Passionate about travel and the variations of Brazilian food? Come and take a trip through the flavors and curiosities of Brazilian gastronomy 

Check out some details and preparations of typical dishes from each region, including those from the Southeast (Moqueca Capixaba and Espeto de Rojão); do Sul (Barreado and Arroz de Carreteiro); from the North (Maniçoba and Tacacá); from the Northeast (Tapioca and Sarapatel); and Midwest (Empadão Goiano and Saltenha)

How can we define Brazilian foods? In the same way that the people are a melting pot of different races and influences, these same tendencies ended up being transferred to the national cuisine, taking peculiar and different forms according to the region where they were adopted.

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Many components used in the preparation of meals are of indigenous origin, having been slightly modified by the influence of African slaves or Portuguese colonists, who replaced missing ingredients with other locations. Elements such as palm oil and couscous came from slaves since the 16th century, while others ended up coming to our culinary day-to-day with European immigrants from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Travel through the national gastronomy and discover the favorite Brazilian foods of tourists

Gastronomy in the Southeast region

typical brazil dishes

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Some typical delicacies of the region such as pão de queijo from Minas Gerais (equivalent to the Paraguayan chipa) are now famous abroad, while others, such as “biscuits with sprinkles” (used in some cheese bread recipes) are still foreign to the taste buds abroad.

THE Southeast cuisine ended up reinventing itself mainly on the basis of sweets based on orange, pumpkin and papaya. You Minas Gerais dishes they end up having a different taste mainly because of the use of pots made of soapstone.

Several restaurants in Sao Paulo they offer classics such as virado à paulista, based on rice, tutu of beans, salted kale and pieces of pork meat. The São Paulo couscous is another highlight, made from a mixture of African and indigenous influences from the region.

Two famous dishes are moqueca capixaba and espeto de rojão. Let's get to know a little about each one. Famous mainly in Espírito Santo, the moqueca capixaba differs from a similar dish of Bahian origin because it does not contain peppers, palm oil or coconut milk. Its origin would come from Portuguese fish dishes altered by Africans. In a letter dated 1610, Father Monteiro describes the dish as “moquém meat, he guarantees, is roasted with such a temper, which takes advantage of every invention of the roast, in cleanliness, tenderness and flavor”.

The main fish used in the dish are Dogfish, Whiting, Grouper, Boyfriend, Dourado, Puppy, Papaterra. Tooth, Painted and Sea Bass. Each recipe has a different particularity that even includes the correct choice of pan in which it will be prepared.

Espeto de Rojão is a dish originally from Ribeirão Grande, in the interior of São Paulo. The meat used is pork, which is tied to a wooden skewer with eucalyptus, which gives the original flavor of the delicacy. Research indicates that the dish is the result of a 150-year-old tradition and was maintained by the descendants of the creators, who linked the dish to the region.

The preparation is made with nine ingredients: ground pork shank and loin, parsley, salt, garlic, onion, eggs, finely sieved corn flour, pepper and vinegar. In the beginning the meat was prepared in mortars, which today have been replaced by more modern equipment.

Then the ingredients are added to the meat until it forms a uniform paste, it is molded on the skewer and tied with cotton string. Then just take it to the brazier, because it is not roasted in the oven.



Some typical delicacies of the region such as pão de queijo from Minas Gerais (equivalent to the Paraguayan chipa) are now famous abroad, while others, such as “biscuits with sprinkles” (used in some cheese bread recipes) are still foreign to the taste buds abroad.

Gastronomy in the South region


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Today it is possible to find a delicacy from the southern region in restaurants that sell food by the kilo. It is not about the famous barbecue, but about the carter rice, a dish created to provide for those who transported loads through the south in carts pulled by oxen. The tradition was to throw charque (sun meat) chopped with rice into an iron pot, something a lone traveler could prepare alone.

These travelers used beef jerky, a product that is preserved for much longer after being properly prepared. The dish itself is now a highlight of the gaucho cuisine and it takes fresh minced, ground beef or barbecue leftovers, sometimes sausage and sausage in pieces, sautéed in plenty of fat, with garlic, onion, tomato and parsley. This version ended up becoming more popular than the original, which ended up being adapted over time.

Barreado is a dish that must be prepared with great care to obtain a good result. This dish from the coast of Paraná is of Azorean origin and came with the Portuguese in the 18th century. The seasoning, which would have been preserved from records obtained from the village of Guaraqueçaba, ended up bringing other cultural characteristics such as fandango and clog dancing.

The dish must be prepared in a clay pot, with a lid made of the same material, permanently placed on the fire so that it is kept at 100o C. The thick broth that forms maintains the flavor of the meat that falls apart due to the great heat generated by the lidded pot. .

Ingredients include one or more types of second-rate and lean beef, such as shoulder, breast and duckling, seasoned with onion, garlic, pork bacon, black pepper, bay leaf and cumin and cooked until it breaks down. The result is added to cassava flour and served with rice and sliced plantains, with some variations. The ideal cooking time is around twenty hours. Something quite laborious and tremendously delicious indeed.

Gastronomy in the North region

paraense food

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Going further north, reaching Pará, we find a very unique dish called Maniçoba, which originated from local indigenous tribes and whose main ingredient is maniva, the ground manioc leaf.

This ingredient is ground and cooked for a week in order to extract the cyanide acid, a poisonous component. Then beef and pork are added, among other equally salty ingredients. The dish is served with rice, manioc flour and pepper.

The dish is also typical of the Recôncavo region of Bahia, especially in the municipalities of Cachoeira and Santo Amaro, where it is served during local commemorative events, sold at street markets as cakes or prepared dishes. In Pará, where it is very well known and widespread, it is called feijoada paraense.

Tacacá comes from the Amazon region. Research indicates that it is a variation of mani poi, a soup enjoyed by indigenous people before the arrival of Europeans. The first writing that records the dish dates from the 16th century by the Capuchin priest Abbeville. It is made with a yellowish broth called tucupi, placed on top of manioc gum, also served with an herb that causes numbness in the mouth called jambu and dried shrimp. It is served in gourds seasoned with peppers and at high temperatures. The tucupi and the gum are the result of the grated mass of cassava which, after being pressed, results in a milky-yellowish liquid.

Gastronomy in the Northeast region

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From the northeast comes tapioca, which is widespread throughout the national territory. Although it is not a dish in itself, but a generic name, it is widely consumed. It is the starch extracted from cassava, usually prepared in granulated form, which is used as the main ingredient in some typical Brazilian delicacies, such as beiju, an indigenous delicacy discovered by the Portuguese in Pernambuco in the sixteenth century.

Tapioca can be traced back to the early years of colonization, when the Portuguese in Pernambuco began to use it as a substitute for bread. In Olinda there was a great demand for the consumption of flour and starch extracted from manioc since the 16th century. This by-product was spread by the Cariri Indians in Ceará and the Jês in the Amazon.

Sarapatel has become a typical dish in states such as Alagoas, Pernambuco, Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará, Piauí and Sergipe. In one of its “incarnations” it is prepared with pork viscera and the blood of this animal, curdled and cut into pieces. It has a high concentration of fat, caused by the addition of pieces of bacon and tripe.

During cooking, add mint and one or two large whole chili peppers. It is usually accompanied by flour or rice. In other states such as Ceará and Alagoas, the dish does not use tripe and the mint is replaced by bay leaf.

Gastronomy in the Midwest region

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In the Midwest, the other highlight of Brazilian food is the Empadão Goiano, which, by its name, already says about its origin. With ingredients originating in that state, the dish includes wheat flour and olives. An individual pie is 25 centimeters in diameter, and can reach more than 35.

Its filling varies: chicken, loin, ham, leftover chicken, sausage or even turkey. In addition to meat, Minas cheese, guariroba, olives in a tomato-based sauce, green corn, eggs, various types of pepper and vegetables are also included.

It is one of most famous regional dishes in Brazil and is in the process of being recognized as a Heritage of Intangible Nature by the Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional (IPHAN).

Finally, we have a pastry that originated in Bolivia and became very popular in Acre, where it became a delicacy consumed since the beginning of the formation of the state, since it originally belonged to Bolivia.

Years later, consumption expanded to the states of Rondônia and to other cities in the Midwest of Brazil that border Bolivia, such as Corumbá. In the 1960s, there was a saltenry shop in operation in Rondônia, J.Lima, which is still in full swing today.

Because of its similarity to a calzone, the variety of both is almost the same: pastries stuffed with meat, pork, chicken, soy, among others.

The variety of dishes is enormous and there are many reasons to try the typical Brazilian cuisine. Up for the challenge?

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