Before we met each other, both my husband and I had the opportunity to be missionaries for our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) in different parts of Brazil. My husband spent 2 years, and I spent 1 1/2 years living in Brazil and being completely immersed in the language and culture. It was an experience of a lifetime, and a time in both of our lives that will forever be cherished.
So when the Olympics were being hosted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I thought it would be a great time to come up with one of my favorite Brazilian foods on our blog- the Brazilian Potato Salad.
During the time that I spent living in Brazil I grew a great love for the Brazilian people, culture, and especially the food! Oh my gosh… the food! Let’s just say Brazilians sure know how to make some darn good food!
On a Mission to Find Great Brazilian Potato Salad
As a missionary, I had the privilege to eat in the homes of native Brazilians on a daily basis. I ate in the homes of some very affluent Brazilians, as well as those that lived in some of the most humble of circumstances. I even ate at homes in the “favelas” on a regular basis (What we would call the “Ghetto” in English. ) In fact, it was in these “favelas” that I met some of the finest people who have become my lifelong friends.
One thing I noticed during this time, is that no matter where I went, it seemed that most Brazilians (from the richest to the poorest) had one thing in common… They all knew how to cook!!! In fact, it was at some of the poorest homes that I ate some of the finest Brazilian food. I found that most Brazilian’s love to feed people, and they do a dang good job at it, too!
Eating in so many Brazilian homes gave me the opportunity to try a wide variety of delicious Brazilian dishes. Brazilian Potato Salad was one of my all time, personal favorites.
This is a Brazilian style potato salad, that the Brazilians like to call “Maionese”. I’m sure I spelled that in a totally Gringo way, but that is how it is pronounced. I was served “Maionese” on a pretty frequent basis (alongside beans and rice of course…always beans and rice!) and had the opportunity to try a variety of different versions of Brazilian Potato Salad.
I found that just like there are a wide variety of Potato Salad recipes in the United States, there also exists a wide variety of Brazilian Potato salad recipes in Brazil. This particular recipe is a personal favorite and one that I found to most closely resemble the type of potato salad that I was fed the most in the area where I lived (Belo Horizonte, Brazil).
To be completely honest, I was a little apprehensive about feeding this to my family, because they are not accustomed to Brazilian cuisine. I worried that they would not give it a chance or would just dismiss it because it is not the kind of Potato salad they are accustomed to. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they all loved it!
If you don’t like mayonnaise, or are currently on a diet, then this is probably not the dish for you. However, let me just tell you that this potato salad dish would be totally worth breaking your diet for! It is super “gostoso” (tasty in Portuguese) and it goes well as a side dish for just about anything. Besides, you can always start your diet tomorrow, right? I like to tell myself that the fat in mayonnaise is cancelled out by the nutritional value of the veggies.
For another delicious Brazilian recipe, try this Brazilian Pave Dessert recipe!
- 5 large potatoes
- 1½ cups of diced carrots, peas, corn, and green bean mixture (from the frozen food section)
- 1¼ cups mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 4 tbsp lime juice (freshly squeezed or store bought)
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- ⅛ tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
- 3 tbsp diced green onion
- ¼ white onion (finely grated)
- ½ cup diced green olives or black olives (optional)
- Rinse the potatoes and boil them whole completely immersed in water for 8-10 minutes
- (Poke a fork in them to see if they are done inside, fork should not stick but should slide in and out with ease)
- When potatoes are soft place them in cold water and remove the peels
- Cut the potatoes into small cubes (the Brazilians usually do very small diced pieces, but I prefer bigger chunks).
- Cook the mixed vegetable medley in boiling water, drain and then mix in with the potatoes.
- In a separate bowl mix together mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, garlic powder, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste
- Add finely chopped parsley, green onions, grated onion, and chopped olive (if desired)
- Pour liquid mixture in with the potatoes and veggies, and mix til evenly distributed through salad
- Let this chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours ( if you don't have time to chill it it can be served as is, and it will still be delicious. I just prefer it cold).