Churrasco is the Brazilian way to prepare barbecue; churrasco and churrascarias (restaurants dedicated to churrasco) can be found everywhere in Brazil today, but the tradition is original from the southern States, notably
Rio Grande do Sul; which still concentrates the best churrascarias in Brazil.
A large part of Rio Grande do Sul is covered by the pampas (which cover also large portions of Argentina and Uruguay, producers of some of the best meat in the world), flat lands with a vegetation which favours the farming of cattle; the gauchos (designation of the Brazilian cowboys) developed a particular way to prepare churrasco: plenty of meat (farmers were more interested in the skin and the fat from the animals; there was plenty of meat left to eat), little condiment (usually only salt, which was - and still is - important component in feeding animals), coal oven (wood was found everywhere, but gas wasn´t), slow cooking (gauchos spent long periods away from home, they were no rushed); to top all this, a fabulous skill with knives.
For information (in Portuguese) about how to prepare churrasco, visit
Manual do Churrasco, particularly the
Churrascarias are amont the preferred restaurants of Brazilians. Most of them work in a buffet system; guests can eat as much as they like, tasting several kinds of meat. Some of them have opened branches abroad, in USA, Europe and Japan; visit the websites of two of the most known Brazilian churrascarias:
Fogo de Chao
(the name means fire on earth, reference to the ancient habit of preparing churrasco on open air, without ovens) and
More than a typical food, the churrasco is kind of institution among Brazilians. Important events (weddings, anniversaries, football victories) are often celebrated with a churrasco, which start in the morning and goes into the night.
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