5 foods you'll miss if you're a Brazilian living in the U.S.


** There are 330,000 Brazilians living in the U.S.. But it's never easy to leave behind your homeland's cooking. **

Brazilian steakhouses have spread to nearly every corner of the U.S., and are found everywhere from posh city centers to shopping malls.

While most of meat-loving Americans are very familiar with the term Carne Asada, they probably don’t know about the many delicious comfort and street foods of Brazil that are harder to find in the States.

Wise customers and colleagues are a smart bunch - they know how to get the best deal when they send money to Brazil. So we asked some of our Brazilian customers in the U.S. which foods they miss most from back home, and where to find them in the Land of Choices.

So here are the dishes Brazilian expats miss the most, with some tips on where to find them -- or at least the ingredients to make them -- in the U.S.:

Cheaper, faster, easier. Don’t get stung by the bank when you send money to the U.S. or back to Brazil. Get the real exchange rate, with no mark-up and no hassle with Wise.

Pão de queijo


It’s hard to convert back to eating normal bread once you try Pão de queijo, Portuguese for cheese bread.

An ultimate comfort food, these baked balls taste like doughy cheese puffs, and are a popular snack and breakfast item in Brazil. As long as you have its staple ingredient, tapioca flour on hand, it’s easy to make this fluffy piece of goodness from scratch, even using feta cheese as this recipe demonstrates.



Another savory street food, these fried dough droplet-shaped croquettes are usually filled with chicken and catupiry, one of the most popular types of cream cheese in Brazil.

Expats say you can make them at home, using one of several recipes and buying the catupiry from an online retailer such as BrazilianShop.com. Or simply substitute a full-fat cream cheese.



Simple but delicious, farofa is comprised of fried cassava flour mixed with various ingredients such as bacon and egg. It usually tops rice or a special black bean stew called feijoada.

Brazilian markets, as well as many online retailers such as Otto’s Naturals, sell cassava flour to the U.S. market. Or if you’re short on supplies, you can try some creative alternatives: “I usually make farofa at home out of cream of wheat, available in all grocery stores,” one enterprising Brazilian expat tells us.



A popular street food, these Brazilian crepes (called Beiju in Northern Brazil) use tapioca flour as their main ingredient, and are filled with a variety of sweet and savory ingredients ranging from guava to cheese.

With a growing demand for gluten-free products in the U.S., it’s not hard to find the tapioca flour used to make these, with several chains such as Walmart stocking their shelves with brands such as Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour.

Bolinho de Chuva (Raindrop Donuts)


Fat-laden mouthwatering foods are not just limited to the savory side in Brazil.

Most people will appreciate this sweet staple, or fried dough balls are sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. As they require only simple ingredients, it’s easy to make them in large batches at home following an online recipe.

Moving money back to Brazil, or over to the U.S.? Don't get stung with a bad exchange rate.

Wise charges just 1% or 0.7% over $5,000, far less than that wire fee your bank offers. And most importantly, we never use a mark-up on the exchange rate (unlike a bank or broker) - so you'll receive far more money than you would if you used your bank.

Find out how much you can save in the calculator below. Want to know more about how it works? Watch Bloomberg explain:

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Money for here, there and everywhere

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location