Food plays a big part in the culture of a country. When you think about France, you think crêpes. When you think about Germany, sausages may come to mind. For the British? The famous fish and chips are the go-to food.
However, in Brazil, things are a bit different. With the colonization and the size of Brazil. The Brazilian cuisine is vast, from street food to main dishes and desserts.
In this piece, I'll give you 10 of the best street foods in Brazil, some of them you can try to make at home.
1. Queijo Coalho or Rennet Cheese
This type of cheese is originally from the Northeast of Brazil and was discovered accidentally around 150 years ago. The milk curdled inside a worker's canteen. Queijo Coalho is a cheese loved by many Brazilians.
You can often find it in many typical dishes and as part of the famous Brazilian barbecue. You'll find this cheese grilled on a stick with honey, treacle, or oregano.
You can find a popcorn cart in every school, university, museum, hospital, park, and fair. This tasty treat comes in a variety of ways.
You can buy it salted with crunchy cheese, melted butter, or/and crispy bacon and if you like sweet popcorn rather than savory. Then you can get popcorn covered in chocolate or caramel that comes in many flavors. The most popular caramel flavor is gooseberry, famous for its red color.
Churros originated from Spain and used to be called Porras. Churros consist of fried dough in a thin, sometimes twisted shape and covered in sugar.
The Brazilian version of this pastry is popular and slightly more creative. In Brazil, Churros are a long fried dough filled with a variety of fillings. The fillings that are the most popular are chocolate cream, dulce de leche cream, and guava paste. The dough is then filled with cream and covered in sugar and cinnamon. Eaten while still hot is the preferable way of enjoying this decadent treat.
4. Pão de Queijo or Cheesebread
The origin of this snack is a little vague, but the place most commonly known for improving the recipe is a place in Brazil called Minas Gerais. The bun has multiple variations concerning the ingredients. Some have milk and butter others have olive oil and water. The ingredients which never change are the cheese and the cassava flour.
It's the perfect pastry for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Anywhere in Brazil, you will find a bakery or food stand selling this amazing bun. You can also find this bun with a nice stuffing like cheddar cream, Catupiry cheese (a Brazilian soft processed cheese brand), guava paste, and dulce de leche.
Boiled corn is one of the most simple foods we'll get on this list. Just like Queijo Coalho and popcorn, you will find this snack anywhere in Brazil. The sellers usually have a cart with a pan of boiling water, and the corn is inside to stay warm. When you buy it, they will thresh the corn and serve it hot with a spoon of butter and salt or with a generous helping of honey.
An indigenous dish, tapioca is made from cassava. The indigenous people of Brazil would prepare it by adding cassava powder to a hot surface. The powder would then turn into a dough-like disk and be filled with the stuffing of choice. When done, the texture is very similar to gum.
Today you have the option of a pancake-like batter made of two spoons full of tapioca, one egg, and a generous helping of cream cheese. This batter goes on the pan just like a pancake, and when it is almost cooked and still in the pan, you add your stuffing like cheese, ham, cream cheese, tomatoes folding in half to finish.
Tapioca can also be eaten sweet by using fruits and jams.
It's impossible to find a snack bar, bakery, or market that doesn't sell this amazing dish.
Coxinha is a pear-shaped, deep-fried, chicken-filled croquette. And if you think the fillings stop at chicken, then you will be surprised.
One thing the Brazilians are known for is their creativity and adaptation. And the coxinha is no different.
You can find this snack with different shapes and fillings such as chicken, minced beef, and cheese.
Most birthday parties have these snacks in smaller sizes. It is an experience you can't miss.
8. Espetinhos or Meat on a Stick
Espetinhos in Brazil is another street food you can't miss. Everyone knows that Brazilians are known for their barbecue. This tasty food is no different.
You can find it in most parks, busy streets, food trucks, beaches, and fairs.
The meat can be beef, chicken, or even sausage. It's usually cut into cubes and seasoned. The scent of barbecue will carry you to your happy place.
9. Hot dogs and Burgers
I know what you are thinking. Hot dogs and burgers are not Brazilian food. Although that's true, no place in the world makes hot dogs and burgers like Brazilians.
Imagine a regular hot dog, sausage, ketchup, mustard, right? Well, not for Brazilians. Most places will have anything you can think of in it, mashed potatoes, corn, peas, bacon, cheddar, cheese, and chips.
Burgers are the same. You will find burgers with arugula (rocket), eggs, cherry tomatoes, ham, and so much more.
Pastel is the food you must try if you ever come to Brazil. The origin of this food is unknown, but it does resemble spring rolls due to the thin deep-fried dough.
You can find pastel anywhere in Brazil, every open fair, dozens of snack bars, and even fancy restaurants with their gourmet version of it.
Pastel usually is made in a rectangular shape with a thin dough. There are so many different stuffings. But the most consumed are minced meat with cheese, a pizza flavor that contains cheese, olive, tomato, and chicken with soft cheese.
Like everything in Brazil, you can also find the sweet version of this. Which usually comes stuffed with chocolate, dulce de leche, Romeo and Juliet (guava paste with white cheese).
I'm certain you will find a dish on this list that you will like. There are so many flavors and different options for all of these suggestions that it is impossible not to find one that suits your tastes.
There are still other things worth trying like: the Açai, French Fries, and the Brazilian version of Yakisoba, but we will leave that for another time.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Pi De Jonge