5 Brazilian kitchen essentials

Cuia de mate. Photo by Gabriela Sakamoto/Flickr
Cuia de mate. Photo by Gabriela Sakamoto/Flickr

What makes a Brazilian kitchen Brazilian? Maybe the dishes produced, maybe the nationality of the cook, but also the objects that you might find there.

  • Cuia de mate – Drinking the bitter scalding mate, also known as chimarrão, is an essential part of social life if you are from Rio Grande do Sul state (or maybe certain parts of the Amazon and the Central region where the gaúcho culture is strong).  It is not merely a hot drink, it is a whole set of traditions, that include sipping the mate from a gourd that generally is lined with silver or some cheaper metal. Many people will have several mate sets – including one “traveling kit” with a leather bag big enough to hold a thermos, the gourd and the metal straw and a supply of mate tea.

    escorredor-de-arroz-300x300
    Lava-arroz
  • Lava-arroz – this clever gadget was invented in the late fifties by  Therezinha Zorowich, that works as a dentist in São Paulo. It has two compartments, one to wash rice (which is eaten practically daily by most Brazilians) and the other to let the water go.

 

  •  Pilãothe wooden mortar is normally used to prepare the national drink, caipirinha.

Pilão. Photo by Mauro Guanandi/ Flickr

Pilão. Photo by Mauro Guanandi/ Flickr

  • Cuia de tacacáTacacá is a very typical Amazonian cassava soup, with the power to numb your lips in a bizarre way. It is always served in a special bowl made of a gourd of cuieira (a local tree), which is painted black.
Cuia de tacacá. Photo by Fernanda Ramalho / Flickr
Cuia de tacacá. Photo by Fernanda Ramalho / Flickr
  • Espeto – Meat lovers of the world, salivate!  This is the metal skewer used to hold bloody steaks in barbecues and churrascarias.
Espeto de churrasco. Photo by tsc_traveler/Flickr
Espeto de churrasco. Photo by tsc_traveler/Flickr

2 thoughts on “5 Brazilian kitchen essentials”

  1. When I was in Paraguay, I drank mate and all its different types. I drink in the United States as well, but its not the same. The tradition that surrounds it is very lovely and Americans with their Mate Lattes just don’t do it justice. I know this blog is about Brazil, it just gave me a touch of nostalgia.

  2. In Paraguay the mate is drank cold, isn’t it? I always wanted to try tereré – invite me, please, one of these days. In an American café once I was offered hot mate in a glass cup and the metal straw. Sort of scary.

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