Trying new foods is an important part of any trip. Why should you have to move off the road and into a restaurant to do so? These top street foods in Rio are best feasted on during street festivals, beach-side, or at family gatherings. While it is probably safe to say that Olympic athletes won’t be indulging in most of these snacks and all their fried glory, we don’t think we could stay away!
This traditional Brazilian bon bon is popular at parties, in part because of its simple recipe — just butter, cocoa, and condensed milk are needed — and because they are so mouthwateringly addicting. Eat it once it’s been cooked, or straight out of the pot, which is why it’s sometimes called “spoon brigadeiro.”
Pipoca, or popcorn, can be found on nearly every street corner in Rio. Vendors will sell it sagado (savory), fresh and buttery and sometimes covered in cheese or bacon, or doce (sweet), where the crunchy bites are smothered with caramelized sugar.
A popular Brazilian item, tapioca is made with cassava flour and shredded coconut. Cooks fry it in front of you into the shape of a pancake, leaving it crunchy on the outside and a little sticky on the inside. Like pipoca, it can be made savory or sweet by filling it with chicken and cheese or banana and Nutella.
Boasting Arabic origins, this street snack perfectly reflects Brazil’s vibrant and expansive multi-cultural community. Brought to the country by Lebanese immigrants, kibe is composed of a spiced ground beef or meats surrounded by fried wheat covering the outside. Kibe comes in raw or baked versions.
Pastéis (the plural of a pastel) are piping hot pastry pockets loaded with meat, cheese, palmito (heart of palm), or shrimp. These light, crunchy pockets are best eaten with a glass of beer or a caipirinha, Brazil’s national drink, on the side.
Full of antioxidants and other nutrients, açaì has recently gained popularity in the U.S. In Rio, açaì is best served as a frozen pulp, a bit softer than sorbet, with extra fruit and granola loaded on top. Cariocas (Rio’s local residents) are known to serve their fruits with lots of additional sugar, so be warned that this dish will be thick and sweet.
Enticed? Our parent company, EF Education First, in its mission to open the world through education, is the Official Language Training Services Supplier to Rio 2016. EF has had the opportunity to train thousands of local Rio citizens to learn English in preparation for the world’s biggest international sporting event. The value of learning English will not only benefit Brazilians for the event, but will be a resource for the rest of their lives.
Make sure to follow the hashtag #EFLovesRio on social media to keep up and join the conversation!