With the World Cup Brazil 2014 starting this week, all eyes are turned to the biggest country in South America “O maior país do mundo”, as they say in Portuguese.
Compiled below are some tips for keeping kosher in Brazil based on my trips and some recent news. (By @MattErlandsen with added info by @YeahThatsKosher)
Although Brazil has the second largest Jewish community in Latin America (only behind Argentina), it can be difficult to find kosher meals in the big cities and almost impossible out of the two main states, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. However, there is an option out in the Amazonian city of Manaus, which is detailed below.
GENERAL BRAZIL INFO
Kosher products in Brazil generally do not carry kosher symbols. However, there’s a list (in Portugeuse that can be translated into English via Google Translate — use Google Chrome on your computer or mobile device to do this easily) of products compiled by the BDK (Beit Din Kashrut) based in Sao Paulo. KOSHER PRODUCT LIST IN BRAZIL
The Chabad of Manaus in the Amazon rain forest compiled a list of kosher fish found in Brazil.
If you have the chance, please watch a sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. Just enjoy it.
I say this to my shomer kashrut friends when traveling, the best way to eat properly kosher and/or living under the halacha in Brazil is calling Beit Chabad and asking what they recommend. If you visit their website, you’ll find both phone numbers and addresses in almost every big city of Brazil. In most cities, Chabad will be your only source of kosher options.
Sao Paulo is home to the biggest Jewish community in the country. Most of the synagogues and kosher places are in Higienópolis and Jardins areaa. My advice is to keep around that zone, which is a mix of a lot of different cultures, it’s safe and close by Sao Paulo’s downtown. Once there, you’d love to visit All Kosher Supermarket (Rua Alameda Barros, 391. Higienópolis. Sao Paulo) where you’ll feel at home. They actually sell most of the “Made in America” types of food, and it’s home to the only one cheese stores that I found opened in the city.
One of my favorite restaurants in Sao Paulo is Nur Restaurante Mediterrâneo Kasher (Rua Tupi, 792. Consolacao, Sao Paulo). They specialize in kosher meat with Israeli/Mediterranean style foods, and deliver as well. They speak Portuguese, English, Spanish, and many of them speak Hebrew as well.
If you are able to read in Portuguese, the Kosher Map (www.koshermap.com.br) will be a useful tool to plan your trip.
Click here to read more about Kosher in São Paulo.
RIO DE JANEIRO
Rio de Janeiro has the second biggest Jewish local community. However, unlike Sao Paulo, Rio has fewer kosher options since most of the Jewish population is not observant. Kosher Planet (Rua Constante Ramos 93A, Copacabana, Río de Janeiro) is a dairy kosher place focused on healthy dining with a nice menu of vegetarian dishes and pasta plates, around one of the most beautiful beaches that I’ve ever been. It’s located right near the Copacabana hotels. You may also have your meal delivered to your hotel, but that option may not always be available, and difficult during the World Cup.
Other kosher restaurants include:
- Bar-Ilan Restaurant (R. Pompeu Loureiro, 48)
- Deleite Pizza & Pasta (Rua Anita Garibaldi, 83)
This city in the Amazon rain forest has no kosher restaurants but the Chabad of Manaus is providing a service to visitors by delivering prepared kosher foods to any hotel in the city. CLICK HERE for the order form.
The Chabad also operates a small Kosher store stocked with basics like kosher chicken, meat, cheese, Chalav Yisroel milk, wine, grape juice, etc. It’s open daily at 9am and closes at 5pm M-Th, 3pm on Fri, and 1pm on Sun. The Chabad also provides Shabbat meals with the Chabad family. They ask that you make reservations with them more than a week in advance.