The history of Brazilian cuisine is a melting pot of cultures and traditions that have merged through time into the dishes we see today. Brazil is a country which was made up of people with diverse cultural background; every region of the country is known for a specific food specialty.
Before the Europeans arrived in Brazil, the country was inhabited by the Tupi, the Guarani and other Indian ethnic groups. These tribes cultivated manioc, a crop which resembles the potato, and from these learned how to make dishes like tapioca and farofa. Manioc is also grounded to be mixed with bread crumbs. Manioc derivatives such as the Farofa are cooked in oil and butter and then sprinkled over fish, meat, beans, and rice. As of today, manioc flour is widely used as a flour substitute by most Brazilian households, especialla in Bahia. This cassava flour is used to make pastries like bread, cookies, and biscuits.
When the Portuguese arrived in Brazil, they brought with them their already rich food culture and the country was introduced to different tastes and styles of cooking. Their influence included introducing sweets, fruits, and sugar to the local cuisine which were mainly used for desserts and special occasions. This preference for sweets was further developed and nurtured when other Europeans arrived and introduced their recipes for pastries and other dishes. These sweet treats were cooked using eggs, spices, sugar and fruits. One of the most popular desserts of Brazil is the ambrosia.
Other cultures that are present in Brazilian cooking are Arabian, German, and Japanese cuisines. Italian immigrants were also known to bring their famous dishes to Brazil. When African slaves were brought to the country, they also contributed very significantly to the rich food culture with their traditional dishes that they knew.