The Culinary Landscape of Central-Western Brazil


In the early days of the nation, the central-west region of Brazil remained largely isolated from external influences until the new capital was built in the 1950s. At that point, the country – and the world – was exposed to the delectable delicacies this area has to offer, including fish from one of the best fishing regions across the globe, Pantanal (which also happens to encompass the world’s largest area of wetlands).

Among the most popular and widely-known flavors and ingredients stemming from this portion of Brazil include an abundance of river fish (more than 400 varieties, the most common being pacu), beef jerky (carne seca) and banana da terra (“banana of the Earth”) plantains, which are commonly known as “vegetable bananas” and, because of their high starch content, must be cooked before eaten.

Regional Flavors:

Carne Seca com Banana Verde: Authentic sun-dried meat is sautéed with onions, garlic, and tomatoes and served with green bananas in this flavorsome entree.

Doce de Abóbora: One of Brazil’s most traditional dishes, the Doce de Abóbora is a pumpkin compote, made with cloves and coconut milk – perfect for cold, crisp weather!

Empadão Goiano: This savory, delightful pie is made with chicken, sausage, eggs, olives, cheese and herbs for a tangy, delicious bite.

Farofa com Banana: Manioc flour is a staple in Brazilian cuisine, made from the ground root of the manioc plant. This popular side dish features sautéed bananas and onions mixed with toasted manioc flour.

Pacu Assado: A river fish is the focal point of this traditional Brazilian entrée that is also roasted and stuffed with a mixture of manioc flour, eggs, cilantro, bread crumbs, and hot peppers.