What do Brazilians eat for breakfast?
Food is not just the fuel for our body. It’s part of our culture, part of who we are. In Brazil, food it’s almost a religion. I’m a Brazilian born and bred and I really love eating, and when it comes to Breakfast, Brazilian cuisine is probably a lot different than in your country.
As a general rule, the typical Brazilian breakfast consists of a large cup of coffee, black or with milk, and bread. There are two favorite ways for Brazilians to eat bread in the morning: with butter or stuffed with ham and cheese. The grilled version of the stuffed bread is known as “Misto Quente” in Brazil.
The menu of the early hours of the day can vary through the country, as different regions of Brazil have their own cultural habits, including food. To have a complete overview of the breakfast food in all the regions of Brazil, keep reading.
A Guide Into Brazilian Breakfast
As said before, Brazilian cuisine has a lot of different influences, from slaves and indigenous people to European colonizers. But one fun fact of the Brazilian gastronomical habits is that breakfast is not the most important meal of our day, which can sound strange to a lot of people (especially for the one living in the US). In Brazil, our largest meal usually is lunch.
Overall, the staple Brazilian breakfast is pretty simple: a large cup of coffee (black or with milk, depends on the person) and bread. This bread is usually prepared in a frying pan only with butter or stuffed with ham and cheese and pressed into a sandwich maker.
A curious fact about morning food in Brazil is that breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. There are a lot of people who don’t even have the habit of eating early in the day and stay with just a good cup of coffee (this is my case). But there are exceptions, so let’s see how’s a typical breakfast in each of the regions of Brazil.
Coffee and bread are also always present in the North of the country, but with a nice regional touch. With great indigenous influence, the breakfast of those who live in this region is composed mainly of amazing fruits and regional products such as Açaí, Pupunha, Coconut, and Banana. In addition, there’s also the use of Cassava (also known as Manioc), always present in tapioca, cakes, and flour.
One of the most delicious and common options to find in homes and bakeries in the region is the Cupuaçu cake with a jam made from the same fruit. Cupuaçu is the fruit of a tree originally from the Amazon, a close relative of the cacao tree. It has a white hue, a texture that looks like a cream and after the correct preparation, has a sweet taste similar to chocolate.
Another traditional breakfast option is the “X-Caboquinho”, a typical sandwich from Amazon cuisine. It consists of bread stuffed with chips of Tucumã, fried bananas, cheese, and butter. Tucumã is a fruit that grows on palm trees and is known for its versatility, working well for both sweet and savory recipes. The “X-Caboquinho” is usually consumed for breakfast and is one of the most requested food at bakeries and snack bars in Manaus.
The Northeast region is one of the most beautiful of Brazil and their cuisine has a lot of different cultural influences, that goes from Portugal to Africa. A typical breakfast in the Northeast starts with the famous “Tapioca”, a gluten-free starch extracted from the cassava root that is used to make a lot of recipes. My personal favorite is crepe-like pancakes made with Tapioca flour and with a variety of sweet and savory fillings like cheese, coconut, or chocolate.
But this is not the only breakfast recipe in the Northeast region of Brazil. Many other local ingredients are a hit at all hours of the day, but especially early in the day. In addition to tapioca, other widely consumed foods are yams, cassava, dried meat or sun meat, Cuzcuz (which can be with milk, egg, or just butter), roll cake, and the delicious “Queijo Coalho”, typical cheese from the region.
In the region of Pernambuco, the “Bolo de Rolo” cannot be missing in the morning. This recipe is a cake batter made with flour, eggs, butter, and sugar. The dough is wrapped with a layer of melted guava, giving the appearance of a swiss roll with much thinner layers. Another typical breakfast food from the Northeast is Cuzcuz, which goes well with a fried egg on the side and a warm cup of coffee with it.
This Midwest of Brazil is composed of the states of Distrito Federal, Goiás, Mato Grosso, and Mato Grosso do Sul and it is very important for Brazilian agribusiness. In this region of the country, the indigenous influences are very rooted in the food habits of the population. Plus, as many states in this region are very close to the border, some Paraguayan habits have been adopted by residents.
A delicious breakfast option that is very common in the mornings in Mato Grosso do Sul is the “Chipa”. Chipa is a salty roast of Paraguayan origin made of starch. It’s tasty food, dry and crunchy on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside. The flavor is very reminiscent of Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) and the shape is usually half-moon. It goes very well with a cup of coffee.
Another very famous food for breakfast in the region is the “Quebra-Torto”. In the Pantanal region, between 4 and 5 AM, this recipe is served to rural workers who will go to the fields. The dish is a heavy combination and takes “Arroz Carreteiro” (rice cooked with beef jerky and other spices), cassava, eggs, farofa and can be accompanied by milk with burnt sugar, coffee, or even cold cane juice on hot days.
The southeastern region of Brazil is very culturally rich and with the greatest gastronomic variety, mainly in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. In this region, the most consumed ingredients in the morning are the classic Brazilian breakfast: bread, cheese, ham, and butter. But with the great influence of Italian and Portuguese, it’s also common to find Pão na Chapa, Pão de Queijo, cheeses, sausages, iced tea, and natural juices.
One of my favorites in the region is “Pão na Chapa“, a sales success in bakeries and also very consumed in homes. This is a very simple recipe, it takes only bread, a lot of butter, and it goes straight from the grill to the customers’ plate. It’s delicious.
Also in this region is located the state of Minas Gerais, where the main ingredients used are dairy products. No wonder that it’s the place where one of the main traditional foods in Brazil emerged: o Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread). This dish is always present at the miners’ breakfasts, usually accompanied by coffee and cornbread.
The South of Brazil is where I live. I’m born and bred in the state of Paraná, the best state in the country (at least for me). The weather here is different from most of the other states, it gets really cold. That is why we inherited the habits of our ancestors who, due to the cold winter days, had a very hearty breakfast to endure the day, composed mainly of artisanal products such as dairy products, sausages, bread, cakes, and a lot of coffee.
These days the cold is not as much of a problem as it was in the past, but there is still a habit of eating a lot in the morning. Here, the greatest influences are from European immigrants, mainly Germans and Italians, who came to the region due to the similar climate of their countries.
The traditional table of the South region is always very hearty. It includes sausages, jams, cakes, and “Cuca”. A very common dish around here, “Cuca” is a fruit cake that has sweet and crunchy flour on top that resembles a crumble. Tradition also says to start the day with colonial cheese accompanied with salami, bread, and maybe a homemade jam. But the good old bread with butter is a top choice as well.
What Is The Most Popular Breakfast Food in Brazil?
In Brazil, breakfast is not usually the most important meal of the day. Most Brazilians don’t eat a lot of food in the early hours of the day and breakfast is often limited to a good cup of coffee. Still, some foods are always on Brazilian tables in the morning.
The most popular breakfast foods in Brazil are Bread, Butter, Ham, and Cheese. All accompanied by a huge cup of coffee, which can be black or with milk, depends on the person. The morning menu can change depending on the region, but these 4 ingredients are always present in a legit Brazilian breakfast.
A famous dish prepared with those ingredients is the “Misto-Quente”, a pressed grilled bread stuffed with butter, cheese, and ham. It’s pretty good, crunchy on the outside and hot and soft in the inside. Another common morning recipe is the “Pão na Chapa“, a very simple recipe that takes only bread and butter grilled on an iron plate or frying pan.
What Time Do Brazilians Eat Breakfast?
Brazilians have the habit of eating at home in the morning and opt for quick meals, such as bread with butter or toast with jam. In most regions, breakfast is consumed in the early hours of the day, but there are some exceptions.
As a general rule, Brazilians eat breakfast in the first hours of the day, right before going to work, between 7 and 9 AM. However, in some parts of the country, especially in the North, Northeast, and Midwest regions, some people tend to wake up earlier because of the heat and eat breakfast around 4 and 5 AM.
What Do Brazilians Eat: https://whataboutbrazil.com/what-do-brazilians-eat/
What is Brazil’s Traditional Food: https://whataboutbrazil.com/what-is-brazil-traditional-food/