Brazilian Bites and German Wurst: Traditional Eats for the World Cup Semifinals
For fans who have been following the 2014 World Cup, this is the last week to savor the glory, drama, and mayhem of all things fútbol. And what better way to do that than with some authentic bites from each country? Whether you're rooting for Brazil or Germany, we've got you covered for today's 4 p.m. match.
Photo by Dana De Greff Queijo coalho, a salty cheese produced in northeastern Brazil -- now at Sushi Samba Dromo for World Cup snacking.
Photo by Dana De Greff Bolinhos
Pestiscos, or bar snacks, in Rio de Janeiro reign supreme. And though the options are plentiful, perhaps the most beloved fits into the palm of your hand: the bolinho.
Deep-fried and usually served in multiples, bolinhos come in a 1,001 versions, the most common being the bolinho de bacalhau, or salt-cod fritter. Traditional versions use a masa of potatoes, onions, egg yolks, garlic, and parsley, which is formed into small balls and plopped into a vat of bubbling oil.
At Sushi Samba Dromo, chef Cesar Vega has put his own spin on the fried classic. His masa includes rice, manchego cheese, egg, flour, and spices, which are first baked and then fried to order. "What we wanted to do is get [Brazilian] street food and infuse it with sea bass, which is much more flavorful than cod," Vega says. "The idea is to have something you can sit down and enjoy while watching the World Cup games."
Light and crisp, the bolinhos ($7) are served with a creamy catupiry-cheese-infused huacatay (Peruvian black mint) sauce. They're bite-size, shareable, and highly addictive. If that isn't enough Brazilian food for you, you're in luck: Vega will also serve queijo coalho ($7), a firm, slightly acidic and salty cheese produced in northeastern Brazil. In the streets of Brazil, you'll find the cheese skewered and seared on a charcoal grill -- at Sushi Samba, it's seared on a flat grill and served with chimichurri.
Depending upon Brazil's outcome, you may want to celebrate or indulge in an order of brigadeiros ($7), traditional Brazilian truffle-esque chocolates that are as decadent as Neymar's newest hairdo.
Courtesy Sushi Samba Brigadeiros