Flavours of Rio

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• Feijoada

The basic ingredients of Brazilian feijoada are black beans, a variety of salted pork and beef products such as bacon, smoked pork ribs, at least two types of smoked sausage, loin and tongue.

The stew is prepared over a slow fire in a thick clay pot. The traditional final dish is a dark broth covering the beans and the meat, but many restaurants serve the broth with beans, and the meat separately, so that you can choose only those you like. On Fridays, almost every restaurant in downtown serves feijoada for lunch.

Side dishes

It is traditionally served with rice, chopped fried collard greens, coarse cassava flour, peeled and sliced orange. The flavor is enhanced further if you wash it down with cachaça, caipirinha or beer.

• Brigadeiro

Brigadeiro is a traditional Brazilian candy made by mixing condensed milk, butter and cocoa powder. This combination, which is a national passion, is commonly served at birthday parties, but can also be found at virtually any party.  Almost every Brazilian restaurant has brigadeiro on the dessert menu, but if you don’t have the opportunity to try some, you can prepare it yourself: just heat the mixture in a pan on the stove or in a microwave oven till you get a smooth and sticky texture. Then you can eat it with a spoon or can roll it into balls and cover it in granulated chocolate. It is worth a try!

• Polvilho cookie with ice tea

Biscoito de polvilho is a fine cassava powder cookie that has a very light flavor. It is perfect if you eat it on the beach, but even more delicious if you wash it down with a mate yerba ice tea, just mate for the Brazilians. It is very easy to find both, once there are people walking along the beach hawking them out loud.

• Caipirinha

Caipirinha is Brazil’s most common distilled alcoholic drink made traditionally with cachaça (sugar cane rum), sugar, lemon and ice. But, in most places, capirinha refers to the mixture of cachaça with any fruit.

The caipirinha is enjoyed in restaurants, bars, and many households throughout the country. You can also find many derivations of capirinha, including caipivodka, in which vodka replaces cachaça; capiríssima, made with rum instead of cachaça; and saikerinha or caipisakê, a version made with sake.