2014 World Cup: Food and Drink in Brazil

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While you may have ventured to a Brazilian-style steakhouse in your home country, chances are you probably don’t know too much about Brazilian food. That’s in part because the country’s delicious food isn’t as well known internationally as its soccer and music.

However, World Cup visitors won’t be disappointed by the quality of Brazilian cuisine, which ranges from seafood to steaks to street food — developed over time from a rich variety of indigenous, European, and African influences.

If you’re looking for meats, you’ll find them in dishes like faijoada, a hearty stew with sausage and beef traditionally served in Rio de Janeiro on Saturdays, or in beef or ham sandwiches like the bauru and the misto quente. For a side dish try mandioca frita—fried yucca sticks that taste like hearty French fries. And for dessert, go for pave – a kind of cake with layers of cookies and filled in with chocolate or fruit.

With all that delicious food you’re going to need something to wash it down, and thankfully there are plenty of local drinks to sample. If you’re looking for something with a little kick, try cairpirinha – a mix of sugar cane spirit, crushed lime, white sugar, and ice – or submarine – draft beer mixed with Steinhager, a juniper drink.

If none of those options sound appealing, maybe guarana is more your speed—a soft drink made from the Amazonian guarana fruit (which has double the caffeine of coffee). Garapa, a sugar cane juice sometimes served with lime or pineapple, is found in street markets across the country. And other juices – mango, cashew, and plenty more – are regionally available.

No matter what you drink, though, make sure it isn’t made with tap water. It’s not safe to drink straight out of the faucet, and needs to be boiled, filtered, or mixed with iodine in order to be potable. Well water is also unsafe – if you need to hydrate, just stick with bottled water, if you can.

No matter where you go in Brazil, the local cuisine is going to be well worth your time. So if you’re going to the World Cup, make sure you get to try some new food and drink that you can’t get at home.

To learn more about Brazilian food and drink, read Your Travel Guide to the World Cup in Brazil. This free guide will also give you:

  • Top attractions in each of the 12 host regions
  • Travel resources for your visit to Brazil
  • Insights into Brazil’s World Cup dominance
  • The best ways to get around in Brazil

And if you’re not already insured for international travel (and you should be, before leaving home) click here to see why you need travel insurance coverage while you’re abroad.

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