There are many typical foods from the Cerrado and it is difficult to know them all, so I made a list with what I liked the most from some experiences in the region – this is the cuisine of the Cerrado!

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First things first, Cerrado is a tropical savanna ecoregion, it includes 10 States from Brazil:  Goiás, Tocantins, Maranhão, Piauí, Bahia, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and the Federal District.

There are many typical  fruits, vegetables and animals from the region that has a unique biome in South America, the first reason that makes the local cuisine very interesting.

In addition, the cuisine is also very marked by livestock, which is extremely strong in the cerrado, making the consumption of goat meat, beef and pork large there.

I was in Mato Grosso and Goiás where I could try a small portion of the typical foods of the Cerrado.

Typical food from the cerrado that you have to try

Browse the quick list with what you’ll find in this article:


Before continuing, let me introduce myself:

Who am I?

Before I continue, let me introduce myself.

I’m Rodrigo Schmiegelow, an advertiser specializing in Digital Marketing, today I live as a Digital Nomad, in other words, that I have geographic freedom and can work from anywhere in the world.

I started a trip around the world to get to know places, cultures and regional cuisines and I will bring great surprises from these experiences.

Follow the Project O Mundo em Lanches (The world in sandwiches) blog on Instagram, follow all the news and this new journey with the rescue of the motorcycle.

Enjoy the rest of the content.

Before, a very important point – typical foods from the cerrado

The first time I was in Mato Grosso I found it curious that there was too much cassava (manioc) consumption compared to the Southeast.

Everything I ordered came with boiled manioc: skewers, lunchbox, portions.

Of course, in addition to the production of the delicacy, this culture was inherited from the Indigenous who also greatly influenced the Cuisine of Pará, which I commented in this publication and it is worth reading.

So come on.

After all, what are the typical foods from the cerrado that you have to try?

Not to start with the obvious, I’m going to talk about a cuisine from the cerrado that caught my attention, but more for my experience than for the exclusivity of the product itself.

It was the Mato Grosso Solid creamy Cheese or Requeijão Sólido.

It is the experiences of the reality of our daily lives that make the experiences so remarkable.

helping to prepare the solid creamy cheese – typical foods from the cerrado

When I was in Mato Grosso I stayed in Barra do Garças, and on a visit to General Carneiro, where the friend who took me on this trip has family, I got to know Mato Grosso’s solid creamy cheese.

What made it so special was seeing the homemade production of this delicacy and being able, in a very subtle way, to help in the manufacture of this creamy cheese.

That’s because we stopped by his aunt’s house, where there was the production of it.

pans with curdled cheese to make Mato Grosso solid creamy cheese

When I got into the house I saw many pans with curdled milk around, in the kitchen there were huge pots of curdled milk, and in the back my friend’s aunt was twisting a cloth with the cheese with the help of two friends.

Having seen this production and helping by holding a pan was what delighted me about the food.

And of course, in São Paulo, where I live, we are used to industrialized creamy cheese and sold ready-made in the market.

Empadão Goiano (Patty from Goiania) : unique, exclusive and very tasty

On another occasion I returned to Mato Grosso, but in order not to face 16 hours of road again (that is because I was only on a long holiday), I took a flight to Goiana and spent the night at my friend’s family’s house .

I was welcomed and when I got there, her father took my brother and me to know some of the most typical local cuisine.

Starting with the delicious Empadão Goiano (Patty from Goiania) – typical food from the cerrado

As far as I know there is no official recipe, what I ate had an explosion of flavors:

  • half-cured cheese
  • green olives
  • boiled eggs
  • and my favorite: gueroba, which I’ll talk in more detail below

We continue with the gastronomy of the cerrado, experiencing:

The tasty Corn Meal Mush

I confess that before eating I asked myself: Corn Meal Mush? That’s in São Paulo too.

But when I arrived at Pamonharia Frutos da Terra and saw the menu I already had the answer.

There were thousands of mush options (to be exaggerated), with several different stuffings.

I ordered my Corn MEal Mush à Moda (with Sausage and Cheese), and besides the different filling, it was very fresh and delicious.

In addition to this flavor, they offer: salty, sweet, sweet with cheese, sweet with catupiry (a type of creamy cheese), Nordestina – Northeastern  (pulled sun-dried meat and cheese), chicken with catupiry, special, goiana, sweet roast and salt roast.

Many options are worth trying!

In The next day I continued my trip to review two of my passions in Mato Grosso:

Pequi, fruit, one of the most peculiar typical foods of the cerrado

I loved pequi, but pequi is 8 or 80, you either love it or you hate it, there is no “more or less like” or “even like”.

Even on my first trip to Mato Grosso I was one of the only ones that liked in a group of 7 friends.

First I tried it raw while my friend’s brother was preparing the preserving as it is a seasonal fruit.

The first impression was: strange and interesting, for me the appearance was mango.

But when put in the mouth it seems salty and dry, with a unique aroma and flavor. It’s even difficult to explain.

Then I ate:

Chicken with Pequi

For some reason I’ve called it a frangada for a long time.

Galinhada de Pequi is a dish with rice, chicken and pequi cooked together.

It’s very tasty because it softs the strong pequi taste a little.

Galinhada with pequi – cerrado cuisine

This time the dish was prepared with fresh pequi, so later I was able to eat the fruit, taking care not to stick me in the prickly kernel.

This happened after a while, I counted on the link I left above.

If you’ve never eaten, try pequi and then tell me what you think.

To finish off the gastronomy of the cerrado, I’m talking about Gueroba

Finally, not to extend too much and also because that’s what I was able to experience.

Gueroba has many different names, I also made an exclusive publication to talk about this unique delicacy, Gueroba, the bitter palm heart of the cerrado, read too

Gueroba, as I just mentioned above, is a bitter heart of palm.

The ones I tried were a little firmer, drier than the ones I buy pickled, but soft enough to taste.

Gueroba, the Bitter Palmito from the Cerrado

I tried it rawpure in a salad and with meat.

What I liked the most was the preparation with ground beef because it softs the bitterness and brings a very special flavor to the meat.

In both ways it was very tasty.

Do you Know any typical food from the cerrado?

I know that this region has many more typical dishes, what do you suggest for me to try and bring here in this publication of this rich, unique and tasty cuisine?

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