Thursday, November 5, 2009

Time for a Quick Snack - Coxinha

I'm heading for the airport soon for the long flight from Fortaleza to Vancouver, where I'll be for the next three weeks. Exchanging the heat and sun of Northeastern Brazil for November's cold and damp in British Columbia. So postings for the next few weeks might be a bit more spotty than usual.

Since my flight is around noon, I won't have time for a full lunch - which is the largest meal of the day here in Brazil. I'll probably only have time for a quick snack. Brazilians love little snacks to tide them over from meal to meal, or to nibble while having drinks at a bar or restaurant with friends. In fact, there is a whole category of food which consists of such snacks - they are called salgados, which literally translates as "salted (things)". Salgados are not all necessarily salty, but they are called such to distinguish them from sweet snacks, like pastries. A less literal translation of the word salgado would probably be "savories."

Probably the most popular salgado throughout Brazil is something called the coxinha (pronounced co-SHEE-nya). The name coxinha means "little thigh". A coxinha is basically a small, teardrop-shaped chicken croquette. Shredded chicken mixed with a bit of cream cheese and seasonings is surrounded with dough, shaped into what is meant to look like chicken thighs, breaded and then deep-fried. Coxinhas come in all sizes, from miniscule cocktail-platter sizes to large ones, which can make a whole lunch when combined with a draft beer or a fruit-juice. The average coxinha, though, is about one to two inches long.

Just as the size of a coxinha can vary, so can the quality. A well-made, fresh, hot coxinha, though it never will be a healthy food, can be delicious. On the other hand, a bad coxinha is very bad indeed. It is stodgy, heavy and greasy. By all means, do try a coxinha in Brazil, or in a Brazilian shop in your city, but order one only at first, just to make sure that your coxinha is "uma delicia."


  1. Realmente quando bem feita, é uma delícia!!
    Eu adoro!!

  2. hum que saudades de uma boa coxinha, e uma delicia

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