Renata Garcia

Renata Garcia

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Brazilian Food to Try and to Avoid

Renata Garcia

Renata Garcia

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


As there are delicious Brazilian dishes that please the foreign palate there are also those that are not so desired and even cause malaise. This article will help you learn which ones you should try and which ones you should definitely stay away from.

When visiting a different country we want to try all varieties of food. Besides the beautiful natural scenery of Brazil, tourists can also appreciate Brazilian cuisine that has a mix of cultures derived from Africa, Europe and indigenous Brazil.

Brazilian Food to Try

Here is a list of dishes that we recommend you try when you visit Brazil:

Pão de queijo

Pão de Queijo is a bread made of cheese, but cassava flour is used instead of wheat flour. They are little rolls of bread with cheese baked into it, and can be found in small portions or larger sizes. They are traditionally from the state of Minas Gerais in Southeastern Brazil and are very popular all over the country. Pão de Queijo are often eaten as a snack or served at breakfast.

Moqueca de camarão

Moqueca is a fish or seafood stew simmered in coconut cream, palm oil and various spices. It’s very traditional in Espírito Santo and Bahia cuisine, and has many variations in Pará. The moqueca de camarão is a moqueca made with shrimps.


Brigadeiro is definitely a food that you need to try, it is very popular among Brazilians and also many foreigners. A Brigadeiro is a truffle made of chocolate and condensed milk, covered with chocolate sprinkles. Brigadeiros are usually eaten at birthday parties or other types of celebration. Brigadeiros are typically served in small ball shapes like chocolate truffles, but it is also common to eat it with a spoon if it is not rolled.

Baião de Dois

Baião de dois is a typical dish from Northeastern Brazil, originally from the state of Ceará but also very popular in the states of Rondônia, Acre and Pará. It is a mixture of beans, rice, tomatoes, pepper, green onion and coriander. Dried meat and coalho cheese can also be added.

Escondidinho de Carne Seca

Escondidinho is a very popular dish all over the country, but is a typical dish from the Northeastern states and Minas Gerais in the Southeast. Escondidinho de carne seca is made with carne-de-sol, which is similar to jerked beef or shredded chicken. The meat is topped with mashed cassava, seasoned with manteiga de garrafa, which is a type of clarified butter and topped with grated cheese.

Vaca Atolada

Vaca atolada directly translated “cow mired” and is dish made of beef ribs, manioc, tomatoes and olives. It is very popular in states like Minas Gerais, Santa Catarina and Pernambuco.

Arroz carreteiro

Arroz carreteiro or simply carreteiro is a typical dish from the South of Brazil. It is made of rice added to shredded or chopped beef and sometimes sausage. It is then braised in oil with garlic, onion, tomato, parsley and chives. In the Central West and Northeast of Brazil it is also known as maria-isabel and is made ​​with dried meat.

Brazilian Foods to Avoid

Finally, here is the list of food that we advise you to avoid:


Acarajé is the most popular street food in the Northeastern state of Bahia. It is made with black-eyed peas, onion, ginger and salt then fried in dende, which is a reddish oil from the palm fruit. When done, they are split in half and filled with vatapá, caruru (okra stew), fried shrimp, salad and pepper. Vatapá is a mixture of wet bread or breadcrumbs, cornmeal, ginger, chilli pepper, peanuts, cashews, coconut milk, palm oil, onions and tomatoes.

As you can see by the ingredients, acarajé is considered a heavy food even by Brazilians, so if you are not used to eating it you can feel sick. Usually, people who sell it warn tourists about the strong taste of acarajé and offer a version that is “lighter”, with less chilli.


The capivara is a rodent found in South America and has the appearance of a giant rat but without the long tail. So, for those that are not accustomed to it, it may seem a bit strange to eat this animal. The consumption of capivara meat is quite common in Southern Brazil. It is considered a luxury item with great commercial value and is sold as an exotic meat in restaurants.

It is important to know how to prepare it, because unlike many other types meats, bad preparation can cause damage to the meat, which will then become stiff and have a strong taste.


Rabada is a very popular dish in Brazil and is a stew of oxtail to which tomatoes, onions and peppers along with fresh and dried spices are added. For some people ​​eating the tail of an animal may seem disgusting. Oxtail is traditionally accompanied by rice, polenta or boiled potatoes and watercress.


Buchada is a typical dish from Northeastern Brazil and is made from an animal’s internal organs that are cooked and used to stuff the animals stomach. It is traditionally made with goat however, you can also find buchada made ​​with the stomach of an ox or lamb. Eating this dish is a challenge for anyone, you must have a strong stomach to face it.


Sarapatel is a typical dish from Northeastern Brazil and is similar to buchada but it is prepared with the kidneys, liver, spleen, heart and lungs of the goat, lamb or pork. These are cooked with spices such as mint, pepper or bay leaf. It can be accompanied by farofa or rice. Farofa is a toasted manioc flour mixture, though variants are made with maize flour and flavors can vary. In addition it is served with curdled blood sauce, which makes the dish even more scary. The ingredients and preparation can vary from one state to another.

Coração de Galinha

It seems that Brazilians are adept at eating animal organs that most other people don’t eat. Chicken hearts, called “coraçãozinho”, which is Portuguese for "little heart", is very popular at Brazil barbecues. Before being roasted, they can be seasoned with just salt or mustard or even with beer. Only people that are used to Brazilian barbecues like to eat coraçãozinho, so if you are new to these barbecues, you should avoid the chicken hearts.

Chouriço Doce

This is the kind of candy that you certainly will not want to try. It is a typical sweet from the states of Ceará, Piauí, Paraíba and Rio Grande do Norte in Northeastern Brazil. The chouriço doce is prepared with cassava flour, brown sugar and spices such as sesame seeds, cashew nuts, coconut milk, fennel, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and black pepper. The main ingredient is pork blood which can make you change your mind about trying this dessert.