Cuisine from Brazil
A vast country that boasts a breadth of influences-Amerindian, Portuguese, African, Italian, Spanish, German, Arabic and Japanese-Brazil's culture and cuisine are extremely unique. Dishes such as picadinho de jacare are quite original-the meal is made from alligator meat. The natural crops of the region also add to its singularity. Root vegetables such as manioc, yams, and peanuts, and fruits like açaí, cupuaçu, mango, papaya, guava, orange, passionfruit, pineapple, sweetsop, and hog-plum are among the local ingredients used in cooking. Brazilian pine nuts called pinhão grow in a tree that is abundant in the southern part of Brazil, and are a popular national snack, as well as a lucrative export. Rice and beans are an extremely common dish, as are fish, beef and pork.
Some typical dishes are caruru do par, which consists of sun-dried meat, beans, goat and corn meal; feijoada, a simmered bean-and-meat dish; tutu de feijão, which is a paste of beans and manioc flour; moqueca capixaba, which is made of fish and tomato; and chouriço, a mildly spicy sausage. Barreado, a meal from the state of Paraná, is made by putting meat in ceramic pans, and burying the pans under the soil so that the meat boils with the heat of the sun.
As Argentina is, Brazil is known for its gauchos-a cowboy figure in the pampa regions. A barbecue-style meat known as churrasco is thus popular in those regions. Many Brazilian restaurants that open abroad serve churrasco, so the dish is perceived in the international community as one of the main meals in the country; in actuality, the country's gigantic geographic scope creates regional differences in the cuisine, and no single dish can encompass and represent the national palate.