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Brazilian cuisine has distant culinary roots. Recipes are greatly influenced by culinary styles from the continents of Europe and Africa. This produces a fascinating variety of tastes and aromas.

Grilled or barbecued meats - the "churrasco" - are very popular with Brazilians and are invariably delicious. A steak house is called "Churrascaria", and a variety of charcoal grilled meats are served, accompanied by salads and side dishes (approx US$ 20.00). Another typical dish is the "feijoada" - a stew of black beans, various cuts of pork, smoked sausages and bacon, served with rice, shredded stewed kale, "farofa" (toasted manioc meal) and fresh orange slices. With Brazilians, it is usually a Saturday lunch special, washed down by "caipirinhas" - a typical drink of crushed lime, sugar cane alcohol, sugar and crushed ice - and followed by a relaxed afternoon nap.

Imported liquor is expensive, but several Brazilian brands are available. Brazilian wines are light, delicious and very reasonably priced. Favorite beers are Antartica, Brahma and Skol in cans or bottles (approx US$ 1.00). Ask for a "chopp" (pronounced "shawpee") if you prefer draft beer. The popular "batida" is made of sugar cane liquor ("cachaca" – pronounced "kashassa") – approx US$ 2.50 - and fruit juices like lime, tangerine, cashew, passion fruit or coconut milk.
Water - Because of the high content of chemicals used to purify Rio's water supply, you may prefer to drink bottled water, which is available plain or carbonated.

Cariocan cuisine : Originated in Rio de Janeiro in the mid-south. Though mainly influenced by Portuguese cooking, Cariocan cuisine has developed unique local culinary characteristics.

Bahian cuisine : Thrives in the mid-north along the east coast. This Brazilian Cuisine style was highly influenced by the African slaves who were imported to work the plantations. Flavors are robust. Most ingredients are West African in origin or spirit, which is not surprising considering that Bahia resembles West Africa in geography and climate.

Paulista Cuisine : From the city of Sao Paulo situated some 200 miles south of Rio.  It is the most subtle and delicate of the three major Brazilian Cuisine styles. Besides owing some of its character to the Portuguese, West Africans and Aborigines, it has been influenced by the Italians, Germans, and other Europeans who settled in Brazil in great numbers.