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Braden: Hey everyone and welcome back to PortuguesePod101.com! This is all about lesson 7 - Top 5 Brazilian Dishes!
Thássia: We really love our cuisine.
Braden: The number of unique Brazilian dishes is massive and food is such a huge part of Brazilian culture.
Thássia: It really is. It’s hard to summarize Brazilian culture without talking specifically about food.
Braden: And we’re gonna have a hard time summarizing just the cuisine section. We could easily do a 50-part series just on food.
Thássia: Most people probably think of feijoada and churrasco.
Braden: Yeah, but there really is so much more to it.
Thássia: There sure is, and we’ll give you a great starting point for getting some of the best Brazilian food out there.
Braden: The basics.
Thássia: Brazilian food is a unique blend of Portuguese, African, and Native American influences. A typical Brazilian meal will have beans, rice, and some kind of meat, some kind of vegetable, salad, and juice.
Braden: Most meals are a variation on this basic theme. And believe me, there are variations.
Thássia: Brazilians who live inland usually have beef, chicken, or pork as the meat.
Braden: While Brazilians who live on the coast often use fresh seafood in addition to or replacing the beef, chicken, pork.
Thássia: Brazilians don't typically use recipes when they are cooking. That means the recipes you see in cookbooks, on the internet, or even in these lessons are just one (typically simplified) version or one part of one Brazilian meal.
Braden: After having rice and beans almost every day for 7 years, I can honestly say, I've never had the same dish twice. Every meal is a unique experience.
Thássia: It's also important to know that for Brazilians, lunch is the most important and largest meal.
Braden: Meals are almost always made fresh each day and from 11AM to 1PM, the sweet aroma of fresh-cooked food fills every home, street, and city in Brazil.
Thássia: Mm, maybe we shouldn’t be doing this lesson just before lunch.
Braden: I know, I’m getting hungry too.
Thássia: Popular Food Items
Braden: Everywhere you go in Brazil, you'll find…
Thássia: padarias
Braden: Which are “bakeries.”
Thássia: There, you'll find pão de queijo
Braden: "cheese bread"
Thássia: pasteis
Braden: "Fried dough stuffed with either sweet or non-sweet things"
Thássia: bolo
Braden: “cake”
Thássia: And any number of sweet breads, ice cream, or torts.
Braden: What will never be missing though is…
Thássia: pão francês
Braden: "french bread"
Thássia: A standard part of every Brazilian breakfast. Brazilian pão francês is very different from its inspiration, the French baguette. Every morning you can see lines of people at the padaria waiting to buy fresh pão francês. Seasonal Dishes.
Braden: Christmas is a big food holiday in Brazil. Since December 25th is in the middle of the Brazilian summer, lots of fruits, including…
Thássia: manga
Braden: "mangos"
Thássia: abacaxi
Braden: "pineapple"
Thássia: And goiaba
Braden: "Guava" are plentiful. As a side note, the fruit-based ice cream in Brazil is some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had, particularly the popsicles.
Thássia: Really? Why?
Braden: Real fruit. Brazilians flavor their ice cream and popsicles with real fruit, instead of artificial syrups or colorings or whatever, which means that the pineapple ice cream actually tastes like fresh pineapple.
Thássia: My favorite is cajá.
Braden: Mm, that’s good stuff.
Thássia: What you see everywhere though is Panetone. Panetone was originally an Italian sweet bread that Brazilians have changed into something delicious.
Braden: Yeah, it’s a vast improvement on the typical American fruitcake.
Thássia: Through the years, Brazilians have developed many variations on the original Panetone.
Braden: My personal favorite being the…
Thássia: Chocotone
Braden: Which mixes in chunks of chocolate into the bread, instead of pieces of fruit.
Thássia: Mm…
Braden: Quite good.
Thássia: Table Etiquette
Braden: While it may seem disorganized, table etiquette in Brazil is quite important. The basic rules apply, such as don't talk with your mouth full, sit up straight, don't put your feet on the table, but two things are particularly offensive to Brazilians.
Thássia: First, cut things with your knife, not with your fork. Using your fork to cut meat is barbaric.
Braden: See?
Thássia: Second, don't scrape the plate with your utensils. Pay attention next time you're in a Brazilian-filled restaurant. You won't hear the ting, ting, ting of utensils on dishes, unless there's a foreigner there.
Braden: See? Okay. I’ve got a list of top 5 foods to try in Brazil.
Thássia: And who chose them?
Braden: Well, the staff at PortuguesePod101.com and some Brazilian chefs I know. So, it’s not based on official research or anything.
Thássia: So basically, these are the foods we think the listener should try. What’s in the list?
Braden: Number 5
Thássia: Feijoada, the Brazilian national dish. Feijoada is a good example of Brazilian dish.
Braden: Number 4
Thássia: Churrasco. Most popular in the south of Brazil, churrasco is a style of roasting or barbecuing meat that is gaining worldwide recognition because of its unique cuts, simple seasonings, and powerful flavor.
Braden: Number 3
Thássia: Acarajé. A dish typical of Salvador, Bahia, made of cooked beans deep-fried in dendê oil, filled with shrimp, okra, coconut milk, tomato, onions, pepper, and many other possible variations.
Braden: Number 2
Thássia: Moqueca de Peixe. Common all along the coast of Brazil, but perfected in the eastern Bahia/Espirito Santo region, moqueca de peixe is an experience not to be missed. Coconut milk, shrimp, crab, dendê oil, oregano, cilantro, garlic, sea salt, and any (or every) kind of fish that can fit in the hand-made clay pot.
Braden: Moqueca de Peixe really is amazing. So, what’s our number 1?
Thássia: Açaí na Tijela
Braden: "Açaí in a Bowl"
Thássia: It’s actually our favorite, isn’t it, Braden?
Braden: Yes, it is, actually. At one point in my life, I spent 3 years in the United States without going to Brazil. When I finally went, what I wanted more than anything else was açaí na tijela.
Thássia: For those of you familiar with açaí, you need to understand that pure açaí simply cannot be found in the US. It is an incomparably healthy food, but like most foods, the more processing it goes through, the less potent and less flavorful it becomes.
Braden: Yeah, if you wanna get great açaí, you have to go to Brazil.
Thássia: Now, the top 5 foods for the brave, presented by Braden.
Braden: No!
Thássia: Number 5
Braden: Mocotó de boi ("Leg of Bull"). Calls for the shin, ankle, and foot of a bull cooked in a rather complex set of seasonings and beans for several hours. Then you split the resulting broth in half, beat one of the halves into an almost cream, mix them back together and then add beans and whatever else you want.
Thássia: Number 4
Braden: Cachaça. Actually, Cachaça isn't a food, it's a drink. It’s fairly similar to vodka in many ways, but it’s made from sugar cane. Cachaça is also the main ingredient in the caipirinha, an internationally-known drink.
Thássia: Number 3
Braden: Buchada de Bode ("Goat Stomach"). The stomach of a goat emptied, cleaned, then refilled with any number of vegetables, legumes, seasonings, and other meats, cooked for hours in a pressure cooker. Need I say more?
Thássia: Mm, no. Number 2
Braden: Piqui. This fruit is something you will either love or hate. Typical of the midwest of Brazil, Piqui is often cooked with rice and chicken, but don’t bite too hard or this pungent little fruit will leave you picking stickers out of your lips for a week.
Thássia: And number 1.
Braden: Pimenta Malageta, the hottest pepper in Brazil, one of the hottest in the world, and also, one of the healthiest. Brazilians don’t typically like hot peppers, but this one, they love, because of the unique flavor.
Thássia: Okay, so there you have it, the top 5 Brazilian dishes to try and the top 5 food for the brave.
Braden: Sometimes, I feel like I didn’t know what food was until I came to Brazil. Without a doubt, I have learned more about food, good food, since I came to Brazil than I ever knew before.
Thássia: I love the powerful flavors and variety of textures. Brazilian food is always an experience to be remembered.
Braden: It sure is. Don’t forget that you can leave us a comment on this lesson.
Thássia: So, if you have a question or some feedback, please leave us a comment.
Braden: It’s very easy to do. Just stop by PortuguesePod101.com…
Thássia: Click on comments…
Braden: Enter your comment and name, and…
Thássia: That’s it!
Braden: No excuses! We’re looking forward to hearing from you.
Thássia: Até mais!
Braden: That’s gonna do it.
Thássia: See you next time.
Braden: Tchau tchau!