Dining

It’s hard to generalize about Brazilian food, largely because there is no single national cuisine but numerous very distinct regional ones. Nature dealt Brazil a full hand for these varying cuisines: there’s an abundant variety of fruit, vegetables and spices, as you can see for yourself walking through any food market.

Four main regional cuisines:

Comida mineira from Minas Gerais, based on pork, vegetables (especially couve, looks like curly kail) and tutu, a kind of refried bean cooked with manioc flour and used as a thick sauce;

Comida baiana from the Salvador coast, the most exotic to gringo palates, using fish and shellfish, hot peppers, palm oil, coconut milk and fresh coriander;

Comida do sertão from the interior of the Northeast, which relies on rehydrated dried or salted meat and the fruit, beans and tubers of the interior of the Northeast;

Comida gaúcha from Rio Grande do Sul, the most carnivorous diet in the world, revolving around every imaginable kind of meat grilled over charcoal. Comida do sertão is rarely served outside its homeland, but you’ll find restaurants serving the others throughout Brazil, although – naturally – they’re at their best in their region of origin.

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