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Brazilian Restaurants

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Brazilian Restaurants

Brazilian cuisinevaries greatly from region to region just like how Brazil itself is diverse. The cuisine is also greatly dependent on the natural crops available in each region which adds to the cuisine’‘s peculiar nature.Brazilian cooking is distinct from that of its South American neighbors even though they share many similarities. The food of Brazil covers a distinctiveassortment of cultures and cuisines. While the original population was responsible forprevalent ingredients like cassava and guaranáthe cuisine of the Bahia and other coastal states were influenced by the African slaves. A Portuguese heritage is also reflected in a variety of dishes.Among the local ingredients used in the cuisine are vegetables like cassava, yams, peanuts, and fruit like açaí, cupuaçu, mango, papaya, guava, orange, passionfruit, pineapple, and hog plum. Brazilian pine nuts are a common national snack. Some of the common dishes in the cuisine are rice and beans, fish, beef,and pork.Other popular dishes in the cuisine are caruru consisting of okra, onion, dried shrimp, and toasted nuts; feijoada which is a simmered bean-and-meat dish; tutu de feijão which is a paste of beans and cassava flour; moquecacapixabaconsists of slow-cooked fish, tomato, onion and garlic, topped with cilantro; and a mildly spicy sausage called chouriço. Salgadinhos, cheese buns, pastéis and coxinha are general finger food items, while cuscuzbranco, milled tapioca, is a popular dessert. The cuisine is known for cachaça, prevalent native liquor used in the caipirinha.Wine, leaf vegetables, and dairy products were introduced into Brazilian cuisine by European immigrants. The native sweet manioc was used as a replacement when potatoes were not available. Lasagna, gnocchi, yakisoba, and other pasta dishes are equally very widespread.The regional dishes of the Southeast states of Brazil include corn, pork, beans, chicken and local soft ripened traditional cheeses. Picadinhowhich literally means minced meat, and rice and beans are also consumed frequently.In some parts there is significant Italian and German influence in local dishes, both savory and sweet. Moquecacapixaba is the state dish of Amerindian originwhich is a tomato and fish stew prepared in a clay pot. The cuisine of the Northern region, which includes the states of Acre, Amazonas, Amapá, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, and Tocantins, is profoundly influenced by indigenous cuisine. In the state of Pará, there are numerous typical dishes including:Pato no tucupiwhich is duck in tucupi. It is one of the most famous dishes from Pará andit is associated to the Círio de Nazaré, a great local Christian celebration. The dish is made with tucupiwhich is a yellow broth extracted from cassava.After the fermentation process, the broth remaining after the removal of starch from the raw ground manioc root is pressed by a cloth with some water. Sometimes another ingredient calledmaniva is added which is the ground up external part of the manioc.This must be cooked for one week long to remove the poisons from it. The cooked duck is cut into pieces and boiled in tucupi, and stewed in it for some time. Finally an ingredient calledjambu is boiled in water with salt, drained, put on the duck and the dish is served with white rice and manioc flower.A tradition that Brazil shares with the Caribbean is the popularity of rice and beans which is considered as a basic part of the cuisine. Brazilian rice and beans are cooked using either lard or edible vegetable fats and oils. Many Brazilians do not like garlic on rice, and not using garlic is the standard in restaurants.As a variationto rice and beans, Brazilians usually also eat pasta including yakisoba, lamen, and bifum, pasta salad, numerous dishes using either potato or manioc, and polenta as replacements for rice, as well salads, dumplings or soups of green peas, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, broad beans, butter beans, soybeans, lentils, moyashi, azuki, and other legumes in substitution for the common beans cultivated in South America. This has been happening since Pre-Columbian times. It is more common to eat substitutions for daily rice and beans during times of festivities such as Christmas, New Year’‘s Eve and in other special occasions.Salgadinhos are small savory snacks which literally mean salty snacks. They are similar to the Spanish tapas and these are mostly sold in corner shops. Salgadinhos are a staple at working class and lower middle-class familiar celebrations. There are many types ofpastries that belong to the Brazilian cuisine. Pão de queijo, a type of cheese bun which literally means cheese bread is a typical Brazilian snack. It is a small soft roll made of manioc flour, eggs, milk, and minas cheese. It can be bought ready-made at a corner store or frozen and ready to bake in a supermarket and is gluten-free.Coxinha is a chicken croquette shaped like a chicken thigh.Kibe or Quibe are extremely popular dishes which correspond to the Lebanese dish kibbeh and was brought to mainstream Brazilian culture by Syrian and Lebanese immigrants. It can be served baked, fried, or raw.Esfihais another Middle Eastern dish prevalent in the Brazilian cuisine.Despite being a more recent addition to Brazilian cuisine they are nowadays easily found everywhere, especially in Northeastern, Southern and Southeastern regions of Brazil. They are pies or cakes with fillings like beef, mutton, cheese curd, or seasoned vegetables.Pastéis are pastries with a wide variety of fillings and aresimilar to Spanish fried empanadillas.But these pastries are of Japanese origin brought to Brazil by the Japanese diaspora. Different shapes are used to tell apart the different flavours.The two most common shapes of these pastries being half-moon which is cheese flavored and square which is meat flavored. Size, flavor, and shape of these pastries may vary greatly.Empada are snacks that bear a resemblance to pot pies in a small scale. They are filled with a mix of palm hearts, peas, flour and chicken or shrimp. The Brazilian cuisine, simply put, packs a vast diversity of indigenous dishes and also comprises of an array of dishes from other cuisines brought on by immigrants from many other parts of the world.