What to expect from Christmas dinner in Brazil?

Just in a few days, we will be celebrating Christmas. Even though it is hard to imagine this day on a sunny beach in Rio, the upcoming Christmas arouses a lot of emotions in Brazil as well. It is an extremely large country, both in terms of area and population. For this reason, Christmas traditions vary greatly from region to region. Brazilians also wait for this time of the year and prepare for it similarly as people in Europe – buying gifts, Christmas trees, preparing Christmas dinner, meeting family and friends and watching Christmas movie hits. 

Most of the Christmas customs derive from the Christian tradition and they have been adapted to local traditions and the climate prevailing in Brazil. 

Learn a little bit more about Christmas in this beautiful country.

Christmas decorations and presents

 

If you visit Brazil, you will notice Christmas trees and even palm trees illuminating with lights. Brazilians prepare their decorations in November or even in October. There are no rules when it comes to colour or the number of lights – people like to show their imagination. 

Santa Claus is certainly the most recognizable symbol of the holidays in this tropical region. All children love an old man with a beard and are happy to come to shopping malls to sit on his lap and get a small gift or candies.

Christmas time is, of course, a time when people spend time with their families and friends but the Christmas shopping madness is certainly a thing here as well. Trips to shopping malls with long lists of Christmas presents became a tradition as well.

Christmas dinner 

As we mentioned before, spending Christmas with family is very important in Brazil – it also involves Christmas dinner preparation. It usually takes place in the house of the oldest member of the family or the person that has the biggest house. 

 

Christmas dinner usually consists of the following dishes:

    • turkey,
    • Chester (chicken that has especially large chest and more meat than a normal chicken),
    • pernil (fresh ham),
    • salpicão (a mix of vegetables with mayonnaise),
    • farofa (toasted cassava or cornflour mixture),
    • rice with raisins,
    • fish,

 

  • Rabanada for dessert (kind of a french toast – sliced bread soaked in eggs with milk and fried).

 

 

Christmas dinner takes place on December 24, just after midnight. Kids get their presents before dinner as they will probably be too tired to stay up late. The party ends late at night.

December 25 is usually a churrasco (barbecue) time when everybody eats the food that was left from the day before. Normally, we usually do too much food for Christmas dinner, so we finish it the next day with our family and friends.

Brazil is a country extremely mixed in terms of nationality and ethnicity, which is why its Christmas traditions are a kind of hybrid of customs from different parts of the world. We hope that we more or less showed you how this special time looks here. 

Merry Christmas everybody.

What is the population of Brazil

Another topic that we would like to talk about is the population of Brazil. If you are thinking of going to Brazil, it is best to learn a bit about the country beforehand. We recommend learning about the climate, the most interesting tourist attractions, language, history and of course people. You do not have to know everything. Just basic facts thanks to which your trip will gain another dimension. We encourage you of course to read more about it. We will just make an introduction to this topic below.

The population of Brazil – basic facts

 

The ethnic composition of Brazil’s population is closely related to its history. Before the country was covered by the colonial expansion of the Portuguese, the inhabitants were mainly Indians. The development of plantations caused that slaves from Africa began to be imported. Over time, the white and black people began to mix. Another turning point was the independence of Brazil, which made immigrants from Europe come to Brazil. 

At present, half of Brazil’s population are white people and creole. Next, the black people, Indians, Mottos and Mestys. Representatives of specific groups are centered in specific regions. For example, the southern and south-eastern areas are inhabited by white people. East and north-east are inhabited by the black people and Indians are concentrated in the Amazon. Inhabitants are not evenly distributed throughout the country. They mainly focus on the coast to 500 km inland. The migration of people within the country occurs due to disproportions in socio-economic development. 

Catholicism is the most widely professed religion (64.6%). Then, there are the following: Protestantism (22,2%), Irreligion (8%), Spiritism (2%) and others.

 An extraordinary ethnic mix has made the local culture unique. The most known event in the whole world, that makes Brazil different from other countries, is the famous carnival in Rio de Janeiro. The slaves from Angola initiated samba that became a national dance. Everybody knows samba and knows where do people learn it the most. Those are those little things that make our country unique.

Brazil population – numbers

The population of Brazil in 2019 will grow by 1 525 000 and it will reach 213 863 000 people in 2020. Migration has increased the population by 6,000 people a year, including emigration and immigration. The average number of births in Brazil is 2 855 284 a year, the number of deaths is 1 360 165 a year. The natural increase will be around 0.70 percent per year. Since 1980, the population density of Brazil has changed from 14.5 to 25.0 in 2017.

We hope that we have given you enough information when answering the question ‘what is the population of Brazil’? As we have mentioned before, we encourage you to learn more about it before coming to Brazil. However, those basic facts should be enough for you. If you have any doubts or questions, do not hesitate to write them in the comment section below.

 

Let’s talk about Brazilian coffee

You may have heard that Brazil is famous for its amazing coffee. If you are a coffee lover, it is another reason for you to visit our country and try the coffee from the source. If you want to know more about this drink, please read a few facts about the so-called ‘cafe Brazil’ below.

Brazil is a country especially liked by coffee gourmets. This is where the excellent coffee comes from, with each of the smallest grains having an original taste and perfect aroma. Although Ethiopia is the homeland of coffee, Brazilian plantations supply the market with the largest amount of this valuable ingredient. Brazilian coffee is appreciated by professional coffee tasters who gave it the name of a ‘specialty’, as well as regular users while sipping “little black” to an afternoon dessert in the cafe (Brazil or other countries).

 

Where does the Brazilian coffee come from?

The best coffee comes from volcanic areas, with crops above 900 m above sea level, not contaminated with pesticides – at high altitudes diseases that invade the shrubs do not develop. Most of the plantations come from the times of the conquest of Brazil by the Portuguese, who in 1719 stole plants from Guyana and founded the first plantations. Thanks to them, until 1800, coffee has changed from stimulants for the elite into a drink available for everyone. Throughout the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century, Brazil remained the main producer and almost monopolist on the market of “black gold”. 

Arabica owes its name to the Arabs, who up to the seventeenth century held the palm of priority in its cultivation. The most cultivated varieties of Arabica in Brazil are Bourbon, Catuai, Mundo Novo, Typica and Maragotype. All are characterized by a mild harmonious flavor. It is almost completely free from acidity, with low caffeine content. Good Brazilian coffee Arabica can be so easily recommended to everyone: it is a coffee with a good, classic taste. What is more, it is suitable for both espresso and cappuccino.

Brazilian coffee – how should you drink it?

In Brazil, coffee is drunk all day long – from morning to late evening. Nobody is surprised that even children in primary schools drink it. Perhaps because you usually add a lot of sugar to it. After all, coffee must be sweet! Coffee is usually served as black coffee, and less often it is drunk with milk. The trend for cappuccino and latte macchiato restaurants has also arrived here. Sweet lovers will feel like in paradise – whipped cream, sweet syrup and a little bit of sugar cane are popular additions. 

The most common home brewing method to prepare the coffee is to pour boiled water over the top of a jug with a paper filter with coffee inside. The boiling water is gradually poured, so that the infusion slowly – not too quickly – drips into a jug.

When being in Brazil, try the typical coffee with sugar in Brazil café and tell us how you liked it. Enjoy the experience.

 

Benefits of Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are the seeds of the Brazil nut tree (Bertholletia excelsa) – a tree growing in the rainforest of the Amazon. Due to the characteristic look of the nuts, they are often called the Brazilian gold. The fruits of the peanuts resemble a coconut, from which, after being cut with a machete, you can extract the seeds. They dry in the sun and are being peeled. What are the details about the Brazil nut nutrition, can you always eat them and how many can be eaten every day?

How many Brazil nuts should you eat a day?

 

The selenium content in those nuts is so high that it is not advisable to consume them in excess – 3-4 nuts a day is a recommended amount. The consumption of one nut per day is absolutely sufficient if you just want to eat them just prophylactically.

They are also useful in the form of supplementing selenium deficiency – then the recommended solution is to take a maximum of two nuts per day. Like many other substances, depending on the dose, selenium can be both beneficial and toxic. In one Brazilian nut, there is about 50 mcg of selenium.

Even in the case of a deficiency of selenium, exceeding the maximum tolerated daily dose may cause unpleasant effects of selenium overdoses – eg. skin blemishes, nails breakage, hair loss or nausea.

 

Brazil nut nutrition

 

Due to the fat content, the nuts are quite caloric, 656 kcal per 100 g. However, remember that these are mainly unsaturated fatty acids, which regulate the level of bad cholesterol and reduce hypertension, so you do not have to be scared of them. They are a rich source of vitamins B1 and E, which as an antioxidant prevents the degradation of cells. It helps in maintaining a healthy appearance of the skin and mucous membranes. It also affects fertility and stimulates wound healing after surgery and burns. They provide the body with the necessary minerals in the form of magnesium, phosphorus, copper, potassium, iron and calcium. They help in combating stress and can be consumed by diabetics.

 

Due to the high content of zinc, they are recommended for people who drink a lot of alcohol (zinc enhances the action of alcohol dehydrogenase-enzymes found in the liver). They also contribute to the proper functioning of the immune system and protection of cells against oxidative stress. These nuts have the highest content of selenium of vegetable origin, already one nut provides us with daily demand for this mineral. Selenium is above all a very strong antioxidant. It protects us against the formation of cancer cells. It positively affects the normal skin condition and the course of enzymatic reactions.

Can the Brazil nuts be harmful?

 

While the nuts are eaten in the right dose, they should not be harmful. However, the problem may be the presence of phytic acid, which is classified as an anti-nutritional substance. This component impairs the process of mineral absorption, delivered to the body along with food. This phenomenon, however, appears mainly in the case of exceeding the recommended daily dose. The effect of phytic acid can also be overcome by properly preparing the nuts before consumption – just soak them in water for a minimum of 8 hours. This solution also allows softening the nuts, so that their consumption does not strain teeth in case of hypersensitivity. People who have a high risk of allergic reactions – for example, after eating pistachios or mangoes – should not eat them.

 

We hope that we have encouraged you to eat the nuts. Complementing the daily diet in dried fruit and nuts, do not forget about Brazil nuts – a healthy, tasty and nutritious snack.