llemus - are you in Brasil now? I'm so jealous!
There is so much you have to try, but I'll not pretend to know it all!
- Rice, beans, salad and beef (thin steak, tender and fried Brasilian style in 'farinha de trigo') - is the basic traditional staple.
- You have to eat the meat with 'farofa' (there are many types, from soft like flour/sand to rough like tiny rocks) with sauteed brasilian greens
- You have to go to the local 'feira' and try every type of 'pastel' possible, but if you have room for just one or two, try the 'especial' and 'palmito' with hot sauce and a freshly squeezed glass of lemon flavored cane juice
- If you are in a city, try the best 'churrascaria' restaurant in town
- If you are near the ocean, try a traditional coconut based 'bacalhau' dish
- If you are in a big city, go to the best pizzaria in town, believe me, it's better than here! Historically, there were huge waves of Italian immigration to Brasil, and the largest pizzarias in brazil have more than 100 topings!
- You should try to find the best 'padaria' in town and find out what's the earliest you can go in the morning to get steaming hot paozinhos (brasilian style french rolls), and then go back in the afternoon after lunch to try their sweets/desserts
- Of course, you can't miss an authentic brasilian 'feijoada,' ask about the best restaurant, but if possible, try to have a friend's mother/aunt/grandma cook it for you at home. Traditionally, it should have every part of a pig in it. After dinner, go to the best choperia in town and have yourself as many cold, tall glasses of chope or brewed beer you can have, of course, it is much better with the feijoada itself
- Find the most popular corner bar in the neighborhood and have brasilian finger foods/appetizers: coxinha, bolinho, esfirra (spelling?), kibe - with caipirinha or a bottled beer (antartica or brama)
- Go anywhere and have a cafezinho
What I just described above are not gourmet dishes, they are everyday 'plebeian' foods from brasil that I grew up with - delicious!