100 Things to Try When You Come to Brazil PART 2

Crystallized Fruit Sweets (image from www.maria-brazil.org)

Crystallized Fruit Sweets
(image from http://www.maria-brazil.org)

Last week I shared with you the first part of a list of 100 foods to try when you visit Brazil. This list was originally posted on O Onivore’s and I absolutely love this list. But, as I went through it I noticed some of my favorite foods were missing; there were foods missing from the list that I rave about to friends and family and which I thought just HAD TO be on a list of what to try when you come to Brazil. So, what did I do? I edited this list and added foods that I want all of my friends and family to try when they come to Brazil!

When traveling around Brazil you do need to remember that Brazil is a country full of many, many, many delicious foods and to shrink these tasty foods down into one list of only 100 is a challenge and really can’t quite be done. Wherever you are in Brazil there will be different regional foods that you MUST try. This list is just an attempt to select the best from all over the country. Not having travelled all over Brazil I definitely cannot do all of the regional foods justice.

My simple goal is to help you learn a little bit more about what the MUST HAVE foods are in Brazil. And hopefully over time I will learn to make the majority of foods on this list!

OK, here goes, PART TWO of 100 things to try when you come to Brazil!

51. Espresso/café com leite/media Go to a padaria (bakery) and order espresso, coffee with milk, or media which is half coffee half milk. Brazil is known for their coffee and you can’t miss out when here!
52. Quindim A popular dessert made of egg yolk, sugar, and ground coconut. This is one of MANY egg yolk desserts you can find in Brazil.
53. Sorvete de milho Sweet corn ice cream. Best when it is a popsicle!
54. Bolinho de chuva Literally translated “little rain balls.” This is a deep fried dough sprinkled with icing sugar.
55. Caruru Common in Bahia this is made from okra, onion, shrimp, palm oil, and toasted nuts.
56. Frango com quiabo This is chicken with okra.
57. Leitão á pururuca A suckling pig. Called pururuca because the skin is all crackly!
58. Canjica doce Sweet corn pudding with milk and peanuts.  Delicious.  Often served in the June festivals — festas juninhos – or to new mothers.
59. Pinhão A nut from the Araucária tree. Delicious to eat right after they have been boiled!
60. Vinho quente Warm red wine. Common during the June festivals – festos juninhos.
61. Choppe Beer. Simple beer served at a bar. Ask for claro (light) or escuro (dark).
62. Cachaça artesanal de qualidade Artisan quality cachaça. Cachaça is sugar cane liquor!
63. Moqueca A fish stew made from the north of Brazil, Espirito Santo and Bahia. Made with fish, tomato, garlic, onions, and cilantro. Some recipes use coconut milk! One of the best seafood stews you can get.
64. Mandioca frita Fried yucca/cassava.
65. Broa de fubá Small yellow corn bread, commonly eaten with coffee.
66. Requeijão cremoso No way to really explain this, accept that it is the Brazilian version of cream cheese (but it is NOTHING like cream cheese)
67. Queijo de Minas fresco Fresh cheese from Minas Gerais. It is sold in other parts of the country. White, soft, and mild in flavour!
68. Misto quente Simple sandwich, this is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.
69. Doce de leite cremoso & em cubos Made from sweetened condensed milk this is sold in a creamy form or in cubes. You can find the ‘creamy’ doce de leite with bits of fruit in it, so delicious.
70. Tutu a Mineira A full meal, this comes with beans that are mixed with manioc flour and have a heavier consistency than the simple Brazilian beans, rice, collards, sausage, fried egg, deep-fried pork belly, and pork chop.
71. Brigadeiro A sweetened condensed milk and chocolate bonbon.
72. Acerola A small berry-like fruit with lots of vitamin C. Order suco de acerola (acerola juice) or for even more vitamin C try suco de acerola e laranja (acerola and orange juice).
73. Bobó de camarão A shrimp stew.
74. Pudim de leite condensado “Condensed milk pudding.” This is similar to flan but sweeter!
75. Manjar de coco A sweet coconut pudding.
76. Refigerante de Guaraná Antartica Guaraná soft drink!
77. Coxinha Potato pastry filled with chicken and deep fried. It is shaped into a chicken drumstickJ!
78. Caldo de mocotó Bone marrow broth.
79. Romeu e Julieta A slice of goiabada, guava jelly, and fresh cheese. This is commonly served as a dessert.
80. Chimarrão Very common in the south of Brazil. This is the maté tea drank from a gourd with a metal straw. Really great on cold days!
81. Bem Casado A small sweet snack usually sold wrapped in colored crepe paper. This is a doce de leite sponge sandwich!
82. Jabuticaba A deep purple grape-like fruit that grows on the trunk of the tree. You do not eat the skin, instead pop the gelatinous pit inside your mouth and eat it. Delicious and tons of fun to eat while picking off the tree!
83. Bolinho de Bacalhau Deep-fried cod balls. Great to eat by the ocean, for an appetizer, or with beer!
84. Beirute Usually a large sandwich made with pita bread, ham/roast beef/largato fatiado (eye of round), cheese, fried egg, lettuce, and tomato.
85. Caldinho de feijão Bean broth!
86. Milho assado Grilled corn. This is not the sweet sweet corn of the northern hemisphere. Instead is a little duller in color, has a harder consistency, and a milder sweet flavor. Very tasty when lounging on the beach.
87. Caju The fruit, not the nut!
88. Maracuja Passion fruit. Served in many different dishes, try this as a juice or mousse.
89. Americano The PERFECT lunch sandwich: ham, cheese, fried egg, lettuce, tomato, and lots of mayonnaise!
90. Pão na chapa Basically toasted bread! Commonly served at padarias and a perfect breakfast or afternoon snack. You can order it with butter!
91. Kibbe A Lebanese snack made with bulgar, onion, and usually ground beef. Very commonly eaten in São Paulo, and one of my personal favorites!
92. Batida Sweet fruit drink, this is made with fruit, sweetened condensed milk, and cachaça!
93. Croquete A savory snack, deep fried dough filled with meat!
94. Beijinho Sweetened condensed milk and coconut sweet. Delicious and excellent when craving a sweet snack.
95. Pão de batata com catupiry Potato bread filled with catupiry ( a soft cheese).
96. Doce crystalizada de frutas Crystallized fruit sweets. These are made with all fruits and even vegetables. All are delicious and worth trying, although they are very sweet. Here are my suggestions: coconut, coconut with passion fruit, red potato, pumpkin!
97. Queijandinha Sweet snack made of coconut, condensed milk, and egg!
98. Agua de coco This is the real thing when at the beach. Usually served in the green coconut itself, this keeps you hydrated and tastes wonderful on a warm day.
99. Picole de Abacate Avocado popsicle. Delicious to eat at the beach!
100. Bananada A banana sweet.

To Print a PDF for Your Travels CLICK HERE!

Minhas Crônicas do Brasil “100 Brazilian Dishes – Part 2
Brazil Phenomenon “100 Brazilian food items and dishes you have to try
O Onívoro “100 pratos brasileiros para experimentar


I Say Avocado, You Say Abacate! I Say Savory, You Say Sweet!

Avocado Popsicle RecipeFor the last weeks I have been trying to perfect my brigadeiro making skills. Brigadeiro is a sweetened condensed milk and chocolate bonbon that is deceivingly simple to make and requires the same cooking techniques as the beijinho (little coconut kisses). But, I’ve been struggling to get the right quantity of chocolate in my recipe and, because I am a perfectionist, want to get the perfect flavor and consistency of not too runny and not too hard! Since I have been struggling with this simple recipe I decided to deviate a little bit and try something even simpler. I turned my attention to popsicle making and discovered this delicious avocado popsicle recipe.

Brazilians have an amazing assortment of ice-creams. Flavors range from banana, pineapple, passion fruit, and melon to corn, avocado, jabuticaba, doce de leite, guava, and anything else you can imagine. It is always an adventure trying to choose what flavor you want to try next. Each flavor is unique and mouth watering. It is sometimes difficult to try a new flavor because the ones that you have previously tasted are so addictingly good!

Among the many flavors of ice-cream and popsicles in Brazil is avocado. Yes, I did just say AVOCADO! I know, us people from the northern hemisphere associate avocado with savory flavors. But, not here in Brazil, here avocado is eaten sweet. It is made into ice-cream, a smoothie, or eaten as a breakfast ‘yoghurt’!

Avocado Popsicle RecipeSo when my husband first brought up the notion of eating avocado as a sweet I found it rather revolting (I know that he had a similar reaction to eating avocado with salt or in salad, but I will keep that story for another time). Needless to say, I was not convinced that sweetened avocado would be any good and it was sometime before I took the plunge and ate avocado as a sweet. My first experience with sweetened avocado was a popsicle (so, it is very fitting that this is my first post on sweet avocado recipes). The first time I had an avocado popsicle was at the beach and after finishing my first I was ready to have a second…..and need I say anymore? I was hooked. Since then I have become an avid fan of sweet avocado. Ice cream or smoothie, I’ll eat it.

So, here is a simple recipe for avocado popsicles, and you guessed it, sweetened condensed milk is a necessary ingredient.

Avocado Popsicle RecipeIngredients

2 very ripe avocados (for brazilians, 1 large avocado)
150 ml sweetened condensed milk
150ml light cream
Juice of a very small lime or half of a larger lime

1. In a blender, mix the avocado, lime juice, and sweetened condensed milk. Mix for approximately 5 minutes.
2. Transfer to a bowl and incorporate the cream.
3. Pour the mixture into a popsicle mold, cover with aluminium foil, cut a slit in the center and place wooden popsicle stick.
4. Place in the freezer for 2-4 hours

For a PDF of Recipe CLICK HERE!

100 Things to Try When You Come to Brazil PART 1

Brazilian Feijoada

(image from http://www.food52.com)

So, there is this list, a list of 100 things to try when you visit Brazil. This list has been posted on various blogs and was originally created with the idea that people would mark what they had all tried. It’s a great list and really has some MUST TRY foods on it. But, after going through it, I knew there were things that needed to be added and altered. So instead of following the rules I’m going to take this list and adapt it slightly.

When you visit Brazil you have to remember that this is a BIG country and some of the foods are very regional. Of this list I have probably tried half and am not even remotely close to trying the other half, partially because some of these dishes can only be found in specific regions of the country. Don’t go on a mad goose chase to try all of these foods when you visit Brazil. Trust me, there is so much good food here that whatever you manage to try from this list you will be satisfied with.

So here goes, part one of 100 Thing to Try When You Come to Brazil

1. Pão de Queijo Brazilian cheese bread – this can be found almost anywhere and is commonly eaten with coffee.
2. Doce de batata doce A sweetened potato purée/jam/jelly
3. Churrasco Brazilian style barbecue, or as it is sometimes referred to: eat meat until you pop!
4. Tapioca Made with manioc starch, these are usually cooked like tortillas.
5. Pizza assado no forno á lenha Pizza baked in a wood oven. Definitely order pizza one time in Brazil, especially in São Paulo. Some suggestions of which pizza’s to order: portuguesa (onions, boiled egg, ham, & olives), mozzarella (sliced tomato & basil), garlic (lots of crushed garlic, yum), calabresa (sausage).
6. Feijão tropeiro This is one of the many bean variations you find in Brazil. It is: beans mixed with manioc flour, fried pork belly, sausage, boiled eggs, garlic, onions, and seasoning.
7. Arroz carreteiro One variation of rice that you find in Brazil (again there are many variations), white rice, jerked beef, pepper, garlic, onion, and parsley.
8. Açaí na tigela Purée of açaí or açaí berries served in a bowl with granola. Really yummy!
9. Paçoca de amendoim A peanut sweet usually found in cylinder shape. Really yummy and a great accompaniment to an espresso.
10. Pato no tucupi A duck dish commonly found in the state of Pará in the north of Brazil. It is boiled duck in a yellow manioc sauce.
11. Baião de dois Rice, beans, sausage/bacon/jerked beef, and farofa mixed together to create one big pot of goodness.
12. Acarajé Street food served in Bahia. Made of feijão paste w/ all sorts of goodies and shrimp.
13. Pamonha Sweet corn paste wrapped in a corn lead and boiled.
14. Dobradinha Tripe stew.
15. Rapadura Mostly sold in fairs or street markets (feira), this is basically cubed cane sugar.
16. Farofa Coarse manioc flour fried with butter, onions, bacon/jerked beef, and parsley. Commonly served together with beans, stews, and at barbecues. Recipes vary!
17. Barreado Found on the coast or Parana, this is a bean based dished with cooked meats and accompanied with fruits, like apple and banana.
18. Pastel de feira A must try at the local street market. This is a rectangular pastry filled with any kind of filling you can imagine. It is deep fried. Some good fillings to try: cheese, pumpkin, meat, portuguesa.
19. Couve refogado com alho A very common side dish, this is thinly cut collard fried with olive oil, onions, and garlic.
20. Sanduíche de pernil A pork sandwich. Pernil is pork leg.
21. Palmito Hearts of palm. Eat these in a salad or just by themselves with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt.
22. Cappucino Your regular cappuccino but served with chocolate mixed in.
23. Camarão na moranga A shrimp stew served in a pumpkin.
24. Doce de abóbora Sweet pumpkin jam commonly eaten just on its own. Very yummy and serves as a delicious dessert.
25. Feijoada The national dish of Brazil, this is a bean stew with lots of varied meat. Feijoada is commonly served with rice, collard, farofa, and slices of orange.
26. Galinhada com pequi A chicken stew with pequi fruit. Pequi is a fruit that is popular in the center-west of Brazil.
27. Peixe na telha A baked fish dish.
28. Biscoito de polvilho Little biscuits that come in all shapes and sizes. These are made of manioc flour and are very light and just a little bit sour. Absolutely addicting.
29. Galinha á cabidela Common in the city of Recife this is a simple chicken dish that originated from Portugal.
30. Pão de mel com doce de leite Honey bread with doce de leite. Very tasty and commonly comes in small squares or rounds and is covered with chocolate.
31. Any fish baked in folha de bananeira Fish baked in banana leaf.
32. Queijo coalho nab rasa Usually sold at beaches, this is grilled cheese on a stick!
33. Curau Sweetened corn paste/pudding served with cinnamon.
34. Caldo de cana Sugar cane juice. Drink this with a pastel at the local street market; they are always close-by to each other.
35. Prato Feito This is a cheap lunch dish that comes with your choice of meat, rice, beans, collard, farofa, and fries.
36. Buchada de bode A typical dish from the northeast, it is made of Goat. It is the goats stomach stuffed with small pieces of the other internal organs, cooked with a leg bone of the goat for flavour (Thank you Mu for this).
37. Bolo de rolo Very thin pastry rolled with goiabada jelly, almost like a Swiss Roll. Really good with coffee or to finish off your breakfast with.
38. Chá mate gelado Chilled toasted mate. Go to the center of São Paulo to Rei do Maté and you can order chilled maté with your choice of fruit or other ingredients to be added. Some suggestions: maté com acerola, maté com leite e aveia (w/ milk & oats).
39. Rabada Oxtail stew.
39. Vaca atolada Literally, “stuck cow” this is a type of beef soup.
40. Pitanga A fruit native to Brazil. This fruit is tart and very high in vitamin C
41. Quibebe Mashed pumpkin with fried onions, garlic, and olive oil. A very tasty side dish.
42. Caipirinha A must have drink when in Brazil, this is cachaça, lime, and sugar.
43. Cuzcuz Paulista “São Paulo couscous.” This is not your typical couscous. It is a corn-based dish with all types of different vegetables. Made in a bunt tin it always looks beautiful and is wonderfully delicious.
44. Quebra queixo “Jawbreaker” this is a hard sugar-based sweet.
45. Isca de peixe Small pieces of white fish, battered, and deep fried. Perfect to order as a porção (portion) in a bar.
46. Bacalhau There are many different bacalhau’s, but the main part of the dish is the salted cod and it comes with all different vegetables. If you like fish this is an absolute must have.
47. Torta de palmito Hearts of palm pie.
48. Empada (empadinha) A cupcake sized pie; this is a common snack in Brazil. Come with various fillings: cheese, chicken, hearts of palm are the most common. The pastry is light and crumbly and has the tendency to fall apart when eating…so be careful!
49. Suco de abacaxi com hortelã Pineapple juice with mint, yum!
50. Pão de batata com catupiry Potato bread filled with catupiry, similar to a very runny cream-cheese. Commonly eaten as a snack and can be found almost anywhere!

To Print a PDF for Your Travels CLICK HERE!

Minhas Crônicas do Brasil “100 Brazilian Dishes – Part 1
Brazil Phenomenon “100 Brazilian food items and dishes you have to try
O Onívoro “100 pratos brasileiros para experimentar

Hearts of Palm Pie

Torta de PalmitoThe sweets of Brazil are all absolutely mouth watering and there is always something new to try. But the savory dishes also all have the tendency to keep you coming back for more. This is exactly what happened to me with the heart of palm pie, or, as it is called in Brazil Torta de Palmito.

The first time I ate hearts of palm was in Brazil. Coming from England and the northeast of the United States my exposure to hearts of palm was, well, zero. To me they were an exotic food and at first rather strange. Seeing this white-cylinder-like food was not a normal site and I was a little apprehensive at first to try it. But, after my first bite I was hooked and quickly started ordering anything I could find that came with hearts of palm, and in Brazil that isn’t hard as hearts of palm are used in many dishes! 

My introduction to heart of palm pie was my mother-in-laws homemade pie and it goes without saying that I found my favorite pie. After eating my mother-in-laws pie I knew I had to learn how to make it and once I had the recipe I set to work in the kitchen. Not a difficult pie to make, I soon was making this pie for all different occasions, dinners, lunches, and just because I wanted it in the fridge so that I could grab a piece at any time. This pie is wonderful because it is simple, you can add other ingredients if you like, such as peas or green olives, and you can eat it in many different ways: for lunch, as a snack, for a light dinner, or as a side with a big dinner. My favorite is to have it for lunch or a light dinner with a big side of salad.

Torta de PalmitoAfter having made this pie many times there are a couple of things I always like to keep in mind when making it:
= Add the water, a little at a time, when making the pastry
= Don’t work the pastry too much; once it forms a ball, don’t work it anymore
= Leave the pastry for at least 1 hour; this has usually given me the best results
= The ketchup is not a MUST. I usually do a little bit less than what the recipe asks for; GO BY TASTE!
= When adding the milk: I dissolve the cornstarch in one cup of milk, then pour this into the pan, I only add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk a little at a time. The mixture needs to remain thick, and I never like to cook it too long because otherwise everything turns to mush!
= Adding the peas or olives gives more flavor and color, but are not absolutely necessary!
= I like to eat this pie a little above room temperature; let it cool for at least 15-20 minutes before eating.

Where to buy Heart of Palm: You can usually find canned heart of palm in most supermarkets. Take a look in the international foods section and it is likely to be there. Otherwise, take a look at some links that I have here to order online!

For the Crust

500g (2½ cups) All-purpose white flour
200g unsalted butter
1/3 tablespoon salt
½ cup cold water

For the Filling
40g (3 tbsp) butter
1 large onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
600g (21oz) hearts of palm (about 2 jars), thinly sliced
2 tbsp ketchup
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tbsp parsley leaves (or cheiro verde), finely chopped
1 cup frozen peas (optional)
1 cup pitted green olives, finely sliced (optional)
olive oil
salt and black pepper

For the crust, combine the flour, salt, and butter in a large bowl, rub with your finger tips until the mixture resembles bread crumbs, and then add cold water, little by little, as needed, working the dough until it is smooth and does not stick to your hands (you can use a food processor).
Wrap the dough with plastic wrap (cling film) and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days.

For the filling, heat butter and a drizzle of olive oil in a medium pot, add onion and, when it begins to brown, add garlic, and fry until fragrant.
Mix in sliced hearts of palm, ketchup, vegetable bouillon cube, and cornstarch – previously dissolved in 1 ½ cups milk – and, stirring constantly, cook until it boils and thickens.
Adjust salt and pepper and, if necessary, correct acidity by adding a pinch of sugar; fold in chopped parsley (or cheiro verde), frozen peas, and sliced olives and let cool.

To assemble the pie, use a 30cm (12inch) spring form pan, or an ovenproof dish, if you’re not considering removing the pie from the dish.
Dust a work surface with flour and, using a rolling pin, roll out a large portion of the dough into a circle about 45cm (18inch) in diameter.
Line bottom and sides of one pan with this circle and spoon the filling into it. Roll out the remaining dough into a circle about the diameter of the pan and cover the pie, pressing the two crusts together gently to seal.
Cut out decorative shapes and press them onto the top crust, brush with egg yolk, and refrigerate for about 15 minutes, while you preheat the oven to 180C (350F/moderate/Gas 4).

Bake pie for about 45 minutes, until the crust and tip are deep golden brown. Remove from heat, wait 10 minutes, and remove from pans onto serving platters (or refrigerate and heat thoroughly in the oven before serving).

For a PDF of this Recipe CLICK HERE!

Torta de Palmito

Another essential – Cheiro Verde

DSC_0174Because I want to learn how to cook Brazilian foods I need to continue coming back to the essentials of the Brazilian kitchen. Over my years of cooking Brazilian foods I have realized that with the Brazilian essentials at my fingertips you can make any dish smell and taste amazing; and, these basic ingredients are important to making Brazilian dishes perfect. The smell that wafts through the house is mouth watering. I also love having ingredients ready to go. I am never happy when I need to spend half an hour in the kitchen chopping ingredients that I could have prepared at the beginning of the week. Why waste time chopping onions, garlic, parsley, and spring onions every night when I can do it once a week or less?

As I have learnt over the years, the Brazilian cooking essentials usually serve as time savors while adding extra flavor and smell to the food that is being cooked. What more could you ask for?

So, with that, here is another essential for your Brazilian kitchen: cheiro verde, which literally means green smell. It is the green smell of parsley and spring onions chopped and added as seasoning to almost all Brazilian dishes. What a beautiful name for two beautiful ingredients – cheiro verde!

Parsley and spring onions are two ingredients that you can find in almost all dishes. They add flavor, smell, and color to the dishes being cooked and are some of my favorite ingredients to cook with. Open almost any freezer in a Brazilian kitchen and you will likely find chopped parsley and spring onions ready to be added to the dish that is cooking on the stove. Chopping your parsley and spring onions and freezing them saves you time in the kitchen and they can be added quickly at the end, or as a last thought, to a dish.

Recently, my husband and I went grocery shopping. I was looking for a full bunch of parsley to add to some of the vegetable juices we make at home. While on the hunt for my bunch of parsley all I could find was bunches of parsley and spring onions sold together. I kept looking but didn’t find parsley sold as a single bunch. In exasperation I asked my husband to have a look for a single bunch of parsley. Finally, tucked behind the cheiro verde (parsley and spring onions) was a single bunch of parsley. Clearly, parsley and spring onions are married in Brazil and it is not favorable to split them apart!

DSC_0170All you need to do with the parsley and spring onions is finely chop them up. Mix well together. Place in a freezer proof container and leave them in the freezer until you need them.

I like to freeze my cheiro verde in plastic tupperware containers. I fill them up and scoop out handfuls whenever I need to add it to a dish!

Take a look at my simple bean recipe for one easy way to use the cheiro verde to add color and flavor to the dish. I use cheiro verde in almost everything, pies, soups, stews, rice…the list goes on!