Be Like A Carioca – What To Eat In Rio de Janeiro
Friendliness, party spirit and great food together define what Brazil is! Social relationships are often celebrated around the dinner table. Do feel lucky as an explorer if you get to be a part of the culture galore. Residents in Rio de Janeiro takes immense pride in the way they style their finger food and savor it.
Food is the easiest armor to break the ice and initiate a conversation. So long, “Sharing behavior”is Brazil’s food culture.
When in Rio, indulge in exploring the old school bar culture. Their botecos are our bars with good food. Tira gostos (the finger food) and frothy beer galore. I strongly recommend to explore beyond the fine dining restaurants and try finding good street eats in Rio at the shelves of bakeries, and at beach vendors’ carts. They serve the best of Rio de Janeiro’s food, any day!
Here is a list of the most delicious snacks available in Rio. Hope the list serves as a ready reckoner for you! Do eat like a Carioca (how locals are known).
Empadas / Empadinhas – With a strong Portuguese heritage, the empada is a descemdent of pastelões (Portuguese pies) and spread through the whole of Portugal and its colonies. It’s a shortcrust pastry that looks like mini pot pies stuffed with chicken, shrimp, cod fish, palm heart and many more items. It’s the perfect snack for your hungry stomach.
Cheese Filé – Also known as churrasquinho, this is a sandwich stuffed with meat and cheese, in a fresh roll (French Bread as Brazilians call it). There are variations from salad to eggs and bacon. It’s an art almost to do the filet and combine with melted cheese in most subtle way. Team the thin slices of sandwich with a cold Brahma beer and your evening is made.
Caldinho de Feijão – A broth with beans, traditionally served at the beginning of a meal with torresmo (pork rinds) and herbs on top, such as parsley or cilantro is also considered as a hangover cure by the locals.
Escondidinho – An old school Shepard’s pie-like recipe made of a layer of jerk beef or cod, covered with another layer of yucca-root purée and topped with a crispy crust of parmesan.
Fried Sardines With Lime – In Rio de Janeiro, people love their Sardines Served Fried and intact, with a simple pinch of salt and lime. Try the freshly grilled one by the sea for best taste.
Chicken Hearts – Be a bit unconventional and try the exceptionally good grilled chicken hearts skewered on a wooden stick. They are found in tinned canned and street side BBQs aplenty.
Bolinho de Bacalhau – Cod cakes or cod fritters mixed with flour and egg yolks, shaped like a dumpling and deep fried. Bolinhos should be crunchy on the outside and not greasy inside, providing the best pairing for a chopp or a caipirinha.
Bolinho de Feijoada – Brazilians are passionate about the fineness of their bolinhos. The dumplings are made of black beans (from a feijoada stew) & manioc flour and are filled with collard greens. It’s a mix of black beans and several cuts of meat namely rib meat, sausage and meaty chunks. It’s served with farofa (cassava flour), shredded kale, rice and oranges to squeeze over the top. This Brazilian staple triumphs easily over other Rio’s traditional street foods.
Pork & Pineapple Sandwich – Considered the best sandwich in town, it is made of pork leg, cheese and a slice of fresh pineapple on a freshly baked bun.
You can practically roam the whole of city while munching on a couple of meat or seafood skewers and taste further the goodness of quick, fresh and healthy eating options. Rio has everything on offer for you!