your guide to summer in brazil

They have a joy for life in Brazil unlike any culture i’ve ever seen

-Morena Baccarin 

The first thing i’d like to note is that December and January are the hotteeesstttt time of year in Brazil. This is the peak of their summer season. So while many friends back in the states were gearing up for blizzards and snow storms, I was sippin on a caipirinha and workin on my tan (insert eye roll here). But seriously, if you ever plan to visit Brazil, i highly recommend doing it during their summer season.  There are endless ways to celebrate the holidays in Brazil, but this is how my family and I did it (and do it every year).

What to eat?

1. Acai (pronounced ah-sah-EE)

If you don’t know what acai is, its a fruit native to Brazil. You cant visit Brazil and not try Acai. Even if you’ve had “energy bowls” in the states, its doest compare to the acai in Brazil. To start, they don’t make them with hundreds of fruits, peanut butter, etc. 99% of people either eat it plain (because eating the fruit in pure form has SO much flavor), although it is common to add granola and bananas.  And secondly, the color is not an artitifically bright purple its a deep natural purple, true to the fruit.

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2. Pastel

I hate having to explain it this way but basically it’s a WAY better empanada. The crust is not as thick as an empanada. It’s flaky and buttery, like heaven. The most popular fillings are meat or cheese. These are best eaten warm and gooooey. You can find these almost anywhere and they are pretty cheap.

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3. Pizza

You may be thinking.. pizza, what can be so different about pizza? To start, i am NOT a pizza person. very very rarely will I ever crave pizza and go out for some pizza in the states but i swear to you, i can’t visit brazil without eating their pizza. It is not your traditional crust nor toppings. The crust is extremely thin and crispy, hence why you need to eat it with a fork and knife. The toppings represent the vibe of the country, fun and unique. You can find toppings like hard boiled eggs, ham, cheese cream sauce (catupiry), corn, olives, etc.

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4. Picanha

This is the most famous cut of steak in Brazil. If you’ve ever been to a steak house (aka churrascaria), this is the cut most popularly ordered. It is top sirloin with a thick cap of fat. Make sure to enjoy a nice dinner at a true churrascaria. You wont regret it!  P.S. Brazilians like their meats medium rare, so i recommend trying it at this temperature.

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5. Brigadeiro

This is a popular brazilian desert/sweet. It is VERY easy to make. It is made from condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter, and chocolate sprinkles to cover the outside layer. It can be eaten alone or in a cake, crepe and even ON A PIZZA… yes a pizza (aka my photo below)

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What to drink?

1. Caipirinha (pronounced kai-pee-REEN-yuh)

YAAASS. Like a mojito, but wayy better. This is a staple to brazil. You cant visit brazil and not try a handmade caipirinha. The best part is that you can easily replicate these at home with THREE ingredients… cachaça (pronounced kah-SHAH-sa), sugar and lime. What is cachaca? It is a spirit made from sugarcane juice. Famous to Brazil.

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2. Coconut water (from an actual coconut)

The BEST way to try coconut water is to grab it on the beach. Its super cheap and absolutely so refreshing. You will never be able to drink coconut water the same way. This is one of the things I look forward to the most when visiting brazil. All the fruits in Brazil are so fresh. I swear every time I visit Brazil I discover a new fruit.

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Where to visit?

If you’re going in the Summer, I would recommend visiting either the city of Rio or Sao Paulo, then hitting up their nearby beaches.

Rio de Janerio – Ipanema

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Rio de Janerio – Angra do Reis

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Rio de Janerio – Itaipava (the mountains)

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Sao Paulo  – Tabatinga 

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