Eating in Brazil

By | June 3, 2021

What do you eat in Brazil?

Brazil is a very large country, after all the fifth largest in the world. What Brazilians like to eat is therefore not the same everywhere. Even in a much smaller country like Germany, there are many differences from region to region.

Brazil’s cuisine is influenced by its long history as a Portuguese colony. But immigrants from other European countries also brought their recipes with them. The descendants of black slaves like different food than the indigenous people, the indigenous population. Hundreds of years ago they were growing corn, beans, peanuts, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and cassava in Brazil. These ingredients are still part of Brazilian cuisine today.


The national dish of Brazil is called Feijoada. The Portuguese word feijão means bean. And black beans are the most important ingredient in this stew. There is also meat, mostly beef and pork. Feijoada is then served with rice and farofa. Farofa is roasted cassava flour to which you can also add onions, garlic, olives, cashews or bananas.

What is the soft Maria?

People like to eat sweet things in Brazil. One such sweet treat is Maria Mole. Translated it means “soft Maria”. It is made from sugar and egg white. Brigadeiros pralines and cakes like Bolo de Rolos are also popular. A sponge cake is coated with guava jam (goiabada) or nut mass and rolled up.

Eating out: Self Service and Rodizio

There are self-service restaurants all over the country where you pay by the kilo. So the food you eat is weighed. They are called self service.
Do you know a Rodizio restaurant? There are now also in Germany. In Brazil, however, they are called churrascaria. Waiters go from table to table with meat skewers and cut some of them onto their plates. You can get side dishes and salads at a buffet.

There is lubrication for breakfast

Café-da-manhã is the Brazilian breakfast. Fruit, cakes and bread with cheese or jam are typical ingredients. The adults drink coffee, the children cocoa or juice. In some areas with a lot of German immigrants there is the Café Colonial. This is a kind of breakfast buffet, but you can also eat it in the afternoon or evening. Typical German breakfast ingredients can be found on it, such as bread, butter, cheese, ham or sausage. And jam shouldn’t be missing either, but it’s called “grease” here.

Lunch and dinner: Almoço and Jantar

Almoço is lunch. Rice with beans or dishes with fish and meat are typical. There are vegetables and salad. Tomatoes are particularly popular as a salad ingredient. Tomato salad is also available for dinner, the jantar. In addition, there is often a soup, followed by rice or pasta.

From Africa to Brazil

The influence from Africa is particularly noticeable in the Bahía region on the central coast of Brazil. Typical dishes are the fish stew Moqueca de peixe, the fish puree Vatapá and Acarajé, which has its origin in West Africa. For this, a batter made of black peas – these are special beans that have a stain that looks like an eye. manufactured. These are shaped into balls and fried. You can buy them at street stalls everywhere in the city of Salvador. The typical sellers are women in white cotton dresses with a scarf on their heads. They are called “Baianas”. You can find a recipe for the Brazilian fish stew in our tip !

Cheese bread?

Pão de queijo translates as cheese bread. But they are actually choux pastry balls. Manioc starch and cheese are the ingredients. People like to bake it at home, but it can also be found in every Brazilian bakery. By the way, a typical cheese from Brazil is the Minas cheese. It’s white and rather soft. You eat Minas cheese with goiabada, a kind of guava jam.

What are the Brazilians called?

Typical first names for boys are João, José, Gabriel, Lucas, Pedro. Girls are often called Maria, Ana, Julia, Beatriz or Vitória. Parents’ current favorites for their babies are Miguel, Davi and Arthur for boys and Sophia, Alice and Julia for girls.

Deivid, Orlando or Klinsmann?

But even unusual first names have a good chance in Brazil, especially last names from all over the world, which become first names here. So you can definitely find a Klinsmann, a Chaplin or a Kennedy there. City names are also popular, such as Orlando or Washington. According to the law in Brazil every word that has already been printed can be used as a first name! The spelling can definitely be changed. So a David becomes a Deivid, and Wellington becomes a Uelington.


Most of all, Brazilians love nicknames. Even the former president is only called Lula (which is derived from his first name Luiz). He even officially adopted the nickname and is now called Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Many football players are only known by nicknames, such as Pelé, Kaká or Ronaldinho. By the way, Pelé’s first name was Edison, named after Thomas Edison, the inventor. Maybe you’ve seen the Hulk before? Football players have also been named formiga (ant) or bigote (mustache).

Silva and Souza

Officially, however, most Brazilians have four names: two first names and the last name of their father and mother. The mother’s last name comes first (unlike in Spanish-speaking countries). This is how names come about like Edison Arantes do Nascimento (Pelé) or Givanildo Vieira de Souza (that’s the name of Hulk according to his birth certificate). The most common surnames are Silva, Souza, Costa, Santos and Oliveira.

Eating in Brazil