Brazilian Barbecue

brazilian barbecue: churrasco

Hey friends! First of all, our Dica today is about something delicious. In fact, let’s talk about Brazilian Barbecue, or as we Brazilians call it: churrasco. Churrasco means barbecue, and it’s a typical Brazilian meal. It also has very specific vocabulary in Portuguese. So, today let’s learn this vocabulary: all about Brazilian barbecue food and meat: the cuts of beef, types of sausages and other kinds of meat. But what actually is a churrascaria restaurant and how does it work? We will take a close look at all this today!

It’s very common on Sunday afternoon for Brazilians to gather with their families and friends to have a barbecue. On these occasions, a nice chat in Portuguese and a cold beer are a must! I am sure you will know everything about churrasco by the time this Dica is over!

History of Brazilian Barbecue

In the past, native Americans prepared a barbecue style way of cooking due to its practicality and quickness since the preparation only calls for fire and meat! Although the origin was attributed to the natives, it was in the Pampas (The Pampas are a region of plains covered by grasslands in South America) that the churrasco in Brazil gained recognition.
According to stories, Brazilian barbecue appeared in the XVII century with the tropeiros. Tropeiros were travelers who went to southern Brazil trading various products. Cattle was initially used for transportation, but over time they noticed that the cows could be a quick and easy source of food. This is how the Brazilian barbecue first appeared in our country, becoming popular among the tropeiros, and later the rest of the population.

All-You-Can-Eat Restaurants

In the mid-60’s in Rio Grande do Sul the all-you-can-eat restaurants that specialized in Brazilian BBQ, called rodízio, began to appear. These rodízio restaurants are the traditional BBQ Brazilian steakhouses. Rumor has it that one day Albino Ongaratto’s restaurant was full, and an experienced waiter mixed up several orders, causing dissatisfaction among the clients. To work around this situation, Ongaratto stipulated that everyone could enjoy all the cuts of meat by paying only one single price! Everyone liked the idea, and today we have all-you-can-eat restaurants that function like this, serving only Brazilian barbecue. So, next time you come study in Brazil, you should see for yourself the meaning of Churrascaria : an all-you-can-eat meat restaurant where the waiters come and carve the cuts at your table!

If you ever visit Porto Alegre in Rio Grande do Sul and want to have an authentic gaucho barbecue in Brazil, you should go to one of the best Brazilian barbecue restaurants: Braseiro

But What Do You Eat at a Brazilian BBQ: Churrasco?

The Brazilian BBQ food is very traditional and easy to prepare. On the grill, you can usually find some Brazilian BBQ steaks, sausages, chicken wings and garlic bread. Other traditional Brazilian BBQ food is rice, farofa and vinagrete.  Let’s check out some of the most traditional foods you can find in a traditional Brazilian churrasco:

  • One of the most famous Brazilian BBQ cuts of meat is the picanha, known worldwide for being very tasty and tender. It doesn’t need much to be grilled: just salt and perhaps a little pepper.
  • Fraldinha e Maminha are both cuts that do not have much fat in them. It’s a very nice option for people that are simply trying to stay fit!
  • Chicken Wings are very popular during Churrascos in Brazil, mostly with children. When grilled, they get crunchy and delicious. You can easily pair it up with sweet and sour spices.
  • Filé Mignon and Contra Filé are expensive options, but they are for sure totally worth it. Usually they are served rare, and the meat is very tender and juicy. So if you like rare meat, this is the option for you.
  • Cupim is the back of the ox’s neck. It is a more consistent and fibrous meat, so it takes time to be ready. Goes very well with salads and risottos!
  • We have many options for Brazilian BBQ sausages: linguiça toscana, chicken linguiça and even ham linguiça. They are very good as a snack with a good cold beer.

Vocabulary Related to Churrasco: The Brazilian BBQ

A churrasqueira The barbecue grill
O carvão The coal
O espeto The skewer
A carne The meat (beef)
O frango The chicken
A linguiça The sausage
A cerveja The beer
O gelo The ice
O sal The salt
A faca The knife
O fogo Fire
O gado The cattle
Cortes de carne Cuts of Meat
Rodízio All-you-can-eat restaurant

How to Prepare a Brazilian Churrasco

So, let’s practice our pronunciation of each term we have just learned! Repeat after the words, and remember you can always set up subtitles!

So guys, now you’re ready to prepare a great Brazilian churrasco! Don’t forget to invite a Brazilian to taste it! Thank you for reading our Dica! Follow us on our Facebook to learn more, so you can improve and study Portuguese.
Let’s cook some meat, make a barbecue in Brazil, and of course drink some beers!

Ler esta Dica em Português               leer esta dica en español 
Click on the links below to see more related Dicas:
Beach Foods in Brazil
Brazilian Street Food
Types of restaurants in Portuguese
Rio Grande do Sul

This post is also available in: English Português (Portuguese) Español (Spanish)

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