One of the things that tripped me up when we first moved to Brazil was learning about food. Some things you know will be different. Brazilians eat a lot of beans and I knew they would cook them differently here. And other things are completely new, like tacacá. But I had assumed that foods like pizza, hotdogs, and hamburgers would be roughly the same. While you can get a pepperoni pizza in Brazil, the ingredients are different enough that it still isn’t going to taste the same. But one thing that surprised me was the shear variety of hamburger topping in Brazil.
When you go to a lanchonete (think hamburger and snack place), you are often greeted with 10+ burgers to choose from. And while I typically prefer a rather simple hamburger, the discovery of a x-tudo (pronounced shees-toodoo) has been one of my favorite things in Brazil.
A x-tudo is literally a hamburger with everything on it. The burger includes a round bun (the x in the name) and then is a giant pile of (starting from the bottom) tomato, shredded chicken, calabresa (think kielbasa), ham, fried egg, cheese, more ham, hamburger patty, another fried egg, and hotdog. When you want a giant pile of meat and can’t decide what you want, the x-tudo is the ticket. I’ve ordered them in bus stations, airports, street corners, and through food delivery apps. I have yet to be in a region of Brazil that didn’t have them though the topping can vary a little bit such as adding lettuce or onions.
Sometimes when living cross-culturally I just want a taste of home like a regular hamburger or a beefy 5-layer burrito from Taco Bell (which I still argue is the pinnacle of Taco Bell cuisine). Beth is awesome at replicating recipes with the ingredients we have available. And while I will continue to miss a 5-layer burrito, I will revel in the joy that is a x-tudo. Now if only I could get them in the US…