A Brief History of Brazilian Barbecue

  • January 23, 2020
  • admin

You may have been to a Brazilian Steakhouse and enjoyed the food, but you might not be familiar with the background of how this style of cooking came to be. Keep reading to brush up on your Churrasco history.

Churrasco and Gaúchos

Churrasco, the Portuguese and Hispanic name for beef and grilled meat, was once cattle ranch-fare of Brazilian cowboys known as gaúchos. Gaúchos were skilled horsemen and regarded as brave and a bit rough around the edges. They were renowned in folklore and literature, similar to the way Americans associate a classic cowboy as larger than life, a staple of Western-style movies and television. Gaúchos would ride through the plains of South America in pursuit of the highest grades of livestock. They would dig large pits in the ground, start a fire and proceed to slow roast cuts of meat on large skewers over the open flames. This original cooking method would serve as the foundation of modern-day Brazilian cuisine.

Cuts of Meat

While a modern Brazilian Steakhouse would provide an extensive salad bar and various types of meat, there are select styles, and portions that are often served. Check out this infographic for a quick rundown on the most common cuts of churrasco that are in most Brazilian Steakhouses.


The Growth of Brazilian Barbecue

While the United States has experienced a recent influx in steakhouses opening across the nation, Brazilians hold tight to their ancestry, too. Americans and Brazilians alike embrace the style of cooking by using technological advances and roasting techniques to perfect the art and prepare large quantities. Since the mid-20th century, thousands upon thousands of Brazilians have moved out of the Taquari Valley and to Nova Brescia — the country’s barbecue capital. According to a survey from the city government, at least 10,000 native Brazilians have worked at churrascarias, the Portuguese word for a place where meat is cooked barbecue-style, across the nation in 2011.

Make a Reservation

For an authentic, Rodizio-style dining experience in Philadelphia, choose Picanha Brazilian Steakhouse! We have two popular locations in Philadelphia that you can visit at your convenience. Contact us today to make a reservation.