Quick Recap: In our last email, you have seen me talk about my day. We learned about two types of past tense: perfect and imperfect. We practiced the perfect (Pretérito Perfeito) by writing about our own routine. We will let the imperfect hanging for now.

5 Brazilian foods you can’t afford to miss

*** This is an adapted version, improved for reading. It’s not an exact translation of the original. A full transcript can be found on the PDF.

In our last lesson, I’ve shared with you briefly about how a typical breakfast and lunch look like here in Brazil. And I don’t know about you, but I just love knowing about what people eat in other countries. If you are like me, I’m sure you going to love this quick guide on the top 5 best Brazilian foods ever.

Brazilian cuisine is awesome and incredibly diverse. If you come here and do try at least one of these, I can assure you: you did something wrong.

1. Brigadeiro (Brazilian chocolate fudge ball)

Brigadeiro is perhaps one of the most famous candies/desserts in Brazil. It is a candy made of chocolate powder, butter and condensed milk.

It’s super simple to make. You basically mix everything inside a pan, put it to heat, keep mixing until the mixture “detaches” from the bottom of the pan.

We do brigadeiros to eat at home while watching a movie (with a spoon!), as a dessert after lunch or for parties (when we usually roll the mixture into these little balls)

2. Paçoca


Paçoca is the second one in our list (the ç sounds like s). Paçoca is a peanut candy, which is both sweet and a little salty. The salt is what makes the magic: after you eat one, you just want another one.

Paçoca is a very dear candy here in Brazil. You usually find it in this cork shape and it’s quite cheap. You often find street vendors selling 5 units for 1,00 or 2,00R$ (reais). And oh, you can do it at home. But we normally just buy it.

Do you want to know something crazy? You can do brigadeiro de paçoca (paçoca flavoured brigadeiro).

3. Açaí

Açaí is the third mention of our list. Açaí is a purple fruit, more commonly found in the northern regions of Brazil. The fruit itself has a very strong taste and it’s not found everywhere in the country. What you should be trying out, however, is what you see in the picture here.

Açaí became popular in Brazil when people started mixing it with guaraná syrup, sugar, and give it a texture and temperature of an ice cream (no milk involved).

Nowadays, we have several shops that specialize in serving Açaí. In these places, you have açaí served and you choose your own “complements”, like fruits, granola, condensed milk, milk powder and all sorts of things you can imagine.

Just a tip: people usually don’t like açaí after they try it for the first time. Make sure to try it twice to make sure you’re not losing something great.

4. Guaraná

File:Guaraná 02.jpg
AnitaFortis, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
File:Guaraná Antarctica.jpg
Sprucecopse, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Number four is Guaraná! Guaraná are those eye-resembling fruits you see in the picture. It is an Amazonian fruit and it’s not commonly found everywhere to be found. I have never seen one myself. However, what is common is to have guaraná flavoured foods, normally beverages. This can you see in the picture is a Guaraná flavoured soda. You can also find guaraná “juice” in some places and guaraná syrup, that you can mix in water to make a beverage that resembles juice. I don’t think there’s anything similar to that anywhere else, so you should definitely try it out.

p.s. I don’t know if the fruit is edible, I’m talking about the beverages!

5. Coxinha

Coxinha, a brazilian snack, with a bar in the space. Free Photo
Food photo created by betochagas – www.freepik.com

Coxinha comes as the last item of our list, but it is definitely not the less important. This list wasn’t produced hierarchically. This is the only salty option in this list. Simply put, coxinha is a fried dough stuffed with chicken. You can find them either big or tiny (kind of a finger food).

I know this description may sound that’s nothing special, but my friend, you have no idea. A coxinha is perfectly crispy on the outside, while its inside is soft and kind of melts in your mouth. The chicken then mixes perfectly with the dough, creating the ideal combination of flavours. No surprise people sell coxinhas everywhere. Every snack bar, bar, bus station, school canteens, and even gas stations sell coxinha.

Just make sure to ask your Brazilian friends where to find the best one in their neighbourhood, so you make sure to try one that is really well-done!

🛑 Quick Disclaimer about Culture

Before we finish, I just want to mention something important. When I say that we do something in Brazil, or that Brazilians do some thing I am making an intentional generalization.

Simply because it is impossible to cover the entirety of the cultural diversity here. For an example, in the northern regions they eat açaí with fish and salty things (normally they don’t add sugar to it). And in the south they drink tea all the time, not coffee (as I mentioned on our last lesson)!

I’m always trying to bring things that are more or less “universal” across the country. Covering all the cultural variations of a huge country like ours is far beyond my possibilities! So it’s possible that you won’t find one thing or the other in a particular region, but don’t worry. There will be many other things to compensate.

In our next email, I’m going to show you one thing that will help you navigate better in these cultural differences (it may even help you choose your trip’s destination!)



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