If you travel to South America, you will fall in love with the food! These are the Snacks You Must Try in Brazil. They are filling, delicious and affordable.
Brazil has a rich history of immigration that has shaped its culinary world. The Portuguese introduced dried salted cod, the African slaves created Feijoada (black bean stew), the Arabs brought over spices. This diversity created what is uniquely Brazilian cuisine that we know today.
Brazilians of all ages love to snack. And you will need to snack if you visit Brazil to not go hungry in between meals, because Brazilians work and eat late.
Usual meal times are: breakfast from 6am-8am, lunch at 1-2pm and dinner at 8pm-9pm. There is a long lag in between lunch and dinner that is filled with a break for a snack and coffee.
Now that you know more about Brazilian culture, let’s jump in into the Snacks You Must Try In Brazil.
What Should I Eat in Brazil?
There are so many delicious recipes you should eat while visiting Brazil that if you tried one a day, two months would not be enough to try them all.
But now that you know that snacks are part of every day life for Brazilians, you can at least eat these.
These snacks are available pretty much throughout the entire country, but every region has different snacks as well or different fillings that reflect that area’s culinary influence.
These baked mini pies are filled with everything you can dream of. The most common filling is chicken, but for variety, try the one filled with heart of palm, leeks or shrimp.
The best way to describe Pastel is as a giant deep-fried wonton that is much lighter in texture, but just as crispy.
It can be filled with dozens of combination of salty or sweet ingredients.
You can find Pastel in farmer’s markets held once a week in different neighborhoods of Brazil or as appetizers in several bars and restaurants (served bite sized).
A delicious dough filled with chicken and spices. Sometimes in addition to chicken, they also come with Catupiry, a sort of cream cheese/mascarpone. For cheese aficionados, if you are ever in Sao Paulo, visit the Catupiry store (the brand name).
It’s a hole in the wall, but the place fills up for lunch and they make everything with this cheese. Try the lime or passion fruit Catupiry mousse for desert. Delicious!
These middle eastern imports are similar to mini pizzas or calzones, however, the dough and fillings are different. The most common filling is ground beef which is seasoned with onions, tomatoes, and a variety of spices.
There are also vegetarian fillings like green veggies or cheese.
Another Middle Eastern favorite, this is a deep-fried meat ball with wheat, walnuts and spices. Try it with squeezed lime juice or sour cream. Amazing!
Kibe can also be prepared in a baking dish and baked, but you will most likely find it Brazil deep fried, unless you eat at a traditional Arab restaurant.
6. Croquete or Bolinho
A cousin of the coxinha, it is a deep fried potato cake usually filled with ingredients other than chicken. There are many variations from cheese and ham to salt dried cod – my favorite!
If you never had salt dried cod, but love fish, you should try this and also order cod in a restaurant – preferably a restaurant that specializes in Portuguese cuisine. It’s delicious!
7. Mandioca Frita
Mandioca Frita or yucca fries are available as appetizers in most bars in Brazil.
Yucca Fries are a great substitute for regular fries and great paired with parmesan. It can be stringy sometimes, but delicious nonetheless.
Mandioca or Yucca or Cassava, is a root vegetable and can also be served steamed or boiled and mashed.
8. Pao de Queijo
Pao de Queijo is a gluten-free cheese bread. It tastes best right after it comes out of the oven and it’s a popular afternoon snack to have with coffee.
There are food chains in Brazil that specialize in these bite size pieces of heaven. You can choose to have it filled with cream cheese variations from plain to olive tapenade.
Pao de Queijo can be found in the US as a box mix (gluten-free aisle) or in the frozen section of your grocery store. You don’t even need to travel to Brazil to enjoy it!
Other Snacks that You Must Try in Brazil
These are considered to be regional and also street food, so you might only find it if traveling North.
Similar to a fried bread, Acaraje dough is made of black eye peas and then deep fried.
It is cut open like a sandwich, and filled with shrimp and other ingredients. Acaraje is often found on the Northeast of Brazil and is spicier than other Brazilian food.
Similar to Saganaki (Greek fried cheese), this Brazilian cheese tough and is very elastic, but when it’s fried, it caremelizes on the outside and melts on the inside. It’s absolutely delicious and it’s often sold on many beaches in Brazil.
Corn on the Cob
Another beach favorite, corn on the cob is not Brazilian specific, but Brazilian corn tastes very different than American corn. It’s not as sweet. When you buy it from a vendor in Brazil, it will often be served with butter and salt. Some vendors have started to cut the corn from the cob on a client’s request and serve it on a bowl.
Also not region specific and not unique to Brazil, but the way it is served it’s very different. If you buy it at the beach, where it’s most popular, it will come drizzled in condensed milk, chocolate, caramel or strawberry sauce and nuts. Some vendors even top it with ice-cream. It’s like diabetes on a cup, but it’s soooo good!
If you order fruit salad in a restaurant, it will most likely be served plain (just fruit), but you will enjoy it either way because fruit just tastes 100 times different in tropical countries than it does in the US or Europe. My husband now is so spoiled that he won’t eat bananas at home anymore.
Is Brazilian food spicy?
Not generally, however in certain regions of Brazil (northern or central north) the food can be spicy. You will usually see red peppers on the table in these regions so that is your clue.
What is the traditional food of Brazil?
The most well known traditional food in Brazil is Feijoada – a black beans stew that is slow cooked to perfection with various cuts of pork and beef. These days there are many varieties of this dish as most restaurants have eliminated the lesser cuts of meat that the original version contained.
This dish was created by slaves that were only given scraps of meat, which were then cooked with beans and served with rice. The original version had pig’s ears, hoofs and other parts that plantation owners didn’t eat.
Feijoada is only served on the weekends and it’s a very rich dish, which means you will need a long-nap afterwards!
If you want an even better experience, enjoy Feijoada with Samba music.
Where Else Can I Find These Brazilian Snacks?
Do you want to try these 8 Brazilian snacks, but not traveling to Brazil anytime soon?
I bet you there is probably a Brazilian restaurant near you that offers a few, if not all of these. What a better way to go Global in your own hometown?
I’ve also been able to find Cheese Bread in my local grocery store and esfiha from a Lebanese vendor in my farmer’s market.
If you are around one the hotspots of Brazilian immigrants in the US- Boston, Florida, New York, California – you might be able to find Brazilian grocery stores that sell them frozen or someone who makes them to order for parties and such.
There are also online stores that ship them straight to you.
However most of the Brazilian snacks I’ve had in the US from these sources as not as good as the “real” versions available in Brazil. For that, you need to travel there.
Have you tried any of these 8 Snacks You Must Eat in Brazil?
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