Brasil

PEOPLE AND CULTURE

Venderora click on the image to enlarge
Brazilian culture is a Latin American culture, however, a very diverse variation of this culture with high influences from Africa, Asia, Native South America peoples and some parts of Europe, and of course there was its chief early influence of Portuguese culture. The population of Brazil is formed from numerous countries and with each immigrant bringing with them their homeland culture.

Brazilian music is a rich colourful mixture of influences from across the world and this is what makes it so unique.  The most famous form of Brazilian music, which is renowned worldwide, is Samba.  The music of the natives of the Brazilian rainforest are inclined to using windpipes, whistles, drums and rattles, imitating the sounds of the surrounding nature.

Venderora click on the image to enlarge
Majority of religion throughout Brazil is Christianity with Brazil topping the list for having the highest percentage of Roman Catholics.  Over time, many other beliefs have been incorporated into the Brazilian catholic belief system; religions such as Spiritism, Hinduism and Buddhism.  Found is also many African tribal religions mixed with Catholicism.

As the culture, the music and the religion is a great mix of diversities from around the world, and then it should be of no surprise that the Brazilian cuisine should follow.  Brazil’s cuisine can be split up into 5 regions: 

Amazonian Area click on the image to enlarge
*The North (Amazonian areas): this area is inhabitant generally by natives and people of a mixed ancestry of Indian and Portuguese.  Their diet is based on fish, root vegetables like manioc and yams, peanuts and palm or tropical fruits.  A recommend dish to try in the North is:  Picadinho de Jacaré (a meal made from alligator meat).

The North East click on the image to enlarge
*The North East (comprising of the narrow fertile coastal plain and a large semi-arid area which is dominated by cattle ranches.): In this region, particularly throughout the state of Bahia, the cuisine is a colourful mix from an old where the African slaves working as cooks on the plantations would improvise on African, Indian, and traditional Portuguese dishes using locally available ingredients.  A typical dish to try is Acaraje (a salted muffin made with white beans, onion and fried in palm oil which is filled with dried shrimp, red pepper and caruru (which is mashed okra with ground cashew nuts, smoked shrimp, onion, pepper and garlic.)

*The Central-West (the open savannahs and wooded prairies) Fish, beef and pork are dominant on the menu, accompanied by soybean, rice, maize and manioc.

The South East click on the image to enlarge
*The South East (Rio, Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais) home to many distinctive cooking styles that Brazil is more renown for.  When in Rio, make sure you sample the feijoada which is a simmered bean and meat dish.
*The South: a cuisine highly influenced by the Brazilian cowboy of the Pampas with sun or salt dried meats and flame grilled meats.



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