Engaging With Brazilian Food Traditions

Food is a very important part of the culture in Brazil, with people of all ages and backgrounds participating in the tradition of enjoying thoughtfully prepared meals together. In Brazilian culture, lunch is the most important meal of the day. While Americans may be content with a cold sandwich or salad in the middle of the day, most Brazilians would think that fare at lunchtime is a joke. If you are visiting this beautiful country or will be sharing meals with Brazilians soon, you may find it helpful to learn how you can sit down at the table and immerse yourself in this part of their culture.

Eat and drink like a local

One of the most vital aspects of food culture in Brazil is socialization. Meal times are used as opportunities to sit down with friends and family, and it is common to enjoy traditional fare such as beans, rice, pork and other hearty staples. The following are examples of what you may expect during meals in Brazilian culture:

  • Breakfast – Breakfast in Brazil always includes coffee and more practical fare, such as juices, breads, granola and more. This is considered a very important meal, even if it is simple or eaten on the go.
  • Lunch – The midday meal is a chance to take a break and socialize, and it is common for workers to take an hour for their lunch. Fare often includes beans, rice, fish, pork or salads. Dessert, such as flan and espresso, is often included at lunch.
  • Dinner – Dinner is typically a family event, and it may be served later in the evening, such as 7:00 or 8:00 pm. On most occasions, dinner is a wholesome and hearty meal, and every member of the family may sit down together.

In the afternoons, Brazilians may enjoy a snack of fruit or a pastry, and they may have a coffee as well. In the evenings, adults may go out for a drink and more socialization, or they might head out to meet up with friends or work colleagues. You may find that simple, hearty food paired with a focus on having meals together is what makes food culture in Brazil so unique.

Pairing business with pleasure 

It is also common for Brazilians to use meals, specifically lunch time, as opportunities to build business relationships. Meetings may be held midmorning, and colleagues and business contacts may then go out for a meal together to continue the conversation and to cultivate beneficial working relationships. Some business meetings may be held over traditional drinks, such as caipirinha or chopp, which is a traditional cold beer.

Food culture in Brazil is centered around traditional meals and important relationships. If you get a chance to travel to Brazil or engage in this wonderful part of Brazilian culture, try some of their traditional dishes, enjoy local drinks and take the time to relax and enjoy your meal with others around you.