Culinary from Pará, the 6 typical dishes unmissable from Pará

Culinary from Pará, it is rich of  diversity and unique culinary identity, very influenced by Amazonia, so, on this post, I listed the 6 unmissable dishes from Pará

When I was planning this trip to Pará, I heard a lot about the culinary from Pará there, but I never imagined this could surprise me so much.

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So I listed the 6 unmissable dishes of Pará, from what I could try on my trip to Northern Brazil. 

The list even shows us two incredible ingredients that you can find there, a brewery, where you have to go if you like beer, in addition to the classic ice cream of the region. 

Who am I?

Let me introduce myself.

I’m Rodrigo Schmiegelow, an advertiser specializing in Digital Marketing, today I live as a Digital Nomad (what is it), 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.

 A few about the culinary from Pará

Brazil is culturally rich for the mix that we had here, since the natives who knew how to use that nature to their advantage, until the arrival from Europeans who brought the slaves and the mass imigration that we had in the past century for a lot of reasons. 

>> Read Ilha de Cotijuba, one of the most beautiful islands in Belém do Pará.

Northern Brazil also has this miscegenation, but with a big part of the region being a forest, this was the region that preserved most the natives’ culture, to me, the most original  of Brazil.

With the influence of ingredients from Amazonia that indigenous knew how to use and the arrival of foreigners, in particular of Africans, these ingredients received different preParátion techniques  originating a rich and tasteful culinary, with unique identity. 

Two of the most important ingredients of the culinary  from Pará

Are many the ingredients used in Northern Brazil, but there are two that draw attention, because they have unique characteristics, and for being used often on a big part of the typical and unmissable dishes from Pará 

Are they:

1. The delicious and tasteful Tucupi

Being in many dishes that I will tell you below, the Tucupi is a broth extracted from manioc after being peeled off, grated and squeezed.  

After this process, it rests to seParáte the gum from the liquid, then it is cooked to eliminate the poison.

The process’  finalization  is a fermentation that lasts between 3 to 5 days.

Just after all this, Tucupi is used on the gastronomy as a delicious broth, which is used as a  seasoning or a type of side dish. 

It tastes gentle and slightly creamy, it is amazing.

2. Jambu, the famous herb that put your mouth to sleep

The jambu is an herb from Amazonia that contains a substance called spilanthol which increases salivation and causes a light numbness in the mouth.  

This herb of very specific taste is also in many regional dishes, sometimes as seasoning and other times as only  a complement on the food. When I ate the herb, I felt a light dormancy, but when I drank Jambu sugar cane liquor, that contains the herb flower on the liquid already distilled, the sensation is stronger. 

Besides these two delicious ingredients that I told you, there are many others in the region, some of them are in the northeast too, like the dry shrimp.   

How I ain’t a specialist of gastronomy, I will talk about my experience in Northern Brazil, and not about everything that I’ve seen there.  

The 6 unmissable typical dishes from Pará

My trip happened in the year-end break, so I ended up staying just 5 nights between Belém do Pará (a town in Pará) and BUFFALO MEAT IN ILHA DO MARAJÓ (MARAJO ISLAND)

In this short period, I could try a lot of new foods. Among the highlights, there are the dishes that I listed below, organized in the order of my favorite.  

1. A typical dish from Pará: Arroz of Pará (Rice of Pará)

I am an experimenter, when I went to Namibia, I ate until caterpillar, but I think that the comfort of knowing that I have already  eaten a similar dish makes the succulent rice one of my highlights in the gastronomy of this state. 

Even with strong ingredients, like the jambu flower and the dry shrimp, this side dish present on most dishes has a softness very tasteful, due to its most important ingredient: Tucupi

This dish you have to try even if you have restricted taste.

Where you can eat this dish: in most local restaurants.

2. Pará’s food: Açaí (a fruit from Brazil) Pulp from Pará

The açai pulp is different from that one processed that we find in others regions of Brazil

It is a little more salty and pasty.

The fresh açai pulp is extracted at the time by some machines that we see in some restaurants.

When the pulp is extracted, the cooker usually puts some ice cubes to conserve for longer.

In Pará, people eat açai with every type of food, even with rice.

I ate with fried fish and Tapioca flour and a cup of water.

Where you can eat this dish: In the supermarket Ver-o-Peso, there are many kiosks, where  you can find this dish with fried fish, dry shrimp and other proteins.

3. The delicious Tacacá

With Tapioca Gum, Dry Shrimp, Tucupi Broth and Jambu lea, this broth of indigenous origem warms up until the soul.

Very popular in Pará, I had seen this dishes in many places that I passed by in Belém do Pará ( Belém of Pará)

The broth is served spicy in a traditional bowl.

where you can eat this dish: It is also a typical culinary from Pará, found in almost every  place, that could be a restaurant, local fast foods or kiosks on the street.

4. The surprising Maniçoba is a very typical dish from the cuisine from Pará

Famous for being a feijoada ( a very traditional Brazilian dish with black beans and pork meat) from Pará, this dish has a flavor and texture very unique and is therefore, very surprising.

That comparison with the feijoada happens due to the use of, practically, all the smoked ingredients of the most famous dish from Brazil, but instead of black beans, the maniçoba has manioc leaves after a long process to extract the poison.

The comparison also happens due to the dish history, that put indigenous techniques together with african techniques, making the dish the way we know now. 

Where you can eat this dish: I ate at a food stand very close of the Trapiche de Icoaraci  when I came back of the Ilha de Cotijuba ( free traduction- Cotijuba Island), but it is very common in the stands close of tourists houtstops.

5. The 5 best fishes of Pará

Fishes, fishes and more fishes. I love fishes and given by its proximity to Amazonas and by its weather and geography, Pará has a rich hydrographic area, making Pará’s cuisine very influenced by river fishes from the region.

Around there, I ate Filhote, Tucunaré, Pirarucu, Pacu e Dourado, and I talked more about  it in this post with The 5 best fishes of Pará – Gastronomy of Amazonas

Where you can eat this dish: in almost all the regional restaurants. The Remanso do Bosque and Remanso do Peixe are really famous, but you can find better and more accessible prices. 

6. Buffalo Meat in Ilha do Marajó (Marajó Island)

Another protein really known in Pará is Buffalo meat, found in Ilha do Marajó, a few hours by sail from Belém do Pará.

The legend says that the boat which was bringing buffalos from China to Central America sank near to the island coast, and the buffalos swam until the island. 

Realizing the livestock value, the farmers start exploring these animals.

Nowadays, the island is full of buffalos doing the job of horses and oxen. 

This animal also influences the local gastronomy, once that you can find a lot of dishes with buffalos, in many different ways to cook and prepare. 

Besides the buffalo cheese sold in every place. 

Where you can eat this dish: In all Ilha do Marajó, in the supermarket Ver-o-Peso in Belém do Pará. 

What else can we find in the cuisine from Pará?  

This is a small list with only what I could eat in my trip, Actually, I tried the Vatapá do Pará, but as I had just come back from the Boteco Meu Garoto (a pub) after taking some doses of Cachaça de Jambu (Jambu Sugar cane liquor), I don’t really remember the experience. 

I wish I had tried the Pato no Tucupi (a dish with duck meat and tucupi) and the caldeiradas de peixes (a dish of, mainly, fish) but the time and price didn’t let me. 

As I said before, below, I say two more tips.

Cervejaria Amazon Beer

This brewery in Estação das Docas uses two ingredients from Amazonia to  bring a really cool experience on the draft beers and normal beers tasting. 

The one of Açaí drew more my attention, but there is also one of bacuri (local fruit), Priprioca (tree from Amazonia), cumuru (a type of green beans), among others.

Cairu Ice cream shop with fruits from Amazonia

Another place well-known there is the Cairu Ice Cream Shop, famous for using fruits from Amazonia and for the food ice cream quality.

Try the Murici (a fruit) ice cream, really yummy

Where you can eat this dish: it is selling in many shops, but I ate at Estação das Docas. 

In this post, you can note the richness of the culinary from Pará.

If you have already tried, tell me what you think about in the comments 🙂 

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