Spoiler alert – yes they overcook their meat by European standards.
Brazilian BBQ, known here as Churrasco, as far as I have experienced it here in Bahia has been pretty consistent. Consisting of an array of meats, usually including steak, pork, chicken and sausages, they’ll be rubbed in a significant amount of large salt crystals and then cooked over hot coals. They often use a grate that folds over so you can just pick up the whole grate and flip it when you’re ready to flip the meat. I’m probably the only person who hasn’t seen these before, but they seem really useful! Anyway, the resulting meat is generally very salty, and thoroughly cooked through (the keep it over the fire to keep it hot, and continue cooking!) – I love it. I didn’t even have a craving for fries with my meat, my salt cravings were truly satisfied.
But this is not what has struck me about Brazilian BBQ. Rather than cooking burgers, steaks, or sausages for individual people, the cooked meat is always cut into but sized pieces and shared among everyone there – there is no such thing as an individual portion.
This is something that I have found characterizes how Brazilians eat in general. Other meals, such as feijoada or moqueca are cooked in a big pot, which people then share.
Drinks aren’t bought individually. You’ll generally buy a bottle of beer or coke or whatever and get a lot of small cups to share it, and then buy another to share, rather than buy individual drinks.
One of the few things that I have noticed come in single servings is chocolate, and I’m not talking single servings like a snickers bar which we all know is more than one portion, but actual single portions. Though I often see people sharing these as well.
Food is for sharing.