Brazilian steakhouses, also called churrascarias, offer amazing dining experience that’s renowned throughout the world lately. The original concept of churrascarias comes from the 19th century Southern Brazil and it further got inspired by the gauchos (or Brazilian cowboys), who used to work in that specific region.
The gauchos loved their meat and would often prepare large pieces of beef on open flames. They would further carve the meat off the spit and then share it with everyone in their community. This communal way of preparing meat then became churrasco, which means “barbecue” in Portuguese.
With the growing popularity of churrasco over the years, it spread beyond the remote regions of Southern Brazil and entered the cities. In the 1950s, São Paulo welcomed a restaurant called Carretão, which offered a traditional churrasco experience to its patrons. The entire BBQ concept here was a huge success and soon more churrascarias started opening up in various parts of Brazil.
In the 1990s, churrascarias got international recognition and popularity, especially in the United States. Today, there are numerous Brazilian steakhouses across the globe, offering an exquisite dining experience to celebrate the rich culture and history of Brazil.
A typical churrascaria patrons get variety of meats, such as beef, pork, chicken, and lamb. All these meats are seasoned with a variety of spices and then grilled on an open flame. furthermore, the meats are cut and served straight into the patrons’ plates by the staff or servers (called passadores), who keep roaming in the restaurant with large skewers of meat.
Aside from meat, churrascarias provide many other side dishes, like beans, rice, and conventional Brazilian dishes, such as a hearty stew made with pork and black beans, as well as feijoada. Plus, they serve some popular desserts and drinks, including caipirinhas, a popular Brazilian cocktail made with cachaca and lime.
Eating like churrascaria pro
Eating at a churrascaria is a totally different experience than no other restaurant can offer. To eat like a churrascaria pro, you need to follow these tips:
Start with the salad bar:
Many churrascarias have a salad bar, serving several types of sides and appetizers. You can start with the salad bar to enjoy some vegatables and other appetizers.
Flip your coaster:
Most churrascarias have a small coaster system with a red side and a green side for the diners. While the green side means “more meat, please,” red side means “I’m taking a break.” This system is good for controlling the pace of meat coming at your table.
Try different cuts of meat:
Churrascarias serve several types and cuts of meat. So, you can try something new each time. Some popular cutes include fraldinha (flank steak), picanha (top sirloin), and costela (beef ribs).
Use the tongs:
Whenever passadores visit tour table with meat skewers, they will often slice the meat straight onto your plate. You have use tongs given at the table to get meat off the skewer and put it on your plate.
With ample meat coming at your table, it can get easier to overindulge yourself. However, you have to maintain the pace and even take a few breaks in between. Although you can have as much meat as you want, don’t rush!
Save room for dessert:
Since churrascarias even offer delicious desserts like cheesecake, flan, and brigadeiro (a chocolate truffle), you need to save some room for satiating your sweet tooth.
Overall, Brazilian steakhouses provide a totally unique and fun dining experience to patrons while celebrating the tradition of churrasco and rich cultural heritage of Brazil. And, by following the given tips, you can enjoy the full churrascaria experience like a pro.
Via: Daily Meal