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Brazilian ChurrascoChurrasco is a Brazilian barbecue method where juicy pieces, slices, steaks, and chops of beef, veal, lamb, pork, and chicken are placed on giant skewers and grilled over a wood fire. It started in the early 1800s when the Gauchos (European immigrants that settled in the Rio Grande do Sul area) would get together and start a fire, adding large portions of meat on skewers and slowly grilling the meat. In the restaurants, known as churrascarias, the skewers are paraded across the restaurant flashy, and the servers rotate among the tables to show off the tasty meat to hungry diners. After the customers have chosen their preference for beef, it is sliced off the skewers to the dining plates. Also known as rodizio, the purpose of this barbecue experience is all-you-can-eat, meaning that customers should know to come with empty stomachs.

Origins of Brazilian Churrasco

Churrasco (barbecued) arrived in Brazil during the 17th century, along with the Sete Povos das Missões — a society founded by Jesuits in the Rio Grande to bring together indigenous people with the mission of catechizing them. However, this community was devastated in 1768, leaving an example of the community as a witness.

The herds raised by them, unowned after the war, conquered the area and multiplied, becoming a wealth to be enjoyed in the region — a colony that thrived in search of gold. Consequently, they began to be hunted, becoming the residents’ simple meal, which consisted of a slice of fresh that was roasted in the heat of the fire and seasoned with a handful of ashes.

Consequently, the barbecue was incorporated into the history of Rio Grande do Sul and continued in this role for many years until reaching the “civilization of the rancher.” This means that men went to distant places in search of cattle, touring for days, weeks, and even months, whose diet consisted only of barbecue. It is quick to prepare and very healthy. Also, the traditional gaucho barbecue was made in the ground fire on meat skewers buried in the soil next to the embers.