Are you excited about the Summer olympics? I know I am! I always enjoy watching both the Summer & Winter olympics and I really get into it.
This time though, instead of just getting into the sports of it, I’m also exploring the food of Brazil. That’s right friends! This month for Tastetrotting Across The Globe, we will be tasting our way through Brazil.
Brazil is simultaneously the largest country in South America by both population and geographical size. It is filled with intriguing people, plants, animals, and of course we can’t forget food. The most densely populated parts of Brazil are in the south central regions which include major cities such as Sao Paulo & Rio de Janeiro.
You’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying the food or local specialties of this country, you say? I have a feeling that you’ve enjoyed some kind of specialty from Brazil! Have you ever had Brazil Nuts? Brazil Nuts are grown wild in the Amazon of Brazil. The locals stir them into their cakes and confections.
Coffee is another local speciality. Brazilians also grow Arabica, which is a slightly less caffeinated bean. Brazil produces more coffee than any other country in the world.
Manioc flour made from cassava (also known as Yucca) is another Brazilian staple. When toasted in a little butter until golden brown, this crunchy Farofa can be used to top many dishes, including Feijoada Completa.
Brazil’s unique melting pot reflects a varied history with Portuguese, African, and American-Indian influences. To the north you’ll recognize many Caribbean & African favorites like coconut, sugar cane, beans and rice, and red palm oil, as well as other indigenous specialties. When you travel south, ingredients become more European.
Let’s talk about Breakfast in Brazil shall we? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you know? Breakfast is referred to as Café da Manhã in Portuguese, which translates as “morning coffee.” A typical Brazilian breakfast is light and designed to be prepared and eaten quickly during the week. But on the weekends, Brazilian breakfasts are often more sophisticated. They prefer having breakfast at home between 6:00 and 8:30 AM.
The Brazilian breakfast dish that I chose is Rabanada (Brazilian French Toast). Brazilian French Toast is different from American French Toast. How so, you ask? Well, to start, the bread used to make Brazilian French Toast has to be stale, has either a round or oval shape, and is cut thick. The bread slices are first soaked in milk and beaten eggs, fried in oil, and then sprinkled with a cinnamon sugar mixture. Brazilian French Toast has a custard type texture inside and crunchier on the outside, and sweeter than its American counterpart. Rabanadas are commonly enjoyed as a dessert or afternoon treat, rather than as a breakfast food. But in my case, we decided to enjoy it at as breakfast treat!
So please have a seat, and enjoy a good cup of Arabica coffee with your Brazilian French Toast.