How Pizza in Brazil is Different
Italian immigrants came to Brazil in the late 19th and early 20th century. They were incentivized to work as laborers, predominantly in the coffee fields. Between 1880 and 1900, over 1 million Italian immigrants arrived in Brazil, bringing their customs and cuisine with them.
Today, over 30 million Brazilians claim Italian ancestry-the largest population outside of Italy itself. It is no surprise, then, that Italian food is extremely popular. Pizza, in particular, is a national favorite. There are over 6000 pizzerias in Sao Paulo alone, and Brazilians love it so much that many restaurants offer a set price for all-you-can-eat (“rodizio”) slices.
Brazilian Pizza Toppings
Most Brazilian pizza starts with a thin, crisp crust and a traditional base of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. From there, the toppings range from the familiar to the adventurous. The quintessential “Brazilian” pizza is known on menus as a pizza portuguesa.
Portuguese-style pizza includes ham, calabresa sausage, bell peppers, sliced tomato, onion, black olives, and boiled eggs. Variations may also include green peas or corn.
Another favorite in Brazil is the pizza de frango com Catupiry. This translates to “chicken with Catupiry,” which is a brand of Brazilian cream cheese that finds its way in much of the country’s cuisine. The pizza crust is topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and shredded chicken, then drizzled with the Brazilian cream cheese.
Dessert pizzas are also popular in Brazil. In fact, it is quite common to order a pizza that is half sweet and half savory. Condensed milk, coconut flakes, chocolate, bananas, and strawberries are some common sweet toppings.
All You Can Eat Pizza in Brazil
In the US, “all you can eat” is typically associated with buffets or other self-serve dining experiences. In Brazil, servers present various dishes to seated guests, who can accept or decline the offer of food. The servers come round continuously throughout the evening, a style of dining known as rodizio. This is the same style of eating found in Brazilian steakhouses, or churrascarias.
Americans might be surprised to learn that Brazilians eat pizza in this style as well. After all, we tend to think of pizza as a quick meal to be eaten on the go or carried out. But Brazilians do not prefer to eat quickly, and pizza is no exception. Most pizzerias in Brazil offer an all-you-can-eat option for a set price. Rather than ordering an entire pizza with pre-selected toppings, you have the opportunity to sample many different slices at a leisurely pace .
How to Eat Pizza in Brazil
Brazilians, as a rule, do not eat with their hands. This means you can expect to see people eating pizza with a fork and a knife. If absolutely necessary, you may hold your pizza slice with a napkin, but never with a bare hand.
Enjoy Rodízio at Texas de Brazil
Rodizio style dining is a truly unique experience that combines the convenience of a set price with the luxury of fine service. At Texas de Brazil, our gauchos are trained in this traditional way of serving, offering the finest cuts of churrasco-style meats carved right onto your plate. Visit one of our 50+ locations across the US and internationally to sample authentic Brazilian cuisine in a truly refined atmosphere.