If someone asked me what I thought were the essential foods to try when coming to Rio, I would probably bore them to death with my list of personal favourites. Of course it’s a subjective, erm, subject. I know some of my favourite Brazilian dishes won’t be to everyone’s tastes. A good example would be Tacacá. I don’t think anyone would argue against it being delicious, but the mucus-like goma de mandioca will seriously challenge some people’s appetite.
But although the exotic dishes are pretty cool (well, I think so anyway), they aren’t the ones I’d describe as essential. The foods you have to try aren’t particularly fancy, but they are a part of everyday life and if I were a visitor, these are exactly the things that I would want to taste first. I’ve covered a few of them already: Pão de queijo, farofa, coxinha, pastel.
Today I thought I’d tell you about one more.
Bolinhos de Bacalhau! Literally this would be translated as Salt-cod balls, but I don’t think that really does them justice. These delicious fishy mouthfuls are one of the top bar snacks available. The crisp, golden outer crust surrounds an amazing creamy centre – a mix of mashed potato and salt cod.
One of the quintessential Carioca experiences is to spend a night chatting, drinking beer and scoffing bolinhos de bacalhau at a crappy table outside a bar of questionable hygiene. I know I wouldn’t get a job at the Rio Tourism Board with that description, but it’s true.
As with many classic dishes, bolinhos de bacalhau come in many different shapes and sizes and there is plenty of ‘discussion’ on exactly what is the best recipe and which bar makes the best. Luckily for you all, I happen to know the answer to that last question! The best bolinhos de bacalhau are served here:
|Pavão Azul (Blue Peacock) in Copacabana – officially (according to me) the best bolinhos de bacalhau in Rio.|
So there is one more on the list of foods you have to try when you come to Rio. I’ve added the label “essential food” to all the articles introducing these foods, so if you want to check the others out then just click that text in the label list on the right. And this is by no means a complete list. For starters I haven’t mentioned Feijoada yet! But I’ll save that for another time.