Brazilian Churrasco..
A very unique dining experience

Brazilian churrasco. Traditional brazilian food
Brazilian Churrasco - © laughingmango/Istockphoto

To have Brazilian churrasco - as long as you're not vegetarian, of course - it's a must-do assignment when ready to experience some Brazilian food, whether you are visiting Brazil or booking a table in a Brazilian restaurant at home or abroad.

If you happen to be spending some holidays in Brazil head off to the nearest churrascaria (steakhouse) sign you see and you'll be eating grilled meat until you raise the white flag.

It's commonly served on an "all you can eat basis" which basically means a group of waiters walking around and slicing meat straight from the skewer onto your plate until you drop dead or just about.

This way of serving is known in Portuguese as rodizio or espeto corrido.

The term churrasco refers generally to any cut of meat cooked on a bed of hot coals or using a skillet. Brazilian churrasco would include fraldinha, picanha, porco (pork), frango (chicken), cabrito (goat) galinha do coracao (chicken hearts) and spicy sausages like linguica.

Popular side plates include a variety of green salads, potato and carrots with mayo, beetroot, bean salad, heart of palm and tomato salad.

The Argentinian counterpart of a Brazilian steakhouse or churrascaria it's called parrilla, including this and other cuts of meat and inside parts of veal such as riñones, mollejas, chinchulines, ubre and the usual chorizo and morcilla as an entree. Chimichurri and salsa criolla would be part of the equation, of course.

The history of churrasco goes back to the times of the gauchos - known as cowboys in US, vaqueiros in Brazil, llaneros in Venezuela and Colombia, guasos in Chile, etc - that originated at the end of the 1600s, when the Spanish conquistadores brought the horse to the New World.

They would have churrasco as part of their asado, a tradition very much alive even today in Southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina.
Furthermore, it's almost impossible to find a single house or apartment block without a built-in churrasco or parrilla for a Sunday barbeque.

Large cuts of beef, whole chickens, lambs, porks and goats can also be cooked in this fashion.
The bed of hot coals - and by regulating distance from the source of heat - makes for a slow cooking process, giving flavors time to develop and tenderness to take place.

After having some of this, you won't be asking for a single hamburger for the rest of your life.

Make a point to try some Brazilian churrasco when you're visiting Brazil, you'll get a good insight of what South American cuisine is all about.


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