Everything You Need to Know About Brazilian Barbecue

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Everything You Need to Know About Brazilian Barbecue

Read on to learn everything you need to know about Brazilian barbecue.

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What is Brazilian barbecue?

In Brazil, churrasco refers to a style of barbecue where meats are roasted on spits over a coal or wood fire. Churrasco is most popular in the southernmost regions of the country.

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Restaurants that specialize in churrasco are called churrascarias and can be found in major cities around the world.

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What is the history of Brazilian barbecue?

Brazilian cowboys, called gaúchos, tended cattle in the grasslands of the southern regions of Brazil and popularized churrasco. The gaúchos would roast salt-seasoned meat on skewers over coal and slice off pieces with their long churrasco knives

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What is the dining experience like?

In the rodízio serving style, waiters circulate the room from table to table with roasted meats on long skewers. If you’d like a taste, they’ll slice and serve straight from the roast to your plate. Usually each table has a button, light or card to indicate whether they would like a visit or if they are finished.

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You can choose from a variety of meats such as pork, beef and sausage. In Brazil, the cuts of meat are different, and the picanha, a prime cut of top sirloin also known as the rump cap, is most prized. Other popular eats in Brazil include sausage and chicken hearts.

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You can also find alcatra (top sirloin), baby beef, filet mignon and lombo (pork loin) and more. Meats are cooked in different styles, from rare (mal passado) to well done (bem passado).

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Some restaurants operate a buffet livre, which means “all you can eat”, where customers pay a fixed price to dine on as much meat, rice, beans and other side dishes as they want. Other restaurants charge by weight, called buffet por quilo.

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What kind of meat should I try?

The Brazilian favorite is picanha. The rump cap is grilled with the fat on, which is sliced off before serving, for juicy flavor and tender texture. It’s traditionally eaten in thin slices with rice and beans.

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Brazil is the stage for all the world in this year's World Cup, bringing the spotlight to the nation's vibrant culture and delicious cuisine. While rice and beans, pasta dishes and snacks like pão de queijo (cheese buns) are delicious staples, there's one national export that's become a worldwide love affair: churrasco, or Brazilian barbecue.

Churrasco is the stuff meat lovers' dreams are made of. A variety of meat, from prime cuts of beef to sausages, are skewered and roasted over embers of charcoal. The beauty of a churrascaria, a restaurant specializing in churrasco, is that there are so many options to choose from and the waiters will slice and serve straight from the skewered roast to your plate. Brazilian barbecue has become so popular that you can find restaurants in major cities around the world.

Hungry to learn more? Check out the slideshow above to learn everything you need to know about Brazilian barbecue, including which cut of meat is the Brazilian favorite!

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