Afro-Brazilian Food, Unique Culinary Experience!

Updated: Jan 27, 2021

Introduction. African flavors and ingredients that date back to colonial times highly influenced Brazilian cuisine. Afro-Brazilian cuisine is quite spicy, and the traditional dishes will delight you as an expatriate.

I. To experience the typical Northeast Afro-Brazilian cuisine, we invite you to try the dishes in the street markets along the coast and the Pelourinho district. We also invite you to share your gastronomy experience with us.

Afro-Brazilian cuisine is a unique culinary experience!

African slaves brought their customs and their culinary artistry with them. This mixing influenced the Brazilian culinary scene. Afro-Brazilian cuisine is strongly impacted by African influence, for example, palm oil, okra and banana are all key parts of Brazilian cuisine, which are direct influences from Africa. If you want to learn more about Afro-Brazilian cuisine and its characteristics, stay tuned for our upcoming guide.

II. Afro-Brazilian cuisine: Bahian cuisine.

The Afro-Brazilian cuisine emerged in the region of Salvador de Bahia in the Northeastern part of Brazil. Slaves brought African ingredients that you can find in Bahian cuisine. For instance, you will find African ingredients such as bananas, okra and yams. Also, most of the Afro-Brazil dishes use South American ingredients like beans, corn, and cassava. This mixing between South American and African ingredients created a unique culinary fusion.

Due to the African slaves' presence to work the diamond mines, there were also key changes in Brazil’s center. The culinary culture of African slaves from Benin influenced Mineiro cuisine (especially in the Minas Gerais region), which is one of the most widely used cuisines across Brazil!

III. Afro-Brazilian cuisine: Best Afro-Brazil dishes.

1. Vatapa:

Vatapa is an emblematic Brazilian dish! The dish is a very spicy cassava flour porridge with coconut milk, cashews, dried shrimp, and palm oil. Condiments such as cilantro, onion, chili garnish vatapa. Once ready, locals serve vatapa with rice.

2. Bobo de camarão:

Bobo de camarão is another delightful dish made with cassava puree, shrimp and then served with rice. A sauce composed of tomatoes, coconut milk, garlic and onions covers the shrimp.

3. Feijoada Baiana:

Feijoada Baiana is one of the most popular dishes in the Northeast Brazilian region. Slaves imported this authentic African recipe. Feijoada Baiana is composed of black or red beans, meat, mint, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and bay leaf. The different herbs that form Feijoada Baiana give it an exceptional taste.

4. Acarajé:

Acarajé is another unique typical Bahian dish. Generally, acarajé is a bean fritter fried in palm oil; you can eat it on Salvador de Bahia's sidewalks. The Afro-Brazilian dish is a ubiquitous snack in Salvador's region. Acarajé main ingredients are an onion cake stuffed with a vatapa. To create a particular taste, some locals add coconut milk and crab to the Bahian dish.

5. Moqueca:

Moqueca is a dish imported from Africa made with shrimp (or fish) mixed in lemon juice, garlic, and onions. Tomatoes, peppers, and coconut milk add an exceptional taste to moqueca. For a couple of minutes, the cook simmers all the ingredients, and then he adds a touch of chili sauce. The dish is simmered in a special clay pot, which blends all of the flavors of the ingredients together. We highly recommend trying moqueca; it is undoubtedly a culinary delight! -Black Expats In Brazil

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