Food In Brazil

Curitiba Travel Blog

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There are many differences between the foods here Brazil compared with those found in Argentina.  Both countries have great cuisines and serve high quality and quantity meat products.  However, Brazil has the trademark churrascarias that serve limitless amounts of many kinds of beef, pork and chicken.  Another great characteristic of Brazilian food is their inclusion of spice into the meal.  You can find hot sauce at almost every restaurant that we have been to, whereas, in Argentina we only found one. 


The variety of foods offered here also supercedes those of Argentina as well.  There are Korean, Mexican, Japanese, Italian and American food establishments located all over the country.  With regard to Italian food, the pizza here has been incredible.  Brazil, unlike any other country I have visited, serves desert pizzas that range from chocolate banana to apple pie.  This is unique to Brazilian pizzerias. 


Another interesting aspect of eating in Brazil includes their many buffet livres, or all-you-can-eat buffets.  In many of these restaurants you pay by the kilo for your food  these types of restaurants have fresh salads and fruits, various meats, rice and beans, deserts, pasta dishes, etc.  Unique here as well, you can find these sorts of establishments at the large bus stops off many highways.  They serve these same buffets by the kilo as well.  In the end, the food in Brazil is great and is much more diverse and flavorful than in Argentina.

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Jeitinho Brasileiro.  What does this short Brazilian phrase really mean?  To me, it would seem to encompass a lot more than a simple explanation could afford.  Jeitinho is nothing and everything at the same time.


Depending upon who you ask about its meaning, you will receive various answers and explanations.  At first glance, a jeitinho is a favor acted upon in a certain Brazilian way.  It is also the Brazilian way of life; it is surviving and finding a way to carry on in a specifically Brazilian style.  Argentina and Uruguay both have similar terms that explain their specific ways of life that are equally as ambiguous. 


According to some readings I have done, there are multiple aspects of jeitinho Brasileiro, but these contain limited descriptions from various personal points of view.  I have asked numerous persons about the true meaning of jeitinho and, again, have gotten a wide range of responses.  Some of these have included that it could mean almost anything.  Others have stated that it is simply a unique term created by the Brazilians to distinguish their culture from others that, in the end, means practically nothing. 


We did come to our own conclusions about the meaning of jeitinho.  We began to call our canine companion in Florianopolis Jeitinha.  This is yet another meaning of the ambiguous term.  So, ultimately for Brazil, the term jeitinho Brasileiro changes with each person who interprets its meaning.

Marijuana is illegal in Brazil.  However, during my stay in Florianopolis, weed was quite present in everyday life.  I often smelled the drug being used while walking to and from our pousada.  Many locals could be seen smoking it as they traveled down the street at any time of the day. 


Also, more than once either me or a group of us were approached by young local men trying to sell it to us.  This happened right in front of a crowded gas station and directly outside of a supermarket.  Surprisingly, they were never pushy or very persistent about selling it to us.  In fact, they were very calm about it and simply were asking if we wanted to buy some. 


None of these individuals seemed to worry about being caught or arrested considering what they were doing was illegal.  However, I witnessed virtually zero policemen around the city.  In Buenos Aires, officers were often seen, both on foot at some street corners and driving by on patrol.  I never once saw or felt this same police presence in Florianopolis. 


So, it seems to be more understandable that these marijuana users and sellers are so relaxed about their illegal behaviors.  At least in Florianopolis, Brazil seems to have turned a blind eye towards enforcing their laws regarding the illegal usage of marijuana.

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photo by: joesu