Brazil has become an extremely diverse country because of its very unique history. For example, at the time of the Portuguese arrival there were already millions of inhabitants native to the region. This population, as well as millions of Africans brought to Brazil, were made slaves by the settlers. Slavery was finally abolished in the late 1800s. Also, the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw a great deal of immigration from many European countries, especially Italy. Many years later, these factors have had a strong effect on Brazilian cuisine.
For example, the northern regions of the country, namely the Amazon Rainforest, provide many different exotic ingredients as well a great deal of fish from the Amazon River. The northeast region provides a cuisine with strong Portuguese and African influence with the addition of palm oils, fresh seafood, and other unique spices and flavors. The southeast portion of the country is most often characterized simply as Brazilian cuisine, an infusion of all the different influences. Southern cuisine is commonly made up of a great deal of high quality meats provided by the grazing animals of the grassy pampas, while the central-west portion of the country is gradually becomes a mix of all other regions.
Some of the important ingredients in Brazilian cooking are beans, coconut, dried codfish, shrimp, lemon to name only a few. There are many recipes authentic to the country, one of which is a creamy soup made of the local palms. Others include meat and codfish balls, cheese breads, stews, and a variety of other delicious plates.