As you may have noticed, food is one of the most important parts of traveling for me. I love trying local fruits, vegetables and dishes. So it’s no surprise a lot of our trip to Brazil revolved around eating. Luckily our friend and Brazilian tourguide Adriano is a true foodie and he took us to all the best spots!
The açaï berry is one of the current superfood hypes but to be honest I hadn’t heard about it before I came to Brazil. Adriano told us this was the most important food we had to try in Brazil! And he was right! The Brazilians make some kind of thick smootie from the berries and add fruits or granola. We had Açaï on our first day in São Paulo and on our third day in Manaus and at the airport and at the Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio and… Okay we developed an Açaï addiction during our 2 weeks in Brazil! We even looked up where we could have it in Belgium! Even though we had Açaï at many places in Brazil, the best one was our first bowl at Açaï Original in São Paulo.
Feijoada is a black bean stew with pork. It was originated by the slaves who would prepare it with the pigs leftovers like ears and tails, everything their masters wouldn’t eat. Now it’s considered ‘Brazilian soulfood’ and it’s their national dish. As I don’t eat meat I only had the beans served with rice and oranges. If you look online you can also find many vegetarian recipes for Feijoada. I must say it doesn’t look like much but it’s actually quite tasty! We ate Feijoada at Dona Felicidade in São Paulo.
Tapioca flatbread for breakfast
The tapioca flatbread is prepared in a pan, kind of like a pancake, and topped with all kinds of ingredients like cheese, tomato, ham,… Tapioca is a starch extracted from the cassava root. It’s very low in fat and protein so in Brazil they see it as healthy food. I had it for breakfast many times. It was first prepared for me at my friend Anaïsa’s home and because I loved it so much they even gave me a bag of tapioca to take home to Belgium!
Pastel de queijo
Pastel de queijo is a cheese pastry that you can eat everywhere in Brazil. From the beach to the mall to festivals, it’s one of the Brazilians favorite snacks. We tried it at Mercadao Municipal in São Paulo because according to Adriano, they have the best ones! Of course he was right, they were delicious. The place was called Hocca Bar and they had their own wall of fame, apparantly many famous Brazilians have visited this place…
Also at the Mercadao Municipal in São Paulo you can taste the most exotic of fruits! From mangos to dragon fruits to strange fruits I don’t even know the name of! 🙂 Just go to one of the colorful stands and ask (mostly they even offer). At the end of the tasting just buy some of the fruits you like most. For me that was papaya. I just loooooove Brazilian papaya!!!
Brigadeiro are Brazilian sweets made of cocoa powder, butter and condensed milk. You can find them in all kinds of flavours: oreo, white chocolate, caramel and many more. They are quite tasty but very sweet! We had them at the mall. My chocolate radar tracked the store from afar as this actually was one of the foods Adriano forgot to tell us about!! Can you believe??
Pão de queijo
The Brazilians sure do love cheese! They even make bread from it! This is not just bread with cheese on it or in it. It’s an entirely cheesy bread, crispy on the outside and soooo soft on the inside! We had them for breakfast at Adriano’s home and we added more creamcheese because hey, you can never have too much cheese right??
Okay so this next one is one of the weirdest foods I’ve ever had in my life! Adriano said he was going to take us to a hotdog stall. No need to be said that I was very sceptical as a vegetarian… “No worries”, he said, “you can just leave the sausage out!”. But what is left? I wondered… Well apparantly A LOT!!! This hotdog contained everything, from cheese to corn to tomatoes and even mashed potatoes AND to top it off: 10 different sauces! I had to eat it with knife and fork! It was a good snack after a night of samba but I’m not sure if I’ll have it again soon…
Yes I’m a vegetarian. And yes I’m writing about a barbecue restaurant. But did you know the Brazilian barbecue restaurants are actually the best place for a vegetarian??? They have an all you can eat salad buffet. And it was actually quite good. Lot’s of fresh vegetables! And not to mention the dessert!!! They go around with this cart full of goodness and you can choose anything!! Oh my goodness, I would go back just for that!
Sooooo friends, whenever you go to Brazil, you know what to do… Just call Adriano and he’ll take you everywhere hahaha! And I’m sorry Adriano we made you gain weight, please don’t hate us!! 🙂