Brazilian cuisine has European and African influences but when it comes to street food, nobody can do it better than the Brazilians!
I want to share with you 12 of the very best street foods for which Brazil is known, and as you can see by the inclusion of a lot of healthy snacks, Brazilians know how to eat well without necessarily putting on weight due to fatty foods. Maybe this why everybody in Brazil goes to the beach after work and parade around confidently in their bikinis and swimming trunks? They know they eat good, so they know they look good, too!
Pao de Quiejo is a small cheese-flavoured roll. Its origin is from the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, but it became popular on the streets of Brazil in the past few decades. It is inexpensive and often sold as street food by vendors carrying a heat-preserving container.
Açaí na Tigela is made of frozen and mashed açaí palm fruit. It is served as a smoothie in a bowl or glass, and is commonly topped with granola and banana, and then mixed with other fruits and guaraná syrup. Açaí na tigela is popular all over Brazil, but mainly in Rio de Janeiro, Florianópolis, and along the northeastern coast, where it is sold in kiosks lining the beach promenade and as street food in the city.
Churrasco is the term for a barbecue which originated in southern Brazil. It uses a variety of meats, pork, sausage and chicken which may be cooked on a purpose-built “churrasqueira”, often with supports for spits or skewers.
Acarajé is a dish made from peeled black-eyed peas formed into a ball and then deep-fried in palm oil. The most common way of eating acarajé is splitting it in half, pouring vatapá, a salad made out of green and red tomatoes, fried shrimps and homemade hot pepper sauce.
Sonhos are soft, custard-filled doughnuts that are something of a Brazilian delicacy! They are somewhat similar to bombolone from Italian cuisine and the Berliner from German cuisine. These sonhos can be eaten at any time of the day – and usually in large quantities!
Coxinha is a popular street food in Brazil consisting of chopped or shredded chicken meat, covered in dough, molded into a shape resembling a chicken leg, battered and fried.
Bauru is a popular sandwich sold all over the country on the streets of Brazil. The traditional recipe calls for cheese (usually mozzarella), slices of roast beef, tomato and pickled cucumber in a French bun with the crumb (the soft inner part) removed.
Brigadeiro is a common Brazilian street food. It is made from condensed milk, powdered chocolate, butter, and chocolate sprinkles to cover the outside layer. It can be cooked in roadside ovens in the form of individual little balls and is eaten straight from the pot.
Aipim Frito are, for many Brazilians, an alternative to french fries. They are made of cassava and are crunchy outside, creamy on the inside, and with a flavour that can only be described as addictive! They can be served with pretty much anything!
Bolinho de Bacalhau are codfish cakes that are moulded into a small ball shape with the addition of egg and onion. These are extremely popular deep-fried snacks, and can be eaten hot or cold.
Agua de Coco is of course the traditional Brazilian coconut juice, which is sold and drank everywhere, but no more so than on Brazil’s glorious beaches!
Feijoada is a stew of beans and pork or beef, and began life as a typical Portuguese dish. It is in Brazil, however, where the locals seem to love it most, with street vendors all over the country selling it from their kerbside pans. Feijoada is usually served with rice and assorted sausages.
I hope you now understand a little more about Brazilian street food and when you next visit the country you can have the confidence to try some for yourself!