The cuisine of Brazil is just as diverse as the rest of its culture, mixed with flavours from Portugal, Africa, and its own indigenous peoples. It is very common for a Brazilian recipe to substitute a locally available ingredient for one which is not as available, such as manioc for potatoes.
The cuisine of the Southeast is the most well known, as that region houses the major cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Comida mineira is world famous; it consist of a combination of rice and beans, chorico sausage, corn, and queijo de minas, an excellent fresh cheese. Polenta and fried bananas also come from this region.
Brazilís national dish is feijoada, a traditional Portuguese stew made with beans, beef, and pork, which is often served with rice. Coffee is the national drink, and many of the best coffee beans are grown on the Brazilian highlands. These foods can be found in most parts of Brazil.
In the South, the gauchos (South American cowboys) have influenced this cuisine that is famous for its sun-dried beef and churasco (Brazilian barbeque). The South also produces the bulk of Brazilian wine.
The Northeast was most heavily influenced by Portuguese cooking; fish and seafood are abundant on the coast, and are accompanied by goatmeat, cassava, and rice and beans.
The cosmopolitan hubs of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, as well as the larger cities of Brazil house an array of international foods as well as the best of all regional Brazilian cooking.
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