Serious Eats' Culinary Ambassadors check in from time to time with reports on food fare in their homeland or countries of residence. Here's the latest! (Find out more about CA or join here!) —The Mgmt.
Brazil is a huge country; as such, its cuisine varies a lot from region to region. Pastel, however, can be found pretty much all over the country: The deep-fried, crisp pastry can be filled with anything, reflecting local cuisines and tastes. The most popular fillings tend to be cheese, ground beef, heart of palm, and shrimp.
Pastel is a staple at any street fair and farmers market in the country; it is usually served with freshly pressed caldo de cana — the sweet and thirst-quenching juice extracted from raw, peeled sugar cane. It makes for a quick, delicious and very cheap lunch while walking around choosing local produce. It's also common to serve pastel as finger food in pubs, along with some ice-cold beer.
Pastel makes for excellent leftovers on the next day, as well as awesome hangover food.
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