The national obsession with meat, meat and little more meat is encapsulated in the epic churrasco. This mixed grill is available everywhere, from street stalls to upmarket restaurants where waiters will keep bringing meat to the table until you beg them to stop.

Other favourites include Feijoada – a stew of black beans and several different kinds of meat – usually beef and pork sausage.

Fish dishes are excellent on the coast, and up the major rivers – try vatapá, dish of fish or shrimps in a coconut sauce.

Hot chilli sauce is the order of the day in Bahia, where moqueca is the main dish – seafood cooked with peppers, tomatoes, coconut milk and palm oil.

For snack food, try savoury pastries called  salgado, or empadas, which are baked or deep fried pasties, filled with meat and sauce.

If you’re on a budget, set menus are always good value, and tend to be offered at lunchtime.

Fruit is a highlight of any trip to Brazil, try some of the more outlandish varieties like custard apple (fruta do conde), amora (a red berry that’s like a cross between a strawberry and raspberry) or the large, spiky jackfruit, that tastes a little like pineapple.



Coffee addicts will love coffee Brazilian style – thick, sweet and strong enough to knock you backwards.

The local cane spirit, called aguardente but known equally as cachaça or pinga has even more of a kick. Try it mixed up with lime and sugar as a caipirinha.