You’ve probably already heard about caipirinhas, açai or pão de queijo (cheese bread). If you’re advanced in your Brazilian knowledge, you probably had one of my favorite soft drinks, too—Guaraná.
But have you ever had corn juice? What about this thing that looks like a giant fried teardrop?
If the answer is no and you’re coming to Brazil, put this guide in your pocket for sure!
Caldo de Cana
OK, so it's not a food, but it's juice from a sugarcane! This was my sister's favorite thing when she visited for the first time last year.
As far as I know, you can't get this in stores. So you have to head to the street or park, where you will see the guy literally putting the sugarcane into a machine to be processed.
You can have it in original flavor or with lime or pineapple (my personal favorite).
This drink is SO refreshing on a hot summer day!
As an American, my first thought was pudding, but tapioca in Brazil means something entirely different. It’s like a pancake or crepe with an almost savory flavor and a base made from cassava flour.
People with a sweet tooth can add condensed milk, fruit or Nutella to make it the perfect dessert.
But again, there are many variations, so you can fill it with carne seca, chicken, cheese, etc., if you are a savory person like my boyfriend. It is so easy to make and takes about 5-10 minutes.
Having just the flour base, I cook this all the time for my family when I come back to the U.S.—the sweet version, of course, because I have a mom who eats ice cream for dinner sometimes.
This is the big, fried teardrop I was talking about. My favorite is when it’s filled with chicken and catupiry, a cheese found only in Brazil. Not very healthy, but you can find coxinha (pronounced koh-sheen-ya) in any airport or corner store.
According to my boyfriend, there is also a science to selecting the perfect one.
“It has to be fresh, shiny, but not greasy,” he says. “The skin has to be smooth—not rough. The color, not too dark—but also not too light.”
As you could guess, he does the selecting of ours.
Churros com doce de leite
Most people know what churros are, but have you ever had one with doce de leite filling?
This sweet caramel is delicious on anything—even cheese!
But inside a churro? Wow. No doubt you can find one easily for just three Reais (less than $1 USD) on the beaches of Rio.
Suco de milho
Corn juice? Say what?
I was skeptical, too. But this is my absolute favorite thing! It’s more easily found in the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais, but I have located some key places in Curitiba, where I live, too.
Somewhat sweet with a hint of corn flavor, it’s impossible to describe. Honestly, you just have to try it.
Just don’t try to make it yourself—because my attempt was a real disaster.
Have you been to Brazil already? What was your favorite food or drink?