Friday, June 3, 2011

Post 1 - Taste of Brazil - Whether it looks good or not -- Eat it!

On my  Facebook page I showcase all the different Brazilian things I am tasting (OK-some of the food I'm not just tasting, I'm full on eating it --YUM) I wanted to bring that element to my blog. Instead of just listing them, I thought it would be fun to categorize them and then rank them in order of being my favorites.  I have linked to some recipes I found on the web and if you have a great recipe for a Brazilian food listed and want to share, leave a comment with an email address (I will not post the comment) and I will create a recipe page on my blog.  Hope you enjoy.

Traditional Brazilian Food

1) Camarao na Moranga (A soup with shrimp in a cream sauce, stuffed into a pumpkin and baked.  The presentation made a great first impression and the taste finished nicely.  I love shrimp and pumpkin and the mix of spices were perfect.  I cannot wait to make this for my stateside friends this fall.  It is quite a heavy meal so no dinner was needed this day, but it was so delicious it came up in converstaion during the remainder of our stay in  Rio, so it is obviously the top of my list.)

Recipe #1
Recipe #2

2) Feijoada (Hands down this dish is referred by many as Brazil's national dish.   The stew with beans and pork originated by slaves using all the thrown away pork parts including ears and tails and making a meal.  Today, the dish has been transformed to using more desired pieces of the pork along with some of the fatty parts which add a great amount of flavor to this high caloric and high cholesterol dish.  Today it still provides a great reason for families and friends to gather around the table for a great meal)

3) Broa (This great corn bread is not your typical cornbread of the United States as it is made with yeast instead of baking soda.  It light airy texture along slight hint of sweet makes it a crowd please for breakfast or coffe.  Originating with the Portuguese settlers today it has become a Brazilian staple at bakeries and coffee shops thoughout Brazil.)


4) Pao de Queijo "Cheese Bread" (I have ate the delightful treat in the United States many times either at Brazilian friends or restaurants.  However I could not leave it off the list of favorites as it is a distinct food found in Brazil.  I have often wondered why it has not made it to the supermakets in the United States as all my friends there love it. When you are traveling in Brazil you will definitely find this favorite at every coffee shop and bakery.)


5) Brazilian Pastel ( Seriously, how can you go wrong with a thin pastry envelop filled with cheese, meat, or a number of sweet fillings? Fried to perfect crispness (or they can be baked) and bought at any street side "pastelarias" found in the city or the country. Their origination depends on who you speak with.  Chinese say it comes from the frying of wontons,  Italians say it comes from the frying of calzones, and many say it comes from India similar to a snack called samosas.  Regardless of which of these are truly the origins of this snack,  it is simply delicious and thus ranks fifth on my list of tastes.)

6) Empada (Traditional Brazilian empada's are a pie crust filled with chicken, peas, olives and sometimes heart of palms. Served with a delicious tomato sauce.  They are similar to empanadas found in other latin armerican countries but not quite the same.  The large empada are often served as a main course, whereas smaller empadas called empadinhas are served as a snack.  They are truly delicious and deserving of their sixth place finish)


7) Stroganoff -  ( Because it is an extremely popular dish in Brazil, I have ate it many times and each time it was delicious.  Mostly made with chicken, served over rice, and topped with crispy potatoe sticks.  I would recommend trying this dish when you visit Brazil.  Quite honestly I don't know how you would miss it as it is served so many places and times)


8) Cod Fish (While in Goiania, I ate this fish cooked several different ways.  My favorite was the stew Luiz conjured up at his cousin's home (which I have had at previous Brazilian gatherings in the states). I think this is the most traditional central Brazilian way of eating it,  but hey it is fish and that is why it landed at #8!)

Recipe unknown.

9) Pamonha (This good corn and milk paste wrapped in corn husk is truly delicious when fresh.  In the central-west area of Brazil where I was it is salty and often centered with cheese.  The southern part of brazil finds it more on the sweet side.  If not cooked correctly it can be a little dry and this is the primary reason it did not end up higher on my list.  Hey - I am only ranking ten items and there are so many other great things to tast - it should be happy to be at number nine.)


10) Sovado Bread (This is really good bread that always quickly disappeared from my plate- but lets be serious - look at what it was competing against -- after all it is just bread - breads in Brazil could have had their own category and since its tradition is more Portuguese then Brazilian it lands at # 10)

Recipe (I think?)

*** Recipes linked are ones I found on the web and may not be the great flavors I tasted in my travels in Brazil.

** Again, if you want to send me a recipe for one of these Brazilian foods -  Leave a comment with an email address (I will not post the comment) and I will create a recipe page on my blog.

Drinks -- read about them

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