(Family Features) – Untamed. Exotic. Vibrant. These are just a few of the words used to describe Brazil. From its lush Amazon rainforest to its thriving cities, Brazil is a country teeming with life. And well worth a visit.
Brazil is the largest country in South America – and is roughly the size of the continental United States. While the language spoken there is Portuguese, its rich culture has been influenced by Portugal, Africa, Europe, East Asia and its own indigenous Indian people.
The country has five basic regions, each with its own distinct geographic and cultural variations. The Northeast has the greatest percentage of people of African descent. The South and Southeast are home to the majority of Brazilians of European and Japanese ancestry, while indigenous peoples live mostly in the North and Central-West.
But no matter where you go in Brazil – the sun-washed coasts, tropical rainforests, bustling cities or wide open plains – you’ll find fabulous food.
With so many cultural influences, Brazilian cuisine ranges from the simple to the sophisticated, and blends flavors from all over.
Feijoada is considered Brazil’s national dish. It’s a stew with black beans and smoked and sun-dried meats, especially pork and smoked sausages. It’s served with traditional side dishes such as orange slices, shredded kale, rice, cassava meal browned in butter, and a hot pepper and lemon sauce.