Here’s a draft version of a short vocabulary list I’m going to include in a book chapter I'm writing about Brazilian Food (which I will post here once is finished):
arroz com feijão: literaly “rice with beans”, the base of the everyday Brazilian meal: white rice and brown or black beans (preferred in Rio state). See recipe here.
azeite de dendê - see dendê
bacalhau: salt cod, used to make bolinho de bacalhau (a very popular salgadinho - see also coxinha) and bacalhoada, the traditional Portuguese-inherited Brazilian Easter dish, with potato, tomato, bell peppers and olives.
batata-baroa - see mandioquinha
brigadeiro: a mixture of sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder and butter cooked together and then formed into balls and rolled in chocolate sprinkles. See recipe here.
cachaça: Brazilian national alcoholic drink, used in many national drinks, such as caipirinha, it is distilled from sugar cane and usually 80-100 proof (40-50% alcohol). Learn more about it at Mapa da Cachaça website.
caipirinha: the most traditional and well-known Brazilian alcoholic drink, made with fresh lime muddled with extra fine white sugarcane sugar, ice and cachaça, although versions using other Brazilian fruits, such as passion fruit and jaboticaba, are also appreciated.
carne seca: salt-cured air dried beef, nowadays associated with the Northeast Region, it is one of the main ingredients for the national dish feijoada and sometimes used in the Baião de dois (see recipe here).
carne de sol: meat cured with less salt than carne seca and charque and then sun dried.
casquinha de siri: crab meat and coconut milk concoction baked on a crab or other shell. See recipe here.
catupiry - see requeijão
charque: heavily salted cured meat, typical of the South Region of Brazil.
churrasco: barbecued food, usually meat, such as picanha and other beef cuts, pork, chicken, and sausage, usually in large pieces and seasoned only with coarse salt, traditionally served with farofa and salad.
coxinha: one of the most famous Brazilian salgadinhos. See recipe here.
cuscuz: in the Northeast region, a steamed corn grits cake usually eaten for breakfast, with manteiga de garrafa and queijo de coalho; in the Southeast region, a concoction made with a tomato-based broth, usually flavored with chicken or sardines, that is either steamed or cooked as a porridge and served molded, decorated with slices of tomato, hard boiled eggs, peas, etc. See the recipe for my family's version here.
dendê: orange-colored palm oil extracted mostly from African oil palm Elaeis guineensis, used in many dishes of the Northeast Region, especially the African-inspired Bahian dishes, such as Bobó de camarão (see recipe here).
farinha de mandioca: coarse meal made from grated and toasted manioc / cassava.
farofa: farinha de mandioca toasted with seasonings and several other ingredients (such as onion, garlic, bacon, eggs, banana, parsley, among many others), served as accompaniment to many Brazilian dishes, including churrasco and feijoada.
guaraná: Amazonian fruit (Paullinia cupana) of the maple family with a high caffeine content; it is used to make a soft drink with the same name, widely consumed all over Brazil.
lanchonete: a place to eat a light meal, usually consisting of salgadinhos, sandwiches, juices and/or smoothies.
mandioca: there will be a special panel on this chapter I'm writing about mandioca, "the bread of Brazil", and I will link it here when the article is published - check back soon!
mandioquinha(-salsa): known in English as arracacha and Peruvian carrot, it is a root (Arracacia xanthorrhiza) of Peruvian origin that looks like a parsnip, but it is much creamier in texture and has a more delicate, sweeter flavor. Same as batata-baroa.
manteiga de garrafa: a type of clarified butter typical of the Northeast Region similar to Indian ghee, usually sold in a bottle (“garrafa”). Used in many dishes of the North and Northeast regions.
moqueca: typical Brazilian dish of Native-Indian origin, it is a stew, usually made with fish (sometimes with seafood) and tomato, onion, cilantro and/or flat-leaf parsley and, depending on the region of the country, dendê, coconut milk and sliced peppers. It is usually served with pirão and Brazilian-Style White Rice (rice recipe here).
padaria: Brazilian bakery where one can find freshly baked breads and confections, as well as lunchmeat, cheeses, sodas, juices, milk, salgadinhos, cigarettes, candy, etc. Some have tables and serve quick meals, like the lanchonetes.
palmito: hearts of palm, which can be extracted from several palm trees, such as juçara, buriti, açaí, pupunha (peach palm tree), etc. Should be bought from certified farmers, as the harvesting in the forests is prohibited.
pão de queijo: cheese roll made with polvilho azedo, queijo da canastra and eggs, a specialty of Minas Gerais state that is appreciated all over the country and abroad. See recipe here.
pão francês: similar to a baguette, but smaller and with a softer center, it is usually sold freshly baked in padarias all over the country. Read more about it here.
pastel: popular salgadinho, it is a fried, usually large turnover with several possible fillings, sweet and savory.
peixada - see moqueca.
picanha: the most popular beef cut in Brazilian barbecue, it is a triangular piece of meat close to the tail of the animal, called ‘rump cover’, ‘rump cap’ and ‘top sirloin cap’ in English.
pirão: porridge-like concoction made with a flavorful broth, either fish, chicken or meat-based, to which farinha de mandioca and seasonings are added.
polvilho: manioc/cassava/tapioca starch, available in two versions -- azedo (sour) and doce (sweet, sold in the U.S. as tapioca starch); also called goma. Read more about it here.
queijo (de) coalho: semi-soft curd cheese from the Northeast Region, it is usually grated and used as a melting cheese in dishes such as tapioca/beiju, or cut into logs and grilled.
queijo da canastra: semi-soft, sharp cheese produced in the Canastra Mountains of Minas Gerais state -- a quintessential ingredient for the authentic pão de queijo (see recipe here.)
requeijão: requeijão cremoso or simply requeijão is a creamy spreadable cheese from Minas Gerais; requeijão de corte or crioulo or baiano is made in the Northeast Region and has a much firmer consistency; catupiry, also called requeijão culinário, is a thermo-resistant type of requeijão used as an ingredient for recipes which was named after the brand which created it.
tapioca: In the North Region, the name of a puffed manioc/cassava flour, also called farinha de tapioca. Everywhere else in Brazil, the name of a dish made with moist tapioca starch (goma) that is baked in a thin layer, like a crepe, and served usually drizzled with manteiga de garrafa and/or coconut milk, and/or stuffed with several other fillings, both savory and sweet.torresmo: cubed pork cracklings that are fried until crsipy on the outside and creamy on the inside and served as an amuse bouche or as accompaniment to meals and drinks.