1. Quails eggs. Yes quails eggs are a big thing in Brazil & cheap. Legit I had never eaten or been able to afford a quails egg before I came to this country. Quails eggs are in mass in the salad section of the buffet.
2. Beer is served mainly in 600ml bottles. Don’t even be so silly as to order TWO 600ml bottles at once! (we tried it went horribly wrong) You order one at a time & with it comes 2 tiny glasses. You share from one bottle then another arrives. Slightly annoying, but Brazilian culture heavily revolves around sharing!
3. When a hostel declares itself on booking.com or such like as accepting ‘all major credit & debit cards’ they probably don’t and will ask you to pay in local currency on arrival. Speaking of cards if you are lucky enough to be able to pay on your card – regular UK debit cards & pre paid cards are classed as CREDIT in Brazil. It won’t work otherwise. Who knows why? Weird.
4. Hi is Oi in Portuguese. Don’t be alarmed when you walk in a shop and the woman behind the till shouts Oi at you.
5. PIZZA is EVERYWHERE. No honestly, Brazilians are obsessed with pizza. Some of it is pretty good but some of it is horrendous – (serving stroganoff on a pizza is a real thing) speaking of stroganoff, beef stroganoff in a croissant is also a thing here…
6. Don’t travel to Brazil as a vegetarian, definitely not a vegan (CHEESE ON EVERYTHING). Good luck if you succeed on a budget anyway. If you do give it a go you will be greeted with a menu that has salads on it that are 3 times the price as steak and chips and even if you have the black beans they are usually cooked with bacon on the sly. We found falafel in just 1 place in all our stops and salad bars or vegetarian options (if any) are usually found in shopping mall restaurants. You might have more luck if you go to buffets and can choose just the pasta & veg options.
7. The last pointer moves me nicely onto PER KILO BUFFETS. Per kilo buffets are a massive thing in Brazil. Simply walk in, take a plate (take note of per kilo price) and fill up. Walk over to the till and put your plate on the scales. Out comes a sticker and VOILA! Very efficient. We even went to an all you can eat pizza buffet in Florianopolis AND you didn’t have to get out of your seat! They legit brought you alll the pizzas and pastas to your table and you took what you wanted all for just £5.30 a person. Decent.
8. Per kilo Ice cream is also a thing and my god is it heaven. Simply walk in take a bowl and serve yourself as much as you want from the freezers. Then same as before weigh it on the scales and CHOW DOWN!
9. Jamie Oliver. Jamie Oliver sells not only Italian ready meals in supermarkets but snazzy kitchen knives too. We even found a few life size cut outs to laugh at.
10. You cannot purchase avocados in Brazil. All you sourdough and smashed avo types will be lost. Legit we visited ALOT of supermarkets & restaurants but they were no where to be found. The closest was a pre made guacamole.
11. Asian influenced food is not a big thing in Brazil. No where will you find Indian or Thai food (if that’s what you’re into!) HOWEVER sushi is HUGE! Who would have thought it? I certainly didn’t. Sushi is everywhere. There are a few Chinese restaurants but not many so if you’re craving a cheeky black bean chicken wait till you get home yeah?
12. Make sure you learn some Portuguese before you travel here. As a Brit I found it impossible to learn and I knew it would be hard to communicate but there was surprisingly barely anyone who spoke English in many of the more remote parts we visited. (This is not a dig AT all I do not expect anyone to have to speak English) Of course in Rio & São Paulo, Curitiba language skills are more slightly more common but honestly don’t travel to Brazil expecting to be able to find English speakers. This is not always the case. Even if you do speak some Portuguese as this is such a huge country accents and dialect really vary and people may still not understand you North to South!
13. People who are not from Rio will openly complain about Rio to you and tell you how supposedly dangerous it is. Don’t be discouraged about these stories we felt extremely safe everywhere in Brazil and the media plays such a huge part in this country influencing people to believe Rio is completely unsafe to travel to.
14. Christ The Redeemer, Sugar Loaf mountain and Copacabana beach are NOT overrated or underwhelming AT ALL. They are just as equally as fabulous as you see in the pics and on TV.
15. A vending machine that dispenses fresh flowers. (Jack didn’t even buy me one… sad times)
16. Sunday is a huge day of the week in Brazil. Surprisingly Sunday’s are the biggest drinking day in most places – it’s a family day so don’t be surprised to see EVERYONE out on the beach drinking til late on a Sunday and live music everywhere.
17. Weirdly enough Tuesday was the biggest night out in Salvador if you plan on heading there.
18. Selfies. Brazilians are OBSESSED with taking photos of everything or anything. Beaches are full of people taking photos and posed pics in the sea all day long. Don’t be surprised if you see couples out on a date on their phones taking selfies of themselves for hours on end. We legit witnessed a woman face timing her mum her platter of chips.
19. Speaking of chips don’t be alarmed when you first reach Brazil and see a chips (fries to you Americans) marked at £5-£7. Chips in this country is not a mere bowl of Wetherspoon’s style beer snack. Chips in this country is served as a HUGE platter (meant to be shared) so you actually get loads for your wonga.
20. Bob’s burgers is a real thing. God knows who made it up but Bobs is a fast food chain found in most cities. Truthfully it’s really shit and tastes like plastic. Just stick to McDonald’s. Brazilian McDonald’s is actually pretty good. (I love Maccy D’s and what?)
21. Uber does operate in Brazil surprisingly. It is a third of the price of regular taxis and is great if you can’t speak the language and just want to punch your destination in on the app. YAY! However like anywhere in the world, regular taxi drivers are up in arms about uber drivers so if you don’t want to upset anyone…
22. A German Christmas market. Who would have thought it? (See header photo) Blumenau is a large German city in the south of Brazil. Its inhabitants are predominantly of Italian and German heritage. It’s honestly like a German Disneyland.
23. Last but very not least grilled cheese on a stick is a big thing to eat on the beach. What could be better?
Disclaimer: this is a tongue in cheek review of our 11 weeks in Brazil – all the observations we made were very real but in no way is this meant to offend anyone. Brazil is a HUGE country and as always the culture varies massively! We really enjoyed our time here & can’t wait to return one day.