Leonardo Bittencourt talks Brazilian food

Leonardo Jesus Loureiro Bittencourt was born in Cottbus to Brazilian parents and has been a player at TSG Hoffenheim since last summer. In SPIELFELD magazine, the 25-year-old presented eleven culinary treasures from his South American homeland whose recipes can of course be followed anywhere. If his on-field creations are anything to go by, he's worth listening to!


Mandioca, which is also known as Yuca in Latin America, is just as popular in South America as the potato is in Germany, and the plant's root tuber is similar in appearance. It is cut into small pieces and fried to make Brazilian fries.


Roasted manioc flour is served as a side dish to almost every meal in Brazil. Similar to Parmesan on spaghetti, it is sprinkled over meat, beans or even fish. It's something we eat all the time at home.



Cheese balls – available on almost every street corner and in every baker's in Brazil. The manioc flour choux pastry is a hearty "fluffy" snack which originated in the federal state of Minas Gerais and which spread across all of Brazil from there.



You would probably call them chicken donuts in English. Of course, like so many foods in Brazil, they are fried and are available as fast food on many street corners. You shouldn't eat them too often though as they will ruin your summer figure.


Another integral item on the street food menu: the dough, which is deep fried of course, contains cheese or meat. They're probably comparable with puff pastry or spring rolls in Germany, and are also known as empanadas in Latin America. Delicious.



Brazilian crab stew is one of my absolute favorite dishes - especially on the Brazilian coast, of course. Healthy, filling and an absolute pleasure when freshly prepared. It is also a bit spicier in Brazil, and comes served with coconut milk.




Probably the classic of Brazilian cuisine - even if the dish originally comes from Portugal. The black bean and meat stew is served with rice and farofa and is a staple on any Brazilian restaurant menu.


Although Argentina is considered to be the world's beef centre, Brazil also consumes a great deal of tastily prepared beef. Picanhas, the tail of the cattle, is especially popular.


Anyone who has ever been to one of Brazil's many beautiful beaches will know the cries of the salesmen: "Acai, Acai". Made from the acai berry, the frozen punch is reminiscent of the texture of ice cream and is eaten all over Brazil at any time of day. Very refreshing!


This chocolate dessert is one of Brazil's favourite vices, especially at Christmas time. Brazilian cuisine is not particularly healthy, and Pavé, owing to the soaked biscuits similar to tiramisu, fits in with that seamlessly. Incidentally, the name means paving stone when translated.



To finish, another culinary delight that I allow myself on special occasions: Brazilian milk pudding, which is known as flan in Germany. You'll have undoubtedly noticed that Brazilian food is not all that light, but you'll still be able to fit this in your belly afterwards.

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