“Churrasco” is a Portuguese or Spanish word used to describe a style of barbecue popular all over South America, but most famous in southern Brazil from where it originates. Churrasco refers to the method of grilling selections of meat using a Brazilian espeto or skewer held over an open pit fire and rotated using either a mechanical rotisserie or by frequent turning by hand. It is commonly carved on the spot with the outer layer obviously being the most well done and becoming rarer the more the meat is cut away. This allows the server to select well done, medium, and also rare slices all from the same skewer.
Preparation of the meat.
Traditionally Churrasco meats are seasoned with a specific type of salt called Sal Grosso, or by marinating in a light and fresh sauce called Chimichurri which is made by mixing parsley, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and salt. The meats are first marinated before cooking, saving some Chimichurri to serve as a dip with the meal. Some of the most popular cuts of meat that are cooked using the Churrasco method include Alcatra, Fraldinha, and Picanha, but Picanha is by far the most coveted cut used in Brazilian Churrasco. Other popular Churrasco meats include beef ribs, lamb, sausage, and as a speciality in Brazil, whole blocks of hard Brazilian cheese. Nowadays, you can enjoy a churrasco buffet in Bangkok and many other cities around the World.
What is a Churrascaria?
A Churrascaria is where Brazilian Barbecue is prepared and served in a restaurant style either as a per-plate service or more commonly in the Rodizio style. Rodizio style is where diners pay a fixed price and serving staff bring a variety of skewers of Churrasco-cooked meats direct to their tables. These delicious meats are cooked to perfection in an all-you-can-eat buffet that comes directly off the grill. In recent years, a lunch and dinner service style providing quick meals with a 2-3 meat plate service has become popular. This usually features the traditional Churrasco cooking style, combined with a service style to cater to a faster pace of life.
What is the full Churrasco experience?
A “Full Churrasco Experience” usually refers to dining on all of the meats offered in a Rodizio-style buffet, as well as a wide selection of Brazilian side dishes for a single price. Many Churrascarias will offer Brazilian-style side dishes such as fried polenta, fried banana, collard greens, farofa, Brazilian potato salad, feijoada, rice, beans, and Brazilian cheese bread. A typical full Churrasco experience includes a trip to the buffet for a selection of side dishes. On your table, you will find a sign that you can use to show the servers that you are ready for the next round of meat selections. This sign is usually green on one side to show you are ready for more, and red on the other side to show you need a break. If you lay the sign down on the table it shows you are ready to pay the bill.