There is really only one sporting event that unites the entire Latino community, whether friends or foes. It lights the fire of passion within every Latino’s heart— from young to old, from male to female, from Mexican to Argentinean. And the sporting event I’m referring to, ladies and gentlemen, is none other than the World Cup.
In honor of the widely loved month-long fútbol extravaganza, we’re going to focus this piece on the record-holders: the Brazilians. As an Argentinean, I say this through gritted teeth. Nevertheless, the 5-time World Cup winners undoubtedly take the cake for best fútbol teams assembled throughout history…. but they also know how to get the party started with their culinary talents.
From savory appeteasers to juicy churrasco to sweet caipirinhas, I think the Brazilians have proven time and again that not only are they masters on the field, but they can also show us a thing or two in the kitchen. Their cultural delights inspired this list of ideas for your themed World Cup gathering—ranging from the perfect coffee table snacks to your fiery adult beverages.
APPETIZERS & FINGER FOODS
PÃO DE QUEIJO—
They’re cheese rolls. I think I’ve said enough. These little gems are the epitome of what “treat yoself” is all about. And when they’re straight out of the oven, they’re particularly spectacular—all warm and cheesy and soft. You’ll have every guest focused on the cheese balls instead of the soccer balls.
Chicken croquettes aren’t usually the norm for croquettes, but the Brazilians aren’t known for norms. And let’s face it, we love ‘em for it. These bitesize fried little “drumsticks” are filled with chicken salad and served warm. They call them drumsticks for their unique shape—but no matter the shape, they’re delicious.
Fried yucca sticks are a great alternative to the usual French fry. They’re original, slightly healthier, and oh so yummy. Brazilians love their yucca and this is probably the best preparation for them. They’re easy to make and the perfect TV-front snack. Serve them with a spicy aioli or whatever sauce tickles your fancy.
I’m sure we all love a good Capirinha but if you’re looking for some more originality, without the hassle, then this is the drink for you. Get your hands on some cachaça and mix with sprite over ice and you’ve got a combo made in heaven. Spruce it up with some lime to at least make it look like you’re trying.
This is pretty much a Caipirinha but substitute limes for pineapple, strawberry, or passionfruit. Mix cachaça with some muddled fruit (of choice) and sugar. It’s the national drink of Brazil and you can’t have a Brazilian-themed gathering without them… So don’t be that person. C’mon, you got this.
Okay, if you don’t “got this” and are too lazy to go out and find that cachaça, this drink is your new best friend. It’s a Caipirinha with vodka instead of cachaça. And if you’re too lazy to do vodka then maybe just make it a ‘BYOB’ and call it a day… and perhaps rethink this whole party hosting thing. Just saying.
They call them the “Brazilian bonbons” because… well, look at them. To put it simply, they’re chocolate truffle balls made with condensed mild, cocoa powder, and butter—and usually covered in chocolate sprinkles. Pop one of these bad boys in your mouth and I assure you it won’t be your last.
BOLINHO DE CHUVA—
Yes, another ball shaped snack—are you picking up on the theme? That may or may not be by accident. These small donut-like dumplings are deep fried and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. They’re the perfect amount of sweet, easy to make, and even easier to eat a dozen of.
AÇAI BANANA SORBET—
Açai is the Brazilian’s claim to fame, especially these days with all these açai bowl chains popping up. Hey, it’s healthy, so more power to them. But a little-known fact is that combined with banana, açai makes for a delicious sorbet flavor. And, you guessed it, healthy at that. Garnish it with mint and you’ll be the real winner of the day.