley, chives and corianders. Another dish is the Ventrecha a dish that is made out of fish (usually the pacu). While preparing the Ventrecha, before anything the fish is opened and seasoned with pepper, olive oil and lemon. Then the whole fish is roasted. Mato Grosso also has the Furrundum, a dessert made out of the papaya’s tree trunk or from unripe papayas, and also has coconut, ginger and molasses.
Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul (Pantanal region) have a lot of things in common, since they were the same state until October 11, 1977. In both states they eat the exotic Piranha soup and the tropical Alligator soup. They also have desserts like the Rapadura (in English is panela), which really is dried sugar cane juice and it is sweeter than sugar.
Both of them had influences from the gauchos, this influence is very evident, because the Churrasco is very appreciated in the Pantanal region. Another influence from the gauchos is the Tereré, which is a little different than the Chimarrão. The Mate in the Tereré is less processed; the Tereré is served cold and in a guampa (bull’s horn).
Not just the gauchos had an impact on the Pantanal region, the Japanese did too. Since, Campo Grande had the third largest Japanese colony in Brazil, therefore the local cuisine inherited a lot of things from the Japanese. The sobá is a classic example; it is a type of omelet soup with fried pork, chives and fried soba noodles and is served with a broth in a bowl. Today, the sobá is very popular in the Pantanal region.
Also, with the proximity between Pantanal and Paraguay, these two areas exchanged some things. One of those exchanges was the Chipa, which is like a Pão de queijo but drier, served cold and in a horseshoe shape. Also came the Paraguayan soup, which in reality is a corn pie with cheese, oil, olive oil and corn flour.
The Northeast includes the state of Bahia, Sergipe, Alagoas, Pernambuco, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará, Piauí and Maranhão. The Northeast cuisine is divided into 2 parts: littoral and sertão. The littoral cuisine consists of mainly fish and seafood, and the sertão consists of mainly cow and goat meat and manioc flour. However, each state has something that makes their cuisine different from each other.
Most of the Northeast coast cuisine received influence from mainly Portuguese and Natives. Slaves brought the malagueta pepper, coconut milk and the palm oil. The exchange with the Natives was the corn, yucca and potato. The Northeastern people got the technique to prepare food from the Portuguese and ingredients fromNatives and slaves.
Main ingredients are fish like the bass fish, mullet fish and the dogfish; and seafood like the crab and lobster. From the crab came dishes like the Caranguejada, a stew made of crab, onions, garlic, tomato, coriander and annatto. According to” Cozinha do Nordeste Brasileiro” by Pedro Marques, in Bahia people who like crabs, try not to eat tehm in months with the letter r, which means they eat crabs only in May, June, July and August. This “cultural trend” happens because crabs mate from September to April.
Basic recipes are the same in the whole region, but some states add some different things and that is the case of the Moqueca. The basic recipe of the Moqueca is stewed fish with onions, tomatoes, bell peppers and corianders. In Recife (PE) the fish is passed on the manioc flour, fried and, then, later is stewed, forming a broth like the Pirão (Pedro Marques p.3). The Moqueca from Bahia has palm oil, which is different from the other states. The Moqueca Baiana is always accompanied by Pirão made of the fish head. Most people, also, like the Moqueca with coconut milk.
There are two types of meat that are consumed a lot in the Sertão: Carne-de-Sol and Jabá (a.k.a. Carne-seca). Carne de Sol, which means “Sun meat,” is dried outdoors during the day, and it also has a large quantity of salt. Jabá is dried meat, but instead of drying at the outdoors is dried by brine, and because of that has more salt than the Carne-de-sol.
In the sertão they also use a lot of green beans and butter-in-a-bottle. Butter-in-a-bottle is a type of butter that remains in liquid state in room temperature. It’s made by the boiling of milk cream, until all the water is evaporated and the only thing that remains are the fat and the solid particles of the milk cream; butter-in-a-bottle is sold in bottles. Butter-in-a-bottle is used a lot in dishes like the Jabá, Carne-de-sol, shrimp, and yucca.
The goat meat is also used a lot. The goat is an animal that can adapt to the extreme hot weather better than other farm animals. The goat meat is also harder and takes longer to cook. One controversial dish that uses goat meat and it is appreciated only by the local people is the Buchada de bode. Buchada de bode is a dish made using the animal’s guts.
Different from the other states in the region, Bahia received a very strong influence from African slaves. The 3 main ingredients that are the most famous and most used in the Baiana cuisine are the malagueta peppers, coconut milk and palm oil.
This palm oil in Bahia is made from a fruit called dendê, whicht comes from a palm tree called dendezeiro. The dendê is used a lot in the Baiana cuisine. The coconut tree, where the coconut milk comes from, came from India and the Portuguese brought it with them. The malagueta is 100% Brazilian, but Africans preferred the Brazilian type over the African type. These 3 ingredients together plus a variety of fish and seafood , form the basics of the Baiana cuisine.
Religion also plays a role in the Baiana cuisine. Each Orixá of the Candomblé have a proper taste. Dendê flour is served for Exu1; Xangô2 likes the Caruru com azeite-de-dendê e camarão seco, known as just caruru. Oxalá3 prefers the corn couscous and Iansã4 likes the Acarajé.
A famous Baiana dish is the Vatapá. The Vatapá is a creamy paste made out of bread, ginger, pepper, cashews, peanuts, coconut milk, palm oil, onions and tomatoes. It is served with shrimps, fish or chicken and it is always served with rice. It is, also, famous in the state of Pará.
Only some dishes in the Baiana cuisine came from the Portuguese: Galinha à cabidela and the Quindim. The Galinha à cabidela is a dish made out of chicken, condiments, seasonings and pork’s lard. The Quindim from Bahia is the same Quindim eaten in the Southeast of Brazil.
Maranhão specialty is the cuxá- a sauce made outof the roselle leaves, dried shrimp, toasted ginger and manioc flour. The cuxá is the base of the dish named cuxá rice. Cuxá rice is a very tricky dish to make. If the roselle leaves are boiled for too long it loses its taste; if is cooked for a small amount of time becomes extremely sour, at a point that is not edible. The cuxá is served over rice.
Rapadura and Compotes
The Northeast utilizes a lot the Rapadura. This “dessert” is made out of mel-de-engenho, which is a phase in the sugar production which is immediately before the crystallization. Mel-de-engenho is shredded, boiled, and then dried in a rectangular shape. It is shaped and hard like a brick. Instead of using sugar, some people, use Rapadura.
Other than the Rapadura there are the cupuaçu5, buriti, cajá, acerola and other fruits. Roll cake is also eaten a lot. Roll cake is cake made out of thin dough that is in a form of roll, and the filling can be almost anything.
Northern culinary is exotic and full of personality. It is exotic because of the food preparing technique that came from Natives; also because it uses fruits, fish and vegetables from the region. Its most used ingredients are yucca and manioc flour. From Natives, the Northern cuisine inherited the yucca, corn, potato and beans.
According to Cozinha do Norte do Brasil by Pedro Marques, Portuguese and slaves had a very small influenceon the North’s cuisine. This cuisine had an influence from the Natives. That means they learned how to prepare each ingredient from Natives and also used the same ingredients like yucca, herbs, vegetables and fish.
The results are simple recipes like the Tucupi. Tucupi is a yellow sauce extracted from a highly poisonous plant called wild cassava, which contains cyanide acid. The root needs to be processed with an instrument called tipiti, a squeezer made out of straw use to squeeze the root and extract a yellow liquid; this liquid needs to be boiled before being consumed. Tucupi is used in dishes like the Tacacá6 and Pato no tucupi. Another ingredient really popular is the jambú, a plant that causes your lips to be numb and shaky.
Natives did not know how to farm, so they didn’t have a lot of access to vegetables and legumes, but they had innumerous fruits like the bacuri, uxi, biribá, murici, sapucaia, ingá, etc…
The cuisine from the Amazon region is made of fish and local fruits. The main dishes from the North are very different from the rest of the country’s cuisine. Tacacá is a broth made out of Tucupi with acacia gum, shrimps, jambú and hot sauce. It is also called the “Pará-tea”, because in Pará is usually drinken at 5 p.m. (Pedro Marques p.2)
The afternoon snack in the North is like a 4th meal and sometimes, even, substitutes dinner. This “snack” usually consists of Paçocas (with the Southern Charque, peanuts, Brazil nuts and cashews). Cakes made out of yucca are also part of the menu. Other dishes in the afternoon snacks include fish wrapped in banana leaves and rice with jambú.
In the North they also have dishes that usually are served in festivals and those dishes are Pato no tucupi and Maniçoba. Maniçoba is known as the Feijoada Paraense, one of the few dishes with some Portuguese influence. It includes pork and manivas- yucca leaves- which are considered poisonous. To cook this dish it is needed to shred and boil the leaves for 4 consecutive days, so it is safe to eat it. In total the Maniçoba takes 7 days to be done.
Some types of fishes often used in the Northern cuisine, are the filhote and arapaima. Arapaima weights around 250kg (551lb.), while the filhote weights around 300kg (661lb.).
The main difference between the North and the other regions is that in the North, the daily plate is not rice and beans, but is Rice with jambú. Instead of eating pork ribs, the Northern people eat tambaqui ribs. Tambaqui is a fresh water fish.
Turu, Aviú, Turtle and Other Products
In the North they eat the, very exotic, turu. Turu is a white, milky, gelatin-like and sticky parasite-worm and it lives in old tree trunks and swampy waters. People in the North eat the turu alive, with few drops of lemon and a little bit of salt. It is also common to use the turu sauce.
Aviú is one of the most favorite ingredients in the North. Aviú is a micro-shrimp that is common on the shallow waters of the Tapajós River. Micro-shrimp is used as pie fillings and on omelets. The aviú is smaller than a fingernail.
Quêlonio is a dish that uses turtle meat as its main ingredient. Sarapatel is another dish that uses the blood and small organs of the animal. Turtle can also be made into a soup or can be roasted, but these dishes are being prepared with much less frequency because the Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renovaveis (IBAMA) allows only 2 species of the 14 freshwater turtles species to be hunted as a food source.
Another product from the North is the fish flour called Piracuí, which is made of a fish called acari-bodó. Piracuí is used to make other flours, dumplings and even pizza.
Since the North doesn’t have a lot of Portuguese influence, its desserts aren’t rich as the other regions. Açaí, or acai berry, is a known fruit in other states and even in other countries. In the South and Southeast, the açaí, is usually served with granola and bananas. However, in the North usually accompanies dishes with fish and flours; also is used to make the açaí wine, which is really just fresh açaí juice. This wine is made for drinking or to make other recipes.
Cupuaçu is another fruit in the Amazon Forest. The cupuaçu is called “The True Northern Jewelry” and is also the Amazon symbol. Cupuaçu is used to make chocolate truffles, ice cream, compotes, juice, jams and liquors. Cupuaçu almonds, or seeds, make cupulate a product similar to chocolate in flavor, odor, texture, and appearance and fabrication process. To make cupulate you have to take the pulp out of the fruit, ferment the seeds, let them dry, toast them, take the skin out, press them and, lastly, shred them. The mass obtained is mixed with sugar, milk and butter extracted from the pressing of the seeds.
For Take Out or Delivery?
The North got its exotic dishes from Natives, while the Northeast got its dishes mainly from Africans and Natives. Southeast got their cuisine from Natives, Africans, Portuguese, Japanese, Lebanese and Italians. The Midwest cuisine came from the gaúchos, Natives, Japanese and Paraguayans; in the other hand South got their cuisine from Europeans. In other words, Brazilian cuisine was made from miscegenation and that is what it makes is it so rich. Learning about a country’s cuisine is not just learning about the county’s cuisine, is learning about the country’s culture, religion and even history.
Acarajé (f.)- Dumpling made out of black-eyed-peas, onions and salt and is fried in palm oil. It is served with pepper, dried shrimp, vatapá, caruru or salad.
Acerola (f.)- The acerola is a red, small and sour fruit. It is the fruit with the highest amount of Vitamin C in the world.
Arroz carreteiro (m.)- This dish is made out of charque and rice and is cooked in an iron pan. It was invented by the people who transported things to the South. Like most dishes in the South it could support many days without going bad.
Baiana (f.)- A women born in the state of Bahia or any female noun related to the state.
Bandeirantes (m.)- Men who used to go in the sertão looking for silver, Natives for slavery or to destroy villages made by run-away slaves.
Biribá (f.)- A green fruit, yellow when is ripe, that has a sweet white pulp and many seeds inside. The biribá-season is from November to May.
Bolo de fubá (m.)- “Bolo” means cake; “fubá” means cornmeal, that means is cake made of cornmeal.
Buriti (m.)- Fruit that comes from palm tree, also, called buriti. This fruit is rich in Vitamins A, B and C. Also, is rich in calcium, proteins and iron. It is used to make desserts, juice, liquors and ice creams.
Broa de Milho (f.)- Broa de milho is a type of cornbread made from corn and wheat or rye flour.
Cajá (m.)- Small yellow fruits that are sour and has a good aroma. It is used in liquors and refreshing juice.
Canjiquinha com costela (f.)- “Canjiquinha” literally translates to grits in English; “com” means with and “costela” means ribs (in this dish is pork ribs). Canjiquinha com costela (grits with pork ribs). In this recipe go grits, pork ribs, bacon, salt, oil, garlic, annatto, tomatoes, onions, cachaça, parsley, pepper, lemon and chive.
Caruru com azeite de dendê e camarão seco (m.)- Dish usually used in the Candomblé and is made out of okra, shrimp, palm oil, onions, peanuts and cashews.
Cozido á Carioca (m.)- “Cozido” means baked and “Carioca” means, a person who was born in Rio de Janeiro (state). Cozido Carioca is a dish that involves a lot of ingredients. Cozido Carioca has onions, oil, garlic, tomatoes, oxtail, cow’s front muscle, smoked ox tongue, salt, pepper, parsley, chive, bay laurel, pork’s loin, bacon, smoked pork ribs, thin chicken breast, tenderloin, fat sausages, thin sausages, chorizo, paios (loin, bell peppers, salt and garlic stuffed in a clean pork tripe), frankfurters, carrots, turnips, Burr Gherkins, snow peas, white cabbages, leeks, peas, colored greens, okras, pumpkin, zucchinis, chayote, yucca, sweet potatoes, potatoes and cauliflowers. This dish can be accompanied with manioc, malagueta pepper, chickpeas, bell peppers and/or peppers sauce.
Eisbein (m.)- German influenced dish, which is made out of pork’s knee.
Esfihas (f.)- “Esfihas” is literally translated into sfihas. Esfihas are open-faced meat pies made with ground mutton. In Brazil is, also, very popular the same meat pies with ground mutton but is a closed triangle pastry “design”.
Fluminense- A person born in the state of Rio de Janeiro or any noun related to the state.
Filé à Cavalo (m.)- “Filé” means beef and “cavalo” means horse, but actually this dish has nothing to do with horses. In this dish goes beefs, salt, pepper, eggs, oil and potatoes. This is a dish made by mainly frying.
Filé à Oswaldo Aranha (m.)- Filé is beef and Oswaldo Aranha is the name of a politician. It is beef tenderloin fried with onions and served with potatoes, rice and manioc flour.
Goiana (f.)- A woman born in the state of Goiás or any female noun related to the state.
Goiano (m.)- A man born in the state of Goiás or any male noun related to the state.
Goulasch (m.)- Soup made out of pig’s knee, but can be substituted by the cow’s knee or bull’s knee.
Guariroba (f.)-A grayish bitter palm.
IBAMA- Is the Brazilian Institute of Nature and Natural Renewable Resources. A governmental organization that protects animals, plants, air and water; it is also responsible to imprison or fine people who are involved in animal/plant traffic, air/water/soil pollution, illegal tree cutting and illegal fires.
Ingá (m.)- A fruit that looks like sweet-peas, but is sweet and is used in treatments like bronchitis and to cicatrize certain types of wounds.
Leitão à pururuca (m.)- Leitão means pork and pururuca is the pork’s skin that is dehydrated and fried, so it becomes a crunchy snack. In this recipe goes pork, salt, olive oil, chives, parsley, lemon, onions, pepper and oil.
Mineiro (m.)-A man from Minas Gerais. It can also describe an object or thing that comes from Minas Gerais, for example: “ O cachorro Mineiro...”, which literally means, “The dog from Minas Gerais."
Murici (m.)- A green fruit, yellow and soft when ripe, that is usually found near water. It has a strong scent and citric flavor, even though is not a citric fruit.
Nordestino (m.)- A man born in the Northeast of Brazil or any male noun related to the region.
Orixás (m.)- Deities in the Candomblé religion and the Umbanda relgion, too. These two religion’s followers are usually found in Bahia.
Paçoca-de-carne-seca (f.)- Paçoca is a dish made out of dried beef and manioc flour. The only difference between the paçoca-de-carne-seca and other paçocas is that paçoca-de-carne-seca has more dried beef and it has onions and garlic.
Pampas (m.)- Pastoral plains with small hills in the South of Brazil region. Pampas is a big area that covers Rio Grande do Sul, Uruguay and Argentina.
Pamonha (f.)-A sweet moist corn cake. Very hard to make, but is still very popular. There are 4 versions of the pamonha: the traditional sweet moist corn cake, the version with cheese, the version with pepper and the version with sausage.
Pão de queijo (m.)- Small, baked, cheese-flavored buns. Brazilians favorite snacks.
Paraense- A person born in the state of Pará or any noun related to the state.
Pastelim (m.)- Sweet small pastries made out of flour, eggs, duce de leche, butter, salt, water and cinnamon.
Pato no tucupi (m.)- A dish that has duck and tucupi as its main ingredients. In this dish goes a duck, onions, garlic, bacon, tomato, vinegar, pepper, oil, jambú, tucupi, manioc flour, salt and Bay laurel.
Paulista - A person born in the state of São Paulo or any noun related to the state.
Pirão (m.)- A dish made out of manioc flour and water or a warm broth. This broth can be made of chicken, fish, legumes, beans or meat. Usually, in Brazil, the broth is made out of fish. It is not a main entrée, but is served with the main entrée. The texture of the pirão is baby-food-like.
Picadinho de filé (m.)- Stew like dish made out of beef, olive oil, tomato, onions, bell peppers, mustard, beef broth and water.
Sapucaia (f.)- Reddish fruits that, when ripe, opens and contain nuts inside.
Sorvete de creme (m.)- Sorvete means ice cream and creme means cream. Sorvete de creme is doesn’t taste like vanilla ice cream, even though it has similar recipes. The sorvete de creme is made out of condensed milk, milk, eggs and a little bit of vanilla extract.
Tacho (m.)- A large pan made out of clay, iron or usually copper.
Tropeiros (m.)- Men who transported cattle to owners. They traveled by horse, since there was no truck back then. The tropeiro were important to the economy and culture. Tropeiros also helped rise new cities.
Tutu de feijão (m.)- Beans that are cooked twice, being that in the second time is cooked with fried bacon, onions and garlic. It is served with manioc flour. Some people like to put the tutu de feijão and manioc flour in the blender, so it gets a purée-like texture.
Uxi (m.)- A small green-yellowish fruit with an intense and delicate flavor.
Virado à Paulista (m.)- A dish made out of beans cooked with fat, salt, oil, onions and garlic; later manioc flour is added, so all the broth is absorbed. It is served with sausage, eggs, pork ribs, and bacon and collard greens.
Marques, Pedro. "Cozinha do Sul do Brasil." HowStuffWorks (2009): 8. Web. 12/23/2010
Marques, Pedro. "Cozinha do Sudeste do Brasil." HowStuffWorks (2009): 8. Web. 12/23/2010.
Marques, Pedro. "Cozinha do Centro-Oeste do Brasil." HowStuffWorks (2009): 8. Web. 12/23/2010.
Marques, Pedro. "Cozinha do Nordeste Brasileiro." HowStuffWorks (2009): 8. Web. 12/24/2010.
Marques, Pedro. "Cozinha do Norte do Brasil." HowStuffWorks (2009): 8. Web. 12/27/2010