Rio de Janeiro, the fabled “Carnival Capital of the World”, has been attracting millions of tourists from different parts of the world with its gorgeous beaches, historic monuments, museums, rainforests, and of course, the biggest carnival on Planet Earth. Apart from these attractions, Rio de Janeiro is ready to attract the visitors with its other offerings as well.
Another fascinating aspect of Rio de Janeiro is that this is one city which thrives on snacks in a big way, whether it is beach food, street food or bar food. Some of the snacks being offered at many of its eateries such as churros and empanadas can easily be recognized. However, there are other snacks prepared here which though are delicious, but you just can’t guess about the ingredients used in preparing them. These snacks are great fun to eat and simply yummy.
Here are the top 10 snacks in Rio de Janeiro that shouldn’t be missed out in any case during your visit to this key Brazilian city and premier tourist destination in the world. These include Caldinho de Feijão, Globos, Tapioca, Kibe, Coxinhas, Pastel, Pipoca, Açai, Pão de Queijo and Kebabs. Let’s know about some of these famous snacks in detail.
Caldinho de Feijão
The Caldinho de Feijão is essentially a black bean soup. It is quite tasty, nutritious and cheaply priced. It is simple and thick, and very much related to the national dish “Feijoada” with black bean stew forming a prominent part. The smaller version of Caldinho de Feijão is served in a coffee mug at the bars in the city. People mostly tend to taste the warm soup particularly after sightseeing in the afternoon or when returning after drinking caipirinhas or draft beer in the evening. Those who are vegetarian should be cautious and shouldn’t believe it to be a soup for veggies as it contains meat as well. They should buy the soup only when it is emphatically stated as being a vegetarian fare.
The Globos are puffed mandioc chips, and a tasty alternative to potato chips. It is mostly sold by street vendors or at the beaches. The mandioc is a starchy tuber resembling yucca and potato. It is light as popcorn and is sold to the customers either savory or sweet, depending on their individual preferences. The Globos is mostly sold in yellow packages with letters inscribed either in red or green.
The Tapioca is cooked fresh in the presence of the customers on a hot griddle. It is prepared in savory or sweet flavors. The Tapioca is in fact poured on a hot griddle forming a crust while cooking. During the course of preparation it is filled with tomato and cheese or banana and chocolate. Make it into an omelette shape and enjoy this tasty snack. It can also be gluten-free and vegetarian. The Tapioca is mostly sold in cafes and by street vendors. For enjoying this snack, you need to visit the street vendors mostly found around Carioca metro station in Downtown.
The Kibe is of Arabic origin. This aromatic and spicy finger food is prepared with whole wheat and ground beef. The Kibe is prepared with crusty and dark whole wheat outside with spicy ground beef fillings inside. It is darker than coxinha. Kibe is a favorite snack loved greatly by Cariocas and is mostly afternoon snack.
The Coxinhas is a spicy snack featuring thick crust, which is tear-shaped, with spiced and shredded chicken surrounding it. This snack is deeply satisfying and most people in the city are now addicted to it. The Coxinhas is freshly prepared and eaten with pimenta or ketchup. It is best eaten during afternoon and is simply fabulous when taken along with cold draft beer or chope.
The Pastel is essentially a large pastry wrapping with hot fillings such as shrimp, meat, cheese, or a combination. It is sometimes deep fried and available in smaller sizes. It is mostly available in bars. Locals also visit the weekend markets in the Laranjeiras or Gloria neighborhoods to purchase large fresh pastels. Those who want to get off their hangover effects, take the pastel along with caldo de cana or sugarcane juice.
The Pipoca is in fact popcorn. It is usually sold be vendors. It is available in two options – sweet (doce) or salty (salgado). The salty option comes with delicious fillings of bacon or cheese. This however depends on the vendors. When purchasing the Pipoca you need to ask for options from the vendors or you might even look for bacon strips in this. The sweet Pipoca has kernels darkened with caramelized sugar. Some vendors also pour condensed milk on top of it. If you want both salty and sweet taste, ask your vendor to give half and half or "meia meia".