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04/23/2014 07:00 am ET

22 Delicious Food Reasons That Prove Brazilians Are Better At Life

There's this beautiful country in South America called Brazil -- maybe you've heard of it. Well, if you haven't, here's a secret: It has the best food (and people) in the world.

Prove it, you say? Okay. Here's everything you need to know about Brazilians' heavenly cuisine.

  • 1 Warm pão de queijo fresh out the oven are the holy grail of all snacks.
    justine.arena via Flickr
    Brazilians know that there is never an inappropriate time to devour as many miniature cheesy breads as your stomach can handle. Pro tip: an accompanying cup of coffee will do wonders for your soul.
  • 2 "Fried stuff with cheese" makes up a very important part of their eats.
    Jorge Takeshita www.flickr.com/takeshita via Getty Images
    Whether you're chowing down on a chicken coxinha or a cheese-and-meat filled pastel, these small, fried delectables are truly a thing of the gods and need to be adopted everywhere ASAP.

  • 3 They strongly believe in truffles, otherwise known as bite sized heaven you can effortlessly pop into your mouth.
    Flavio Coelho via Getty Images
    If your world is devoid of the chocolate truffles known as brigadeiro or their coconut cousins beijinho de coco, please fix this now. Warning: you will become addicted.

  • 4 Their exotic fruit juice game is unmatched.
    carlosoliveirareis via Flickr
    Let's be real, orange juice is so basic. Did you know cashew juice is a thing that exists and that it's unbelievably delicious? Take a cue from the Brazilians who are sipping on everything from cashew, guava, cajá, cupuaçu, passion fruit and more.

  • 5 They knew açaí bowls were amazing before açaí bowls became all the craze.
    Steve Outram via Getty Images
    Brazilians were big fans of açaí long before every smoothie place in the U.S. caught onto the trend. These bowls are super fun to make and usually less expensive when whipped up yourself.

  • 6 Cafezinhos are a way of life -- the stronger, the better.
    Tadeu Pereira via Flickr
    Coffee that isn't strong enough is referred to as chafé in Brazil, which translates to "tea-coffee." A true testament to the fact that they don't believe in weak brews or tea, really. You won't find too many vanilla lattes either, they're not ones for all that jazz. They thrive on the traditional cafezinhos, which are espressos with a splash of hot water.

  • 7 They sprinkle this fried flour amazingness over rice and it makes everything kind of crunchy.
    Photo by Beedieu via Flickr
    Farofa, otherwise known as fried manioc flour, is one of the most beloved Brazilian eats. It's usually on every lunch table, especially when rice is involved because it's mostly used as a topping. Also, it's simple to make -- add in scallions, bacon, sausage, eggs and pretty much anything your heart desires for a savory outcome.
  • 8 Desserts are a sacred part of every meal -- the question is not so much will there be dessert but what is for dessert.
    Ethan Miller via Getty Images
    You've probably heard of passion fruit mousse, chocolate mousse and flan (pudim de leite condensado). But then there's also a coconut-style flan (quindim), a layered cookie and fruit concoction (pavé) and a papaya creme dessert drizzled with a cassis liquor. Translation: a papaya and blended vanilla ice cream dessert dream.

  • 9 Brazilian stews > Every other type of stew in the world.
    marianatavares.com via Getty Images
    If this is the first you're hearing of the black bean and meat stew called feijoada then I am truly, truly sorry. It's a hearty, chili-like dish but with a wider variety of meats and seasonings. Serve with rice, collard greens and orange slices for optimum Brazilian-ness. The lesser known barreado, also a traditional meat stew, is equally delicious and undoubtedly worth several tastes.

  • 10 They serve one of the most fattening dishes in the world, so it's obviously delicious.
    Fernanda Ramalho via Flickr
    Consider a black-eyed pea falafel deep fried in palm oil and filled with a dried shrimp and cashew cream called vatapá. They call this goodness acarajé. And although it may be considered one of the most fattening foods in the world, it's at least also one of the tastiest. Other dishes include a coconut milk shrimp stew known as bobó de camarão, a coconut milk fish stew known as moqueca, a clam and rice dish reminiscent of paella known as marisco lambe-lambe and a multi-fish stew known as peixada à brasileira. Enjoy!

  • 11 They know how to spice things up.
    fotemas via Flickr
    The malagueta pepper is one commonly used in Brazil to make different hot sauces and add a kick to any dish. The Scoville scale, which measures the heat of chili peppers, rates the pepper at anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 units. For reference, consider a jalapeño, which sits anywhere from 2,5000 to 5,000 units.

  • 12 The churrasco is arguably the best meat you'll ever bite into.
    formalfallacy @ Dublin via Flickr
    Because let's be real: a big part of the Brazilian diet is just juicy meat that's been slowly roasted over a charcoal grill via sword-looking skewers called espetos. It can be argued that the meat in Brazil is second only to Argentina's. So, that aside, these are some of the finest cuts on the planet. Pro tip: always order the picanha.

  • 13 Brazilian food has influences from all over the world.
    Guilherme Atencio via Flickr
    In the state of Bahia, you'll find a lot of African influences. More towards the south, you may stumble upon some German-influenced dishes. A couple of Brazilian favorites even hail from the Middle East. Kibe, a deep-fried, finely minced beef croquette, and tabouleh, a salad containing various finely chopped vegetables, olive oil and spices, are both common and delicious.

  • 14 They make crepe-like pancakes out of tapioca.
    Flavio Coelho via Getty Images
    Beiju, a popular street food, is similar to a crepe and comes filled with either sweet or savory goodness. These tapioca treats are made from manioc flour, the same thing that's used to prepare farofa -- Brazilians love their manioc flour. And bonus: these babies are gluten-free.

  • 15 And they've got savory pancakes, too
    Wallace Parreiras via Flickr
    The word panqueca translates to "pancake" and is pretty much only used when referring to a savory dish. Brazilian-style pancakes are thinner than you're used to, and they're both filled and topped with various types of meat, sauces and cheeses, then baked. It's basically the delightful pizza-lasanga-burrito hybrid you never knew you needed, but always secretly wanted.

  • 16 Requeijão is so much better than cream cheese.
    Capim Cideira via Flickr
    Okay, they're actually quite similar. Except requeijão is thicker, creamier, saltier and overall just tastier. The ricotta-like cheese, used to make spreads in mostly Brazil and Portugal, is especially delicious when spread over toast or crackers and accompanied with jam.

  • 17 They drink soda made from guaraná berries.
    Gustavo Facci via Flickr
    The guaraná berry is known to be a natural source of caffeine and energy, and the sweetness of its flavor is actually quite "addicting." Brazil has a soda made from this stuff, and it's heaven in a can -- honestly, there is no U.S. equivalent.

  • 18 Angu and pirão de mandioca are much tastier than mashed potatoes.
    Fotemas via Flickr
    Angu is essentially Brazil's polenta. The dish is made from cornmeal and usually has a very creamy consistency. Angu is often served with chicken, meat and okra. Pirão de mandioca is a puree made from yucca (cassava). It's usually thicker than mashed potatoes and has a stronger flavor and richness to it.

  • 19 Their winter folk festivals have the best FOOD.
    nandinhazinha via Flickr
    Festa Juninas are folk celebrations that take place all over Brazil during June, and they center around some of the best traditional foods. Above is canjica, a porridge cooked with milk, sugar and cinnamon. Other foods to look out for at these festivals are pé de moleque, a hardened candy made from peanuts, sugar and condensed milk, and pamonha, a paste made from sweet corn and milk, usually wrapped and served in husks.

  • 20 You have not lived until you've tried queijo minas.
    Dois Espressos via Flickr
    Queijo minas is a beautiful white cheese traditionally made in the state of Minas Gerais and used for a variety of snacks. It's particularly delicious in Romeo e Julieta, a common dessert of a sliver of cheese and guava compote pressed together for a sweet, bread-less sandwich.

  • 21 Not all pies are created sweetly.
    Maratimba via Flickr
    You won't find as many traditional sweet pies in South America as you do in the U.S. They more often cook savory tortas that are reminiscent of chicken pot pies, and every bit as delectable. Empadão is one such pie. Made of chicken, corn, olives and hearts of palms, it's a dish perfect for anytime of the day. Also, their torta capixaba is a savory seafood pie made with shrimp, cod fish, more hearts of palm olives and lime. And who doesn't love pie?

  • 22 And nothing tastes quite like cold coconut water fresh off the beach.
    PeskyMonkey via Getty Images
    Natural coconut water does wonders for your body and health, not to mention the occasional hangover. Unfortunately, most of the stuff that's packaged and shipped out is full of sugars and preservatives. Can you imagine living in a place where you could walk down the street with a fresh coconut in hand?

    That pretty much sums it up... At this point you're probably thinking, "It's true, it cannot be denied: Brazilians win the food game."

    YES! In fact, check out some other things that prove Brazilians are just better at living.

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