Brazil is the largest country in both population and land area in Latin America, occupying more than half the continent of South America. It has a population of 180 million people, which is almost twice the population of Mexico, and it has the same land area as the continental United States. Brazil was colonized by Portugal and became independent in 1822. The official language is Portuguese.
The cuisine of Brazil is very diverse and has influences from three main groups: the many different indigenous peoples inhabiting what is now Brazil before colonization, the Portuguese conquistadores, and the African slaves brought to Brazil to grow sugar cane and work the gold mines.
The diversity in cuisine increased with large waves of immigration in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s from Italy, Japan, and Germany, among other nations. Brazil has the second largest Japanese population in the world
Due to the country’s size and ethnically diverse population, there is a great diversity in the cuisine with strong regional differences.