Brazilians were the first to raise cattle in South America, imported from Cape Verde to São Paulo in the 1530s. Churrasco (pronounced shoo-RAS-koo) or Brazilian barbecue was the traditional staple food of the gaúchos or cowboys of Southern Brazil for centuries before it spread to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. It has become very fashionable and there are excellent churrascarias (restaurants specializing in Brazilian barbecue) all over Brazil and around the world. These are called churrascaria de rodízio because waiters move from table to table bringing different types of meats on skewers from which they slice portions onto your plate. In Rio de Janeiro, you may want to try Esplanada Grill or Porcão, both located in Ipanema and the brand new and very sophisticated Giuseppe Grill in Leblon . Porcão in Parque do Flamengo has an outstanding view of the bay and the Sugar Loaf...If you are a vegetarian, you can still accompany your friends to churrascarias; as a rule, they have fantastic salad buffets too.
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