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Feliz Pascoa: Easter in Brazil

wrapped ovos de pascoa for Brazilian Easter

Brazil remains a predominantly Catholic nation, with nearly 70 percent of the population identifying as such. This means Easter, or “Pascoa,” is a big deal. With Carnival drawing to an end, Brazilians turn their attention to the more solemn-yet-still-joyful traditions of Easter. While Brazil celebrates in much the same way as the US, with chocolate eggs (called “ovo de pascoa”) and Easter Mass, there are a few rituals that are a nod to the country’s unique history and blend of cultures. 

Pascoa in Brazil

The Ovo de Páscoa

In Brazil, Easter eggs hold a special place in the hearts of both children and adults. Unlike American eggs, which are often small and plastic or hard boiled, a Brazilian ovo de pascoa is chocolate and LARGE–about the size of a pineapple. Some are filled with more chocolate, but most are hollow and contain small toys or wrapped candies. 

The ovos de Pascoa are sold wrapped in foil that is twisted and fluted at the top. You can find them lining the aisles of supermarkets or, more often, suspended from the ceiling like helium balloons. They arrive in shops well before Easter Sunday and can set you back a pretty penny (as much as $30 per egg!).  

Good Friday Dinner

The Friday before Pascoa holds a significant place in the Christian calendar, marking the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In Brazil, it is customary for families to gather for a special dinner on Good Friday, often featuring fish dishes. This tradition reflects the Catholic practice of abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent, the period of fasting and penance leading up to Easter.

Bacalhau is a kind of salt cod that features in a variety of recipes, and will typically be found in some form for dinner on Good Friday. Bacalhau com natas is a favorite, as are fried fish balls called bolinhos de bacalhau. 

Minas Gerais Páscoa Flower Carpet

In the state of Minas Gerais and other regions, Easter is celebrated with a unique tradition known as the flower carpet, or tapete de flores. This involves creating elaborate designs using flower petals and colored sand. In some areas, children dressed in white sing hymns while the carpet is being made. 

Blooms for Palm Sunday

A species of flower called the macela, is a beautiful, tropical bloom that flowers only around Easter. For this reason, it is often brought to mass on Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Pascoa. The auspicious flowers are also used for a variety of medicinal purposes, from indigestion-curing teas to crushed petals stuffed in pillow cases to promote sleep. 

Painting of Cats and Dogs in Ivoti

In the town of Ivoti, there is a rumor that takes on a whimsical tone with the tradition of painting cats and dogs. According to local lore, this playful custom originated centuries ago when villagers would paint animals to let the children know that Easter was on its way. 

Easter Dinner Made Simple

Wondering what to serve for Easter dinner? We can help! You can either enjoy a delicious meal tableside at one of our 50+ locations, or order a beautiful dinner to go. Or, purchase one of our hand-curated butcher boxes to have premium cuts of meat, like Australian rack of lamb, delivered right to your door. 

Valentine’s Day in Brazil

man with sign that says "happy valentine's day" in Portuguese

In the US, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14. Many of us are already researching and booking fancy restaurants to ensure the perfect romantic evening. But in Brazil, Valentine’s Day is observed in June. Brazilians have similar customs to honor a sweetheart, such as flowers and chocolates, along with a few unique traditions. Let’s take a closer look at how Brazil celebrates this holiday and a few ideas for the upcoming American version.  

Why Brazilian Valentine’s Day is in June

Valentine’s Day in Brazil takes place on June 12 for two reasons: 1) to honor Saint Anthony, a Catholic saint associated with matchmaking and prosperous marriage; and 2) because February is a time to prepare for the country’s largest and most famous celebration: Carnaval.  

In all actuality, it was one rather brilliant publicist who declared Brazilian Valentine’s Day to be on June 12. Joao Doria was hired by a clothing store in the late 1940s to come up with a strategy to boost sales. 

Inspired by enthusiasm and commercialism surrounding Brazilian Mother’s Day, Doria decided to try his hand at creating a new holiday. He chose the eve of St. Anthony’s death, likely to be more palatable to the Catholic majority, while providing Brazilians a day to celebrate love. It also conveniently aligns with the Festas Juninas, which also honor John the Baptist. 

The tactic worked quite well, and Brazilians have been celebrating their version of Valentine’s Day on June 12 ever since. Interestingly, a similar tactic was employed some years later in the establishment of Brazilian Father’s Day, an idea allegedly developed to boost a local newspaper’s sales. 

How is Valentine’s Day in Brazil Celebrated?

Valentine’s Day in Brazil is known as “Dia dos Namorados,” which means “Lovers Day.” It is celebrated in much the same way it is in the US: couples exchange tokens and enjoy a fine meal out or at home. Of course, Brazil adds its own spin with a few distinct traditions.

Simpatias for Brazilian Valentine’s Day

Singles in Brazil may also perform a little ritual to attract a sweetheart. These rituals are called simpatias, or “sympathies.” For example, a person looking for love might add a pinch of salt to a rose in water, then use the water to bathe two days later. Another common simpatia is to stash a love note in a pot of basil and give the plant to the person you wish to attract. 

There are over a hundred simpatias, but the most important element in each involves asking St. Anthony to bless you with a prosperous marriage or, at least, a beautiful romance. Some even put a little extra pressure on the saint by putting his picture upside down in a glass of water or cachaca until he sends the right person along! 

Singles Events

Being single on Valentine’s Day in Brazil can actually be a blast! Many bars and restaurants hold singles events with games, music, drinks, and more to pass the time with friends or maybe even find a new significant other. 

Festivals and Parades for Valentine’s Day in Brazil

In certain parts of Brazil, the streets are adorned with romantic decorations in preparation for parades or dedicated festivals. Food, music, and folk dancing (especially samba) are very popular. 

Valentine’s Day Ideas for 2024

If you’re feeling the pressure for Valentine’s Day this year, you’re not alone. Many people report feeling stressed, wanting to find the perfect gift or create an unforgettable experience. Luckily, Texas de Brazil is a one-stop shop for a truly memorable Valentine’s Day: 

Texas de Brazil is a Top Date Night Restaurant

With its delicious food, unparalleled service, and vibrant atmosphere, Texas de Brazil is the perfect date night spot any time of the year, including Valentine’s Day. A perfect balance of upscale dining balanced by a warm, unpretentious vibe, a romantic evening is all but guaranteed. 

Texas de Brazil Offers Take Out

If you and your sweetheart prefer a cozy night in, you can still enjoy a delicious churrasco meal. Texas de Brazil offers takeout meals with all of your favorite meats and side dishes cooked to perfection. All you have to do is set a beautiful table and serve. 

Texas de Brazil Delivers

If you want to wow your date with your culinary skills, why not order one of our butcher boxes? Rack of lamb, spicy picanha, choice cut steaks…you really can’t go wrong with our a la carte and package options. They’re delivered right to your door–no shopping necessary. 

Valentine’s Gift Ideas

Texas de Brazil even has the gift-giving aspect of Valentine’s Day covered. Our online shop has a variety of unique gifts for your person, including:

  • Aprons and oven mitts for the home cook or grill master
  • Premium golf balls and markers for the golfing enthusiast
  • A gorgeous bottle of extra virgin olive oil, made from 100% pressed Cacarena olives
  • A stainless steel 20 oz tumbler that keeps drinks hot or cold for hours
  • Gift cards in all increments for the carnivore in your life

Reserve Your Table Today

Tables fill up fast at Texas de Brazil, especially for holidays like Valentine’s Day. We recommend reserving your spot at least a couple weeks in advance, if not sooner! That being said, we are here to help you make your evening as successful as possible. If you have any questions, concerns, or details you’d like to include, give your server a head’s up or include special instructions in your reservation notes. We will do our utmost to accommodate you. Feliz Dia dos Namorados! 


New Year’s Eve in Brazil

fireworks at Copacabana Beach for New Year's Eve in Brazil

As the clock ticks down to midnight on December 31st, people around the world eagerly anticipate the arrival of the New Year, each culture bringing its unique traditions and customs to the festivities. In Brazil, New Year’s Eve is a vibrant and lively celebration, marked by a fusion of cultural influences that make it truly one-of-a-kind. Let’s take a look at some of the quintessential traditions of New Year’s Eve in Brazil. Maybe you’ll adopt one or two for your own celebration! 

How Brazilians Ring in the New Year

New Year’s is called Reveillon in Brazil. The word comes from the word “reveiller” in French, which means “to waken.” It describes a feast held until morning. 

There are a few key traditions associated with New Year’s Eve in Brazil, all designed to encourage prosperity and peace over the next 365 days:

Wearing White

Many of the New Year’s Eve traditions in Brazil are derived from the Afro-Brazilian religions of Candomble and Umbanda. Candomble incorporates aspects of many of the religions of West Africa, which is where a majority of Brazilian slaves came from. Meanwhile, Umbanda is a medley of Afro-Brazilian and certain Roman Catholic traditions. 

One of the Afro-Brazilian traditions adopted for New Year’s is dressing in white from head to toe. In Candomble and Umbanda, the color white symbolizes purity, peace, and renewal. Remember that Brazilians do not merely say “Happy New Year” on New Year’s Eve. They say, “New Year, New Life.” Wearing white symbolizes this expression. 

Offerings to Yemanjá

Along the coast, particularly in Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, worshippers and revelers alike participate in the traditional offering of white flowers, soaps, necklaces, hair combs, and other small trinkets to Yemanja. Yemanja, also spelled Lemanja, is the Candomble and Umbanda goddess of the sea. The items are placed in small boats and gently pushed out to sea. In return for their offerings, Brazilians request protection and good luck for the year.  

Feasting on Lentils and Pomegranates

New Year’s Eve in Brazil also involves the consumption of pomegranates and lentils. The way you eat the pomegranate is important: you eat the flesh but save the seeds. You then wrap seven of the seeds in paper and put them in your wallet to attract wealth. (Don’t worry, they don’t have to stay there all year–just until January 6.)

Meanwhile, lentils are a popular meal at family gatherings for New Year’s Eve in Brazil. Lentilha da sorte, a stew of lentils, veggies, and pork sausage, is a particular favorite. Like the pomegranate, there are rules for making the most out of your lentils at New Year’s:  stand on a chair, table, or other high place and take seven even bites of lentils to attract luck and prosperity in the coming year. 

Fireworks and Street Parties

New Year’s Eve in Brazil is renowned for its spectacular fireworks displays and lively street parties. Major cities like Rio de Janeiro host enormous gatherings, with music, dancing, and a contagious energy that fills the air. The iconic Copacabana Beach in Rio is a focal point for millions of revelers, as they gather to witness breathtaking fireworks and take part in the largest New Year’s Eve party in the world

Jumping Over Seven Waves

Another tradition for New Year’s Eve in Brazil involves jumping over seven waves at midnight, making wishes with each leap. Even non-coastal citizens travel hours to the sea so they can complete this ritual. The number seven holds special significance in Afro Brazilian culture. In this case, successfully leaping over seven successive waves means you will overcome obstacles in the New Year.

Wearing Colorful Undergarments

While many Brazilians choose to wear white clothing on the outside, under the clothing is a different story. Most are wearing brightly colored undergarments, the color carefully selected to represent individual desires. Yellow, for example, symbolizes money and success; red can ignite passion and love, and orange may stimulate creativity.

Bay Leaves for Wealth

If pomegranate seeds aren’t your thing, you can also put a bay leaf in your wallet with some cash. Unlike the seeds, however, you must leave the bay leaf in the wallet for the whole year, then donate the money to charity on December 31. The bay leaf must then be discarded in a running water source, like a stream or the ocean. 

Easy New Year’s Eve Dinner 

Brazilian New Year’s Eve celebrations are a captivating blend of cultural diversity, spirituality, and exuberance. The customs and traditions reflect the nation’s rich history and the resilience of its people. Among other traditions, good food is a part of any Brazilian celebration. 

Make it easy on yourself this year and pre-order Texas de Brazil’s Beef Ribs Holiday Feast for your New Year’s Eve Celebration. This ready-to-eat kit feeds up to eight people. Tender, fall-of-the-bone ribs are accompanied with your choice of two sides, like our garlic mashed potatoes or feijoada black beans with crispy farofa topping. You’ll also receive a dozen Brazilian cheese bread rolls and a side of chimichurri for the ribs. Make sure you get your order in today before we sell out! 


Thanksgiving in Brazil

Family gathering for Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving is not a traditional holiday in Brazil, but the concept of expressing gratitude and celebrating with loved ones is certainly not unfamiliar to Brazilians. While Thanksgiving as it’s celebrated in the United States is not observed officially in Brazil, the country has its own special occasions and regional festivals that revolve around food, family, and thankfulness. Here’s a glimpse of how Brazilians celebrate gratitude and togetherness, along with some of the delicious foods they enjoy.

Brazilian Festivals of Gratitude

Festa Junina

This festival is celebrated in June and is a joyful time to give thanks to St. John the Baptist for the harvest and the rain. People dress up in traditional country attire, dance quadrilha (a Brazilian square dance), and enjoy various typical foods and sweets. 

Corn-based dishes are especially prevalent during Festa Junina, since the festivals take place during the country’s second harvest. Popcorn, sweet corn cakes (bolos de fuba), and corn puddings are all popular treats. The drink of choice is, of course, cachaca; but Brazilian mulled wine is also a favorite. 


Christmas is a big deal in Brazil. Much of the celebration takes place on December 24, when family and friends get together to eat, exchange gifts, and attend midnight mass. The next day is spent relaxing and reflecting on the past year, giving thanks for blessings and togetherness.

Christmas dinner almost always includes rice and beans (feijoada), fresh fruit, and rabanada-Brazilian deep fried french toast. The main dish could be a chester, which is a boneless chicken, or salt cod in cream (bacalhau com natas).or fried into croquettes

Father’s Day 

Brazilian Father’s Day takes place in August. Children make cards at school and older children buy presents like cologne or clothing. Grandfathers and uncles are also celebrated. The family might attend mass together and then celebrate at a restaurant or with churrasco, the famous Brazilian barbecue. 

Mother’s Day

Mother’s day is celebrated in May on the same day as in the US. Similarly, cards and flowers are popular gifts and tokens of gratitude. Like father’s day, cookouts are common, especially since the weather is cooling down a bit. Churrasco is common, as are picnics with classics like pasta salad, potato salad, and chicken salad.


Carnival is a time for Catholics to indulge one last time before the long period of fasting known as Lent. In Brazil, regional parades are a lavish affair, with floats, elaborate costumes, and samba competitions. The food is an integral part. Ideally, snacks are portable, so you can view the parades while you eat. Some of the most popular carnival treats include:

  • Brazilian cheese bread: nutty, chewy, cheese-stuffed puffs made with cassava flour
  • Brigadeiros: chocolate fudge balls made with condensed milk and cocoa, rolled in sprinkles
  • Acaraje: famously purveyed by the Baianas of Bahia, acaraje are delicious fritters made from beans and aromatics, then stuffed with a mixture of seafood in a vibrant sauce. 
  • Churros: plain or filled with chocolate or dulce de leche, then rolled in cinnamon sugar
  • Picanha: of course, picanha is always a favorite. A flavorful cut of beef is rolled into a “c shape,” skewered, grilled over an open flame, then sliced onto waiting plates.

Regional Celebrations

Brazil is a diverse country with a variety of regional cultures and traditions. Each region has its own unique way of celebrating and expressing gratitude. For example, in the state of Bahia, people celebrate Lavagem do Bonfim, a religious festival that involves cleaning the steps of the Bonfim Church. In the south, Oktoberfest is a popular celebration with German influences, where people come together to enjoy beer, food, and music.

Dia de Acao de Gracas

While Brazil does not officially celebrate Thanksgiving, many citizens have adopted the American tradition and choose to observe the holiday on the same day as the US. Like other holidays in Brazil, it may involve going to mass or prayers for loved ones. The dinner is very similar, usually with a turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc. 

One important difference is that there are no cranberries in Brazil! Instead of the traditional American cranberry sauce, Brazilians make a sweet compote with jaboticaba, a berry similar in size and taste to the cranberry. 

Thanksgiving at Texas de Brazil

As you can see, the spirit of gratitude, togetherness, and festive food is very much a part of Brazilian culture, and not limited to one day of the year! Brazilians find various occasions to celebrate with loved ones and enjoy their rich culinary traditions as often as they can. 

We hope you are celebrating with those dear to you this season, and that you consider stopping by one of our Texas de Brazil restaurants for an unforgettable Thanksgiving meal. Or, order one of our amazing Thanksgiving takeout feasts: succulent sliced turkey breast, peppercorn gravy, our signature beans and rice, a sweet and delicious sweet potato casserole, and fresh green beans are available in two sizes to feed the whole family. 


montaditos with cured ham

Spanish Sandwich Morsels in Brazil

It is estimated that there are between 10 and 15 million Brazilians of Spanish descent. During peak immigration, Spain represented the third largest population of immigrants to the country. It is no surprise, then, that Spanish culture and cuisine have become an integral part of the nation’s identity. Tapas, for example, is very popular in Brazil. This Spanish tradition of sharing small plates lends itself naturally to the Brazilian love of food, friends, and nightlife. A favorite small plate is the montadito, an open-faced sandwich meant to be consumed in a bite or two. The dish can be customized with all sorts of toppings depending on local preferences. 

What Are Montaditos?

Montaditos are, essentially, bite-sized, open-faced sandwiches. Various toppings are traditionally served on slices of french baguette, either toasted or fresh (other types of bread may be used, however). 

The term “montadito” itself derives from the Spanish word “montar,” which means “to mount” or “to place on top.” It is a reference to the meats and cheeses piled atop the bread slices. Interestingly, the word “montar” in Portuguese means “to assemble,” also a relevant description. 

Montaditos were likely the first type of sandwich ever eaten in Spain. There is evidence of such sandwiches as early as the 15th century, when it was not uncommon for peasants to use a slice of bread as a plate. Hardened bread was fashioned into a “trencher,” or hollowed out dish to accommodate any available food. 

Such dishes allowed for even the stale bread to have use, since certain toppings might soak into it and make it edible. This practice may date even farther back than the middle ages to Ancient Rome, when fresh pressed olive oil could be sampled with a slice of bread.

Montadito Topping Ideas

The beauty of montaditos lies in their versatility. From savory to sweet, there’s a wide array of toppings to suit every palate. Brazilian favorites include:

  1. Jamón Ibérico: Thin slices of the renowned Spanish cured ham, jamón ibérico, adorn many montaditos. The silky texture and rich flavor of the ham provide a delightful contrast to the crunch of the bread.
  2. Manchego Cheese: Aged and nutty, manchego cheese adds a delightful richness to montaditos. It can be paired with quince paste or drizzled with honey for a perfect sweet-savory balance.
  3. Chorizo: Slices of spicy chorizo sausage bring a burst of flavor to montaditos. The smoky and tangy notes of chorizo are often offset with fresh tomatoes or a sweet tomato spread.
  4. Roast Beef: a Brazilian meal is rarely complete without a little red meat, and that includes montaditos. 
  5. Roasted Peppers: Sweet and smoky roasted red peppers add a burst of color and a touch of sweetness to the montadito.
  6. Anchovies: These small fish are a favorite topping, offering a briny and umami-packed punch that tantalizes the taste buds.
  7. Paté: Various types of paté, such as duck liver or seafood paté, add a creamy and luxurious element to montaditos.
  8. Brie: a French twist often combines the creamy Brie cheese with vegetarian montadito options, like juicy tomatoes or fried eggplant. 

Montaditos vs Crostini

Crostini are an Italian dish that is very similar to montaditos. However, where montaditos always constitute some kind of topping, crostini may be served simply toasted and with a brush of olive oil. They are also considered an “antipasti,” or appetizer, as opposed to a small course. 

Bruschetta are another Italian bread dish that incorporates toppings over grilled toast. These are most often associated with fresh vegetable and herb toppings, such as the ubiquitous tomato and basil combo. But, like montaditos, they can be endlessly customized. 

Simple Montadito Recipe


1 loaf of French baguette
4 ounces parmesan or pecorino cheese
4 ounces capicola
1 jar fig preserves
Small handful of Arugula
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. 
  2. Slice your baguette into thin slices, 1-2 inches wide.
  3. Put the slices on a lined baking sheet and drizzle each with a little olive oil and a dash of salt. 
  4. Toast the bread until it is golden brown, around 10 minutes. 
  5. When the toast is cool enough to handle, spread each slice with a generous amount of fig preserves. 
  6. Layer each montadito with a slice or two of capicola, a thin slice of parmesan, followed by a garnish of arugula. 

Enjoy with a glass of Spanish rioja or a refreshing caipirinha. 

More delicious Brazilian Recipes to try:

Carne Seca (Brazilian Beef Jerky)

Shredded carne seca in a white bowl on tea towel

From the parma hams of Spain to the salted cod of Scandinavia, meat preservation has existed in cultures around the globe since ancient times. Prior to refrigeration, it was a crucial means of making food last longer by preventing spoilage from bacteria and other contaminants. In Brazil, a ration of dried beef was a staple for the gauchos, who required fast and shelf-stable ingredients while driving cattle across the country. Known simply as carne seca (“dried beef”), this Brazilian version of beef jerky remains popular both as a snack and an ingredient. Let’s take a closer look at the history of carne seca in Brazilian cuisine, how it is made, and how it differs from North American beef jerky. 

Carne Seca in Brazil

The first iterations of carne seca in South America were known as charqui, a Quechua term that referred to various types of meat, mostly llama, that were cut in thin strips and dried in the sun. “Charqui” is, in fact, where the word “jerky” comes from. 

There are variations of carne seca according to region. Beef has replaced llama as the most common type of carne seca, although other meats can be used. All Brazilian beef jerky recipes typically involve salt to draw out the moisture and speed the drying process. More or less salt is used depending on local tastes, and other seasonings may be added, such as pepper, and ground herbs. 

What Type of Beef is Used for Carne Seca?

You can use any kind of beef you like to make homemade carne seca. However, it is best to use a leaner cut, such as a top round, bottom round, or flank steak. Picanha will also work beautifully, since the majority of its fat exists in a thick cap on top of very lean muscle. 

North American vs Brazilian Beef Jerky

While carne seca is, indeed, a kind of beef jerky, it has some key differences with its American counterpart. In the US, we think of beef jerky as bite-sized, fairly thick pieces of salted, dried beef that you eat with your hands on the go. The meat often has a smoky or peppery flavor, and is rarely used in cooking.

In Brazil, by contrast, carne seca is utilized predominantly as an ingredient in main courses, such as feijoada and arroz carreteiro. It is usually air dried, as opposed to American jerky, which can be smoked. Prior to using in a recipe, carne seca is typically rinsed to remove excess salt then rehydrated.

The appearance of Brazilian beef jerky is also different. It is often shredded finely, especially when accompanying a side of Brazilian rice and beans. This gives it a more satisfying texture that is much less chewy than larger pieces would be. 

Can You Make Carne Seca at Home?

Absolutely! To make carne seca at home, you basically need three ingredients: beef, salt, and sun. It is also best done in a fairly dry climate, since humidity will attract more pests (even with all that salt). Otherwise, you can use a dehydrator or a Biltong box (see below). 

Homemade Carne Seca Basic Recipe

1. Prepare the Beef

Trim excess fat away from your cut of beef. Then, place it on a baking sheet in the freezer for around 15 minutes until it is partially frozen. This will make it easier to slice into strips.

2. Cut the Beef

Cut the beef in very thin strips (3-4 mm) against the grain. If you have a friend at your local butcher’s, you could ask them to do this for you with the deli slicer and save you a lot of time.

3. Salt the Beef

For every 8 oz of beef you have, add 1 tablespoon of salt. Mix with your hands to be sure all the strips are evenly coated.

4. Cure the Beef

Cover your salted beef strips and refrigerate them for four hours. 

5. Dry the Beef

Now, for the drying. You have a couple options for this. You can be a real gaucho and attempt to sun-dry your beef by hanging it up somehow. A clothesline can come in handy for this method. Simply drape the thin strips over the meat and let the sun do the work. This will take several days and can most certainly invite pests, like birds and insects. Unless you are able to maintain fairly constant vigilance, we recommend either a dehydrator or a Biltong box. 

If using a dehydrator, you can go high and fast or low and slow. We prefer the low and slow method, which sets the dehydrator at 105 degrees Fahrenheit and slowly dries the meat over 20 hours or so. 

The Biltong box is closer to the traditional method, since it involves air drying; but it is protected from pests inside a box. The Biltong box is actually named after a kind of preserved meat eaten in South Africa. Buying one online can set you back a pretty penny, but if you are handy, you can make your own using stuff you probably already have around the house. 

The length of time for drying carne seca in a Biltong box will vary from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on how thick you’ve cut it. With the thickness we recommended, however, it shouldn’t take longer than 72 hours. 

6. Shred the Beef

Brazilian beef jerky has a signature, shredded texture. This can be easily achieved by pulsing your carne seca in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until your jerky achieves a fluffy, shredded appearance (kind of like the hairs on a coconut husk). 

Where to Buy Carne Seca?

If you want to save yourself the trouble and simply buy carne seca, it is easily done in the US. It is quite popular in northern Mexican cuisine; as such, many mercado’s will carry pre-packaged shredded beef jerky. You can also buy it online, if you are so inclined. 

If you are looking for a non-shredded version of carne seca that seamlessly blends American and Brazilian tastes, try Texas de Brazil’s all new line of beef jerky. Choose from smoky original or spicy, and indulge your taste buds in a truly delicious and dangerously snackable jerky. Visit our online market to order yours today. 

Capoeira: The Dynamic Martial Art of Brazil

man practicing Capoeira in traditional white pants

Celebrate Capoeiristas in August

August 3 is Capoeirista Day in Brazil. It is a day specifically dedicated to celebrating practitioners of capoeira, the national martial art of Brazil. A unique blend of dance, acrobatics, and self-defense, this captivating art form has become a symbol of national identity. In honor of Capoeirista Day, let’s take a closer look at capoeira’s rich history and traditions. 

Origins of Capoeira

Capoeira originated in Brazil during the 16th century when African slaves were brought to the country by Portuguese colonizers. The slaves brought with them their cultural traditions, including food, music, language, and even combat techniques. As combat practice was forbidden among the slaves, it was often cleverly disguised as a form of dance. 

Capoeira is believed to be specifically descended from a ritual combat technique known as “Engolo” or “Ngolo.” This is a fighting style practiced by many tribes in southern Angola. Like capoeira, it relies heavily on inverted positions (one or more hand touching the ground) and is designed to be especially useful when one is outnumbered. 

The exploitation of capoeiristas by warlords and other criminals in the late 19th century led to it being officially banned in 1890. Anyone caught practicing capoeira would be punished severely. 

The Re-Emergence of Brazil’s Martial Art

By the 1920s, masters of Capoeira attempted to bypass the ban by incorporating elements from gymnastics and other martial arts, such as judo. It was presented as a form of self defense, rather than combat technique. In 1920, Anibal “Zuma” Burlamaqui penned the first official manual about the instruction and technique of Capoeira.

Unfortunately, the attempts to hide Capoeira from the authorities resulted in it being significantly pared down from its original roots. Manuel dos Reis Machado recognized the issue, and founded the first official school of Capoeira in 1932. Although the school taught traditional Capoeira techniques, that name was not mentioned in the school’s title. Instead, it was called “Regional fighting of Bahia,” to avoid policy scrutiny. 

Machado founded an additional school in 1937 and, in large part due to his efforts, capoeira was legalized once again in 1940. Machado was affectionately known as “Mestra Bimba” by his students, and remains a capoeira legend to this day. 

Techniques Used in Capoeira

Capoeira is a dynamic art form that combines elements of martial arts, acrobatics, dance, and music. It is characterized by fluid movements, spins, kicks, and sweeps. Often performed in a roda, a circle formed by participants, capoeira involves two players engaging in a rhythmic dialogue of attacks and defensive maneuvers. The roda is surrounded by musicians playing traditional instruments, such as the berimbau, pandeiro, and atabaque, creating an electrifying atmosphere.

The ginga is a signature move in capoeira. It is a rocking movement designed to both keep the capoerista in constant motion, and to allow them to trick their sparring partner with a combination of feints and fakes. Most strikes in capoeira involve the legs. For example, tesouras are hits to the knee, and resteiras are full leg sweeps. 

Blocking is not common in capoeira, as it is considered a last resort. Rather, capoeiristas favor dodging movements collectively known as esquivas. These can be quite acrobatic. The au, for example, is a cartwheel-like maneuver that can be used to regain balance or avoid a takedown.

Traditions of the Capoeirista

Capoeira has its own traditions and codes of conduct. The mestre, the highest rank in capoeira, leads the group and guides students in their training. Respect for elders, known as “Axé,” is a fundamental principle of capoeira, as it acknowledges the experience and wisdom passed down through generations. Additionally, capoeira fosters a strong sense of community, promoting inclusivity and friendship among practitioners.

Uniform and Attire

The traditional uniform worn by capoeiristas is known as the “abada.” This term refers to a pair of loose-fitting white pants. Modern abadas typically incorporate the school’s emblem. Today, many schools do not require a specific uniform, and any athletic clothing may be acceptable. 

In addition to the abada, capoeiristas may wear accessories such as a corda (cord) around their waist, indicating their level of proficiency. There are 8 colors, with transitional cords in between:  yellow, orange, red, blue, green, purple, brown, and black. The corda serves as a visual representation of the practitioner’s dedication and progress within the art.

Are their Female Capoeiristas?

Of course! Women have been involve in capoeira since its inception, albeit in smaller numbers and not without significant prejudice. While it is not uncommon today to see women in the roda, it has taken a good deal of work to equalize the sport. You can read more about the fascinating history of women in capoeira here.

Capoeira Around the World

Capoeira is more than just a martial art; it is a cultural expression deeply intertwined with the history and identity of Brazil. Its unique beauty, complexity, and efficacy has a universal appeal. Today, capoeiristas can be found all over the world. 

Capoeirista Day celebrates the vibrancy, diversity, and unity of capoeiristas worldwide. If you know a practitioner, be sure to honor them on August 3 by attending a workshop, demonstration, or other event dedicated to this unique art form. And by all means, try an intro class! (Consult your healthcare provider beforehand, of course.)

More About Brazilian Culture and History:

Father’s Day in Brazil

Father playing with two small children

Unlike the US and many other parts of the world, Father’s Day in Brazil is actually celebrated in August. Like Mother’s Day, it is not a public holiday; nevertheless, it is still celebrated nationwide with gift-giving and family activities. Read our article to learn more about how Brazilians celebrate Father’s day and why it takes place on the second Sunday in August.

Why Father’s Day is Different in Brazil

The official date for celebrating Father’s Day in Brazil was established rather recently. In the 1950s, a journalist named Roberto Marino and his colleague, Sylvio Behring, (not the jiu-jitsu expert!) named the second day in August “Dia dos Pais.” This date coincided with the feast of Saint Joachim, who is the patron saint of fathers and believed to be the biological father of the virgin Mary. This is in keeping with many of Brazil’s national holidays, which tend to align with the Catholic Christian tradition. 

Interestingly, the original Portuguese Catholics who arrived in Brazil observed a feast in honor of father’s on March 19. This is the feast of St. Joseph, and it dates back to at least the early 15th century. Spain, Portugal, and Italy continue to celebrate Father’s Day on March 19. 

It is not known exactly why Sylvio Behring and Roberto Marino chose a different date, nor why they had the authority to do so. The theory is that Marino wanted to boost newspaper sales and Behring suggested the feast of Saint Joachim as a marketing ploy. Whether or not this story is true, Father’s Day does happen to be one of the most consumer-driven holidays in Brazil, so perhaps Behring’s tactic worked!

How Do Brazilians Celebrate Father’s Day?

Father’s Day in Brazil is observed in similar fashion to other countries, with the day being dedicated to spending time with loved ones, eating good food, and giving gifts. Children will often prepare a homemade present at school on the Friday before Father’s Day. Written notes of gratitude are also common, as are cartões de Dia dos Pais (greeting cards). Some of the most popular presents include clothing and cologne for Dad. 

If the family is Catholic, they may start the day with Sunday Mass. Then, a special lunch will be prepared, or the family may go to a favorite restaurant. The rest of the day is spent together, doing outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or grilling. 

Like Mother’s Day in Brazil, Father’s Day celebrates multiple generations. Uncles, Grandfather’s, and Great Grandfathers will be included in the festivities. 

Texas de Brazil Father’s Day Promo

While Brazilians have another couple of months to plan for Father’s Day, it is right around the corner here in the US. At Texas de Brazil, we know fathers and barbecue tend to go hand in hand. If your dad is a grill master, why not give him something truly special this Father’s Day? 

Our online Butcher Shop features hand-curated grill packages of the most premium cuts of beef, chicken, pork, and lamb. Let Dad dazzle guests churrasco style style-we’ve even got aprons and a sleek gaucho knife to complete your Father’s Day meat box. Go online and use PROMO CODE: FATHERSDAY for a special discount.* 

Feliz dia dos pais! 

*Discount only available for purchases of $150 or more. 

Mother’s Day in Brazil

young girl gives roses to her mother for Mother's DayLike the US, Mother’s Day in Brazil is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. It is a day dedicated to honoring not just mothers, but also grandmothers, aunts, and any other mother-like figures deserving of recognition. While it is not an official holiday, Brazilians still consider Dia das Mães one of the most important celebrations, second only to Christmas

How Do Brazilians Celebrate Mother’s Day?

As a predominantly Catholic nation, many families will start the celebration by attending Mass together. The rest of Mother’s Day in Brazil typically involves good food and time spent together. It’s no secret that Brazilians love the outdoors, so activities like barbecues and picnics are very common. Flowers are also a traditional gesture: you’ll find familiar favorites, like roses, mixed with more exotic blossoms, like orchids and hibiscus. 

Of course, gift giving is also an important part of Mother’s Day in Brazil. In fact, this day ranks second for consumer spending in the Nation (after Christmas). Homemade gifts are also appreciated, especially from school-aged children, who are encouraged by their teachers to make something for the mamães. (Reverence for one’s mother is instilled at quite an early age in Brazil!)

In many Brazilian families, it is the mother who does most of the cooking. Brazilians want to give their mothers, grandmothers, and aunties a break from that on Mother’s Day. They do this by preparing the food themselves or taking their mothers out to a nice restaurant. 

Autumn in Brazil

Mother’s Day falls right in the middle of the Southern Hemisphere’s autumn. May, in particular, is considered one of the best times of year to visit Brazil.Temperatures are still warm, but not as oppressive as they are in the summertime. This means that Mother’s Day is an ideal time to hit the beach or go for a family hike. 

Mother’s Day Dining Ideas

Texas De Brazil will be opening early on Mother’s Day. Most locations will open at 11 am (California and New York at noon). Book your table today for a truly special Mother’s Day experience. We will be serving our traditional menu, which includes all-you-can-eat salad bar and succulent churrasco style meats carved table-side. It doesn’t get any more decadent than that! 

If Mom prefers to spend the day outdoors, why not treat her to an incredible barbecue? You can order our premium cuts of beef, chicken, pork, and lamb to be delivered right to your door. Don’t forget the Brazilian sausages, too! Order online today to get yours in time for Mother’s Day churrasco. 

Lebanese Meat Pies (Esfihah com Carne)

esfihas: traditional Lebanese meat pies

With over 7 million citizens claiming Lebanese heritage, it is no surprise that many of Lebanon’s traditional dishes are popular among Brazilians. One particular favorite is esfiha, or Lebanese meat pies. These are a bakery staple and also very popular at parties. They can be eaten any time of day and with a variety of fillings. 

Esfiha in Brazil

Esfiha meat pies or, traditionally, sfiha, are found not only in traditional Lebanese cuisine, but also other countries of what is known as the Levantine Region of the Middle East. This includes Syria, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, and most of Turkey. 

The traditional Lebanese meat pie dish incorporates ground mutton or lamb stewed with various spices eaten on top of flatbread. Flatbreads are an integral part of Levantine cuisine, with the earliest versions being attributed to the area. Bread crumbs found near the Black Desert in Jordan were dated to 12,400 BC, with analysis showing they were likely used to make a kind of flatbread. Evidence of ancient flatbread consumption has also been found in Egypt, Iraq, and Pakistan. 

Flatbread is so-called because it traditionally used no leavening agent, such as yeast, to help it rise. However, modern recipes often call for the use of yeast or baking powder, and Brazilian esfihas are kneaded and left to rise in much the same way as pizza dough. 

Manakish vs Lebanese Meat Pies

The esfiha meat pies are quite similar to another Lebanese favorite: manakish (or manousheh, in the singular). Manakish is often called “Lebanese pizza,” since it involves a flatbread base that is finished with a variety of toppings. The toppings can include za’atar spice mix, olives, cheese, meat, pickles, and yogurt, among other things.

So what is the difference between Lebanese meat pies and Lebanese pizza? Well, in most cases, esfiha is considered a kind of manousheh. The term is simply used to describe a manousheh topped with minced lamb. 

What Meat to Use in Lebanese Meat Pies

Again, the traditional meat of choice for Lebanese meat pies is minced lamb. However, lamb can easily be substituted for lean ground beef, which takes on the earthy spices nearly as well. 

If you are looking for a vegetarian alternative, you can make a mixture of diced eggplant and chickpeas stewed with the same spices and herbs as the remainder of the recipe. 

Lebanese Meat Pie Recipe with Beef


For the flat bread:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 8 oz lukewarm water
  • 0.25 oz active dry yeast (one packet)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 oz extra virgin olive oil

For the Beef Topping:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lbs lean ground beef
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 1 can diced, stewed tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground sumac
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • Pinch of ground cloves


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the active dry yeast, 2 tsp sugar, and water. In another bowl, add the flour and salt. When the yeast mixture is bubbling (in about 5 minutes or so), pour it into the flour and salt mixture and mix to combine.  
  2. Now, pour in the olive oil and knead it into the dough with your hands. The mixture should be smooth and a little sticky, but not enough for any to come off on your hands.
  3. Cover the dough and set it aside in a warm spot. Let it rise for at least one hour, preferably 90 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make your beef topping. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add in a drizzle of olive oil. Add in your yellow onion and cook until it is fragrant and translucent (about 2 minutes).
  5. Add in the ground beef and minced garlic. Cook until the ground beef is browned through.
  6. Now, add in your stewed tomatoes and all the spices. 
  7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit. 
  8. When the dough has risen to twice its size, punch it down and divide it into around ten or so equal portions and roll these into balls. Note: if you want bigger or smaller esfihas, you can portion accordingly. 
  9. Flatten your dough balls to 4” discs, hollowing out the centers a little more than the edges to hold in the filling. You can also use the bottom of a glass to punch down the centers, leaving a crust around the edges.
  10.  Spoon equal amounts of your beef filling into each flatbread, pressing it flat and even. 
  11. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or foil. Place your Lebanese meat pies an inch or so apart on the tray and bake until golden brown, around 20 minutes. 
  12. Garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt , toasted pine nuts, and fresh parsley or mint. 

More Great Brazilian Recipes to Try:

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