The Best Street Food in Brazil
Street food is popular in Brazil and can vary a lot depending on the state. Some types are popular in one region and unknown in others, and there are those that are known throughout the country. But when it comes to the best street food in Brazil, a basic rule is to look out for the hygenic conditions of the stand or server, so that the tasty experience does not turn into a stomach problem later.
Anyway, don’t think twice about trying new foods in Brazil. If in doubt, try them all, because the best way to get to know a region is through its gastronomy. Below are some of the best-known street foods in Brazil, where visitors and locals can find it not only on the streets, but also at fairs and even beaches.
‘Tudo’ means ‘everything’, and it’s a hamburger that, in addition to meat and cheese, has several other things like: ham, tomato, lettuce, peas, green corn, potato, bank, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and egg.
It is a very common sandwich in Rio de Janeiro, and is usually sold in vans that are transformed into a snack bar on wheels. Besides X-Tudo, some people also call it “podrão” (rotten), but this bizarre name refers to the various items mixed together in the sandwich that visually is a mess, others say that the nickname refers to the bad reputation of some of these vendors, who would use ingredients of unreliable origin and sometimes out of date. As a curiosity, it is a very popular sandwich among people who come out of nightclubs in the early hours of the morning very hungry and end up stopping at these vans to eat them.
Churros are pieces of deep-fried dough filled with creamy milk jam, but they can also be found in other flavors, such as chocolate. It is sold in stalls, and is far from being healthy, being a fried sweet with a lot of sugar.
Brazilian tapioca is made of manioc flour on a hot plate/skillet, where it takes the shape of a thin and slightly rigid pancake. There are numerous fillings: sun-dried meat, cheese, ham etc. There are also the sweet versions, usually of chocolate with pieces of strawberry, banana, chocolate with coconut, etc. It is very common in the northeast of Brazil, but in recent years it has also become popular in the southeast region (the economic pole of the country, where there are cities like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo). In some hotels in the north of the country, tapioca is also served for breakfast.
The Rio de Janeiro hot dog is completely different from the American hot dog. The Brazilian version has a bit of everything, similar to X-Tudo but with fewer items. Still it can surprise foreigners to see a hot dog that besides sausage and mustard, has olives and canned corn, quail eggs, and toothpick potatoes (a shredded and fried potato). In some stalls, you can even assemble your own hot dog by placing the items you like best.
Popcorn in Rio (and other regions of Brazil as well) goes beyond sweet or salty. The salty version can come with chips of fried bacon, while the sweet version can have a condensed milk frosting.
Salada de fruta
The fruit salad is a very popular dessert in Brazil, especially in Rio de Janeiro. Very common on the beaches, it is sold in small pots with small pieces of papaya, mango, banana, grape, and apple, etc. No doubt, it is one of the healthiest snacks to eat on a hot day at the beach. It is easily found on the Ipanema beach, Rio.
This is a robust piece of cheese on a wooden skewer. Street vendors grill the white cheese on the fire. For those who love cheese, it’s the perfect appetizer, but for those who don’t like it very much, it won’t be as good.
Cuscuz is sold both on the streets and on the beaches and is made of tapioca and coconut. Usually the seller makes as if it were a cake, and cuts it into solid blocks pouring a layer of condensed milk on top.
Pastel com caldo de cana
Pastel com caldo de cana is a good combination of drink and snack. As already shown in another post, the pastel is a thin dough fried in hot oil and can be filled with cheese or meat. Often, in the street fairs of Rio de Janeiro, it is sold with the cane juice together, which would be the sugar cane juice (very sweet).
Açaí na Tigela
Açaí is a fruit that grows on the palm trees of the Amazon region in South America. It is considered a superfood because it is a caloric source, rich in antioxidants and nutrients, much consumed by those who work out in gyms. Açaí na Tigela, means ‘açaí in the bowl’, and is the mixture of açaí, guaraná syrup, fruits (like banana) and cereals. The Açaí fruit can also be consumed in juices, ice cream, popsicles, sweets, or only its pulp. Açaí fruit looks like a purple grape.