|Mardi Gras, or Carnival, celebrated February 20-24 this year, is Brazil’s largest annual celebration. The four-day party was brought to South America from Europe, and the Brazilians made it their own. The Mardi Gras celebration marks the beginning of the 40 day Lent season, starting on Saturday and ending on Fat Tuesday, or Mardi gras in French.
Every year, Brazilian Mardi Gras attracts millions of tourists as well as local celebrants. Each Brazilian city has its own Carnival traditions, including elaborate parades, masquerade balls and other social gatherings, and, of course, feasts. Carnival is believed to have originated from the Italian words carne vale, meaning farewell to meat. The feasts offer meat, and plenty of it.
If there’s a Brazilian-style churrascaria restaurant in your town, there’s no better place to order up a Caipirinha or two and celebrate Carnival. Texas de Brazil, one of the country’s premiere Churrascarias (there are 14 domestic locations—find one near you), offers these suggestions if you’d like to prepare an authentic Brazilian menu to celebrate Carnival at home:
The caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail, made
|– Caipirinha Cocktail. Brazil’s signature cocktail, the Caipirinha is made with cachaça, an intensely sweet Brazilian spirit. Learn more about cachaça and get Caipirinha recipes.
– Brazilian Feijoada. Carnival’s signature dish is also the national dish of Brazil, and the perfect comfort food on winter night. Feijoada is a stew made of several types of meat cooked with beans and traditionally served with a side of white rice, salad and peeled oranges. It’s the cassoulet of Brazil.
– Churrasco de Fraldinha. In Brazil, churrasco is the term for barbecue and fraldinha is flank steak. The Churrasco de Fraldinha is a meal for meat lovers only; Brazilians use the best meat and cooking techniques so no sauce is needed, but you could make the Brazillian vinaigrette. If you have a grill, invite the gang over for a Churrasco de Fraldinha and Caipirinhas. It will be a memorable occasion!
– Brazilian Vinaigrette. Similar to Pico de Gallo or salsa, a Brazilian vinaigrette can be made as spicy or mild as needed and is traditionally served over meats.
– Papaya Cream. An easy-to-make dessert that will have you thinking it is summertime. Papaya Cream is a chilled dessert of fresh papaya and cream, a popular and traditional Brazilian treat.
Make your reservations—or start party planning—today.
Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.