Brazilian traditional cuisine uses a wide variety of readily available ingredients, but most are cooked with simple culinary techniques: boil it or fry it. This makes the different dishes seem almost rudimentary and very 18th Century. At the same time, most of the ingredients are rich in flavor and therefore do not need complicated culinary complements.
The three most traditional dishes, Feijoada, Bacalhoada and Tutu à Mineira were all colonial foods: rich in carbohydrates, proteins and fat, as all needed to compensate for excessive manual labor. Due to their rich flavors, they were eventually adopted by all social classes.
Bahian food has a flavorful African influence, consisting mostly of sea food, beans, coconut milk and palm oil.
The Churrasco is of Argentinean influence. With the exception of salt, the meats are cooked without spices or sauces, because the chef wants to show his guests that the quality and flavor of the meat does not need to be camouflaged.
Sugar cane cultivation in Brazil has had a strong effect on desserts: most traditional Brazilian desserts being nothing more than fruits blended with tons of sugar. Most of these can be eaten along with cheese.
The contemporary-cuisine chefs in Brazil are making an impressive rediscovery of local ingredients, adding new twists to old recipes, or inventing new dishes altogether and finally out-growing the more traditional French school.
Comida A Kilo
Food by weight. You pile your plate from the buffet, weigh it and pay proportionally. Prices range from $35 to $70 per kilogram.
Water does not come free at restaurants, as it does in the US/UK.
Tipping (10%) is supposed to be included at the end of your bill. If you don´t see it (“serviço”), add it.
Farofa, cassava flour usually served in bowl, which can be added to your dish and used to dry up whatever sauces are on your plate. Mix it in and eat!