What Is Farofa? The Most Popular Brazilian Side Dish

What Is Farofa?

It’s crazy how much food is important for us. It’s much more than fuel for our bodies. It brings back memories, feelings and sometimes, connects people. That’s the case for Farofa, which is probably the most Brazilian food of all. For me, here in Brazil, it’s very hard to imagine a typical lunch without it served on the table.

Farofa is a typical Brazilian side dish and its main ingredient is manioc flour or cornflour. The flour is braised with fat and ingredients like Garlic, Onion, Corn, Bacon, Banana, and others are added to it. There are also sweet versions of the recipe, and Farofa can also be used to stuff roasts.

There are a lot of typical foods in Brazil, but they vary depending on the region. Farofa is probably the only recipe that is consumed in the entire country extension, in all regions. It’s a low-cost food, easy to prepare, and very common among workers.

In general, it is served with meat, chicken, or fish. It does not require refrigeration to be conserved, due to its low humidity. It goes well with a barbecue, a Sunday lunch, or even Christmas and New Year’s dinners. To understand more about what Farofa is and how it is made, check out the infographic below.

What Is Farofa?

Farofa is one of the most Brazilian recipes of all. This combination of local ingredients is on the tables of all houses and restaurants in Brazil, regardless of the region of the country. Farofa appeared among the Indians, centuries before Portuguese colonization, being one of the oldest recipes in Brazilian cuisine. Researchers say that this recipe was created to replace seasoning in foods and not taste the other foods’ raw taste in the meal.

Farofa is very popular in Brazil for several reasons: the first is the fact that it is a really great accompaniment, which goes extremely well with Feijão com Arroz (the most consumed food at Brazilian lunch). In addition, Farofa is very versatile and goes well with several recipes. Finally, one more reason for the popularity of Farofa is the fact that the ingredients for the preparation are very cheap.

What-Is-Farofa-Infographic

What Is Farofa Made Of?

There are several Farofa recipes in Brazil, the most common ones using Corn Flour or Cassava Flour, but there are several recipes that take other types of flour. The ingredients that make up the recipe are usually salty, however, there are also recipes for sweet Farofa.

Farofa is made mainly from two basic ingredients: Corn Flour and Cassava Flour. The flour is usually fried in Olive Oil or Butter flavored with Garlic and Onion. You can also add other ingredients such as Bacon, Sausage, Corn, Egg, and even Banana (among many other ingredients).

Farofa is the result of flour fried in flavored fat. It is a crunchy and tasty mixture, with a texture that resembles a Crumble or Bread Crumbs.

Most Popular Brazilian Side Dish

Farofa is famous as a side dish, but it’s so versatile and tasty that it can also be served as a main dish or stuffing for roasts. Roasted Chicken, for example, is usually filled with Farinha made with Cornflour and the chicken giblets themselves.

One of the most famous Farofa recipes in the region where I live (in southern Brazil) is “Farofa de Ovo” (“ovo” means egg in Portuguese), a dish usually served for breakfast or afternoon coffee. This recipe is made with scrambled eggs with a lot of butter and cornflour, which stays on the fire until it becomes crispy. It is very good, especially with hot sauce and a good cup of coffee.

What Does Farofa Taste Like?

Farofa is very common and appreciated in Brazil, but there are few dishes similar to Farofa around the world, so many people have no idea what the flavor of this dish is. Although it is difficult to describe flavors in words, I believe that I have managed to come up with a good definition.

Farofa itself has a crispy toasted flavor that varies depending on the flour that is being used. Farofa is usually flavored with garlic and onion, which can also count on other ingredients to enrich the flavor, such as Bacon, Carne Seca, and even Banana (among other ingredients).

There are still thousands of other forms of Farofa in the country with different flavors, recipes that include options for all lifestyles: gluten-free, vegan, healthy, low carb, even sweet options! One of the “exotic” options that a lot of people like is the Farofa de Banana, which has savory and sweet versions. The salty one is usually made with manioc flour and bacon, while the sweet versions are made with sugar, banana, manioc flour and used as a filling or even topping on cakes.

How Do You Eat Brazilian Farofa?

There is no secret or right or wrong when it comes to eating Farofa. But in Brazil, there are some more common ways to use Farofa in a recipe or as a side dish.

As a general rule, Farofa is the main side dish in Brazil but can be eaten as a main dish as well. As a side dish Farofa combines very well with many types of food, especially foods with broth and sauce. In addition, Farofa is an excellent accompaniment to Meat, with emphasis on Brazilian Barbecue.

Another recipe where Farofa is essential is Feijoada, the most popular Brazilian food. A good Feijoada is the type of recipe that is not the same without the right side dishes, and Farofa is one of them. If you want to know more about Feijoada, check this amazing article explaining all about it. Also, Farofa goes pretty well with Rice and Beans, the most consumed combination in Brazilian lunch.

How Long Can You Keep Farofa?

Farofa can be prepared in different ways, some of them are simpler, using only flour and aromatic seasoning. This kind of Farofa can be kept for longer periods of time. On the other hand, recipes that use fresh ingredients demand more care.

Farofa made only with flour, garlic, and onion, and dried meat lasts for up to 15 days. Farofa that contains fresh fruits or meat in the recipe should be consumed in a maximum of 2 days or kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. However, keeping Farofa in the fridge will make it less crunchy.

As Farofa is very common in Brazil there are versions sold in supermarkets that can last up to 2 years. Although the Farofa made with fresh ingredients can be stored in the refrigerator for a long time, the ideal is really to consume on the same day, because one of the main characteristics of the Farofa is that the crunchiness is affected when it goes to the refrigerator.

What Do You Serve Farofa With?

I have a biased opinion in this case, because as they say here in Brazil I am a true “Farofa” in the sense that I like to eat Farofa with everything. Still, there are foods and recipes that actually go better with Farofa.

As a general rule, Farofa can be served with meats, broths, foods with sauce, or even used to stuff meats and pasta. The recipe goes well with sauces and broths for being crunchy, bringing even more texture and flavor to the dish. Depending on the ingredients, it can also be served as a main dish.

Every Brazilian barbecue is served with Farofa. There are those who don’t like it, but it’s rare. Generally the appetizers (chicken wings, roasted sausage) are served in a container full of farofa, to be consumed with the meat. Feijoada is also not the same thing without a good Farofa, to give flavor and texture to the dish.

What Do Brazilians Sprinkle On Their Food?

Anyone who has visited Brazil or eaten at a Brazilian restaurant has certainly seen people sprinkling a “bran” that looks like bread crumbs on their food. It may seem strange, but this is one of the main side dishes in Brazil and a food full of history.

Farofa is what Brazilians sprinkle in their food. Farofa is a national passion and the most traditional side dish in Brazil. It’s made with Cornflour or Manioc Flour and seasoned with Garlic and Onion. It’s very popular with Feijoada, Rice with Beans and meat, especially Brazilian Barbecue style.

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