1. Tapioca

Tapioca is a traditional local snack resembling a pancake or crepe, and is made from a combination of manioc flour and shredded coconut. Tapiocas are often filled with savoury ingredients, such as cheese or chicken, but can also be served sweet with bananas or cinnamon. They are popular with athletes as a source of gluten-free carbohydrate.

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2. Farofa

Farofa is a tasty blend of toasted cassava flour that accompanies many Brazilian meals. It is ideal for mopping up juices, and goes well with eggs or bananas. However, it is best mixed with beans, rice and meats – which makes it the perfect condiment for feijoada, Rio’s signature dish.

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3. Pão de queijo

Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, pão de queijo – essentially dough made with cheese – originally comes from Minas Gerais and is a comforting, ever-present part of Rio life. This light, inexpensive snack is served wherever you walk, and can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, dinner or any time in between.

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4. Açaí

Athletes looking for a delicious pick-me-up can try açaí, a purple fruit from the Amazon rainforest traditionally eaten by indigenous tribes to boost energy levels. The delicacy is served as a sweet sorbet dish mixed with other fruits and topped with granola, and is widely available in Rio’s juice bars and food stalls.

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5. Brigadeiro

Athletes may want to wait until after their competitions to try this classic, truffle-like Brazilian sweet. Brigadeiro is made from powdered chocolate, condensed milk and butter and is usually served in balls – with chocolate sprinkles covering the outside layer. Bom apetite!

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6. Churrasco

Churrasco, contrary to what you may think, doesn’t refer to a specific type of meat but rather any grilled meat. Barbecue joints are popular in Rio and they offer any type of grilled meat from chicken and pork to boar or even alligator! Salad or rice are served with the meat.

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