No matter where you travel, food is an important part of the experience. (And nowhere is that more true than South America!) A sprawling continent made up of “mini” gastronomic destinations, when it comes to food, one such country, Brazil, stands out from the pack. From street food and sweet truffles, to must-try liqueurs and hearty fish stews, here are just five of many foods you have to try on your next Brazilian adventure.
Most popular in Salvador da Bahia, Acarajé is one of the most iconic foods in Brazil. A tasty street food snack, this black-eyed pea fritter comes with a bold flavor—likely due to the fact that it’s deep-fried in palm oil and stuffed with shrimp, peppers and tomatoes. Acarajé’s popularity doesn’t just come from the fact that it’s delicious, however; in the Candomblé religion, it’s also used as a religious offering to the gods.
Ever since food scientists realized that açaí berries were a super fruit, this natural Amazon treat has made its way on juice bar menus around the world. But what many don’t know is that the berry originated in Brazil! Because of that, you can find açaí bowls all over the country. Top these ice cream-like treats with fresh local fruit, granola and even peanut butter, and you’ll discover your new favorite breakfast or snack.
Looking for a taste of something sweet on your Brazilian adventure? Try a brigadeiro, the national truffle of Brazil. This sugary snack has always been made with condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter and layers of chocolate sprinkles, and today, you can find it fused with everything from lime, passion fruit and pistachio flavors, to white chocolate and even Nutella. Brigadeiros are a celebratory staple in Brazilian households, so when you’re traveling through that beautiful country, get one just to celebrate where you are.
Unlike others you may have tried, this traditional fish stew is served in piping-hot clay pots. It’s filled with diced tomatoes, onions, garlic, and coriander, and depending where you are, whether in Bahia (in northern Brazil) or Espírito Santo (just southeast of Brazil), you’re likely to find it prepared two different ways: moqueca baiana and moqueca capixaba. The bahiana version is made with palm oil, peppers and coconut milk, so it’s much heavier. The colors of both versions are different, too. The capixaba style is redder in color, due to the urucum, or annatto seeds, it’s typically made with.
Okay, this isn’t technically a food item, and you definitely shouldn’t give it to your kids, but if you don’t try a caipirinha on your Brazilian adventure, you’re totally missing out. Created in the 1500s, cachaça is a hard liquor made from fermented sugarcane juice, and it’s the main ingredient in this traditional Brazilian cocktail. There are thousands of variations of cachaça, all golden and aged in wood barrels, and when you turn it into a caipirinha, all you do is add sugar and lime. A caipirinha can be made plain or with a fruit flavor, but no matter how you like it, it deserves respect; after all, it’s considered the “national drink” of Brazil.
So now you know what to eat and drink—but where do you go to get it? Surtrek, the leader in custom South American travel, knows the way. Let Surtrek map out your culinary calendar in Brazil, and you’ll have one delicious adventure your taste buds won’t forget.