Visiting Rio: Foods you MUST try!

Brazil has a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and protein, making our culinary traditions quite extensive and yummy! Here are some of the most delicious (i.e. my favorite) foods (and drinks) in Brazil.

Caipirinha: While the original one is with cachaça and limes, we have many versions with different fruits, such as cashew fruit, grape and tangerine. You can also try caipivodka, which is caipirinha made with vodka instead of cachaça or a caipisake, made with sake.
Nothing like a caipirinha by the pool…

Feijoada: A delicious Brazilian bean stew, dating back to the slavery days. Slaves were given beans and could have meat leftovers, which were cooked with the beans, thus feijoada came to be. It’s a delicious meal, served on Saturdays at many popular restaurants. It’s quite heavy, so be ready to fall asleep after eating it.
How I miss feijoada….

Churrasco: For the meat lovers out there, churrascarias (or all you can eat steahouses) are the equivalent to heavenly paradise. If you want to go all out and have an unforgettable experience, order the picanha, the best cut, which is strangely unavailable outside Brazil. When you eat churrasco, you have to have rice, french frieds, molho vinagrete (chopped tomatoes, onions and peppers in a vinagreitte sauce), banana frita (fried plantains) and farofa as side dishes. Don’t forget to top of the meal with a passion fruit or chocolate mousse.

The variety of meat at churrascos is impressive.

Brigadeiro: Is there anything better than condensed milk cooked with cocoa?! That’s brigadeiro, a popular Brazilian sweet, that is to die for! While originally the mix was only cocoa with condensed milk, now there are specialty brigadeiros, with flavors such as caipirinha brigadeiro, 70% cocoa brigadeiro, hazelnut brigadeiro, etc. They are officially THE best chocolaty treats!
The old fashioned brigadeiro

Juices: The health scene in Rio is widespread, so juices are always in high demand. And we mean real, freshly squeezed, pure, thick and delicious juices, not that watery, out of a box crap. With a wide variety of fruits, we have every possible juice you can imagine. There are a couple of juice specialized chain restaurants, the most popular ones are Bibi Sucos and Juice & Co. Be adventurous and try a weird flavor, such as watermelon with tangerine or coconut with pineapple (my favorite!)
You’ll never go back to a smoothie again…

Pão de queijo: If you’ve been to any of my dinner parties, odds are you’ve eaten pão de queijo. These are little cheese bread appetizers. My favorites in Rio are from a bakery in Ipanema called Confeitaria e Lanchonete Ipanema, on the corner of Joana Angelica Street, across from a church.
Pão de queijo with cafézinho in the afternoon

Açai: If you really want to be a local, go eat açai by the beach in the late afternoon. You can put granola, bananas, nuts, whatever you like in it. Many kiosks by the beach serve açai. Once you eat it, you will never be able to eat the fake US version. Word of caution though: while healthy, açai is EXTREMELY caloric, so don’t over-do it!
With the traditional toppings: granola and bananas

Tapioca: One of my favorite simples things. It’s pretty much cooked tapioca flour in the shape of a pancake with some filing (which can be sweet or savory). It is sold on little carts by the beach. I recommend the cheese or the condensed milk with coconut.
Tapioca with cheese!!!

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