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    I have been living in Brasil going on 6 years and over that time have found most items on the list or a workable substitute. What I still bring back is peppermint tea / hersheys chocolate chips and from time to time horseradish (ruiz forte), you can find it here but for some reason is sweeter. Oh I still buy my undies in the USA - less expensive and fit my wider butt better. I boil beef and chicken and make containers of broth for the freezer - I like it better than canned, can control the salt content. Coffee-I have a grinder(from USA) and buy coffee beans here and I use their way (drip with filter and boiling water to make my coffee) I used to bring coffee back in ziplock bags - kill two birds with one stone- but found over time that I like Brasilian coffee better. (Bom Dia brand is good to me)email me at [email protected] if any other cooking in Brasil questions.


    Magazines/books in english ($!)
    English magazines in Rio are uber expensive but books are cheaper than in Portuguese in stores like Saraiva (Rio Sul) and Jammer (Gávea Trade Center). Twilight in English costs 35 reais and in Portuguese it is 50 reais (that's an example but since there's no paperback book in Brazil, imported paperbacks are usually cheaper than the translated national version. They're probably more expensive than in Canada but they're not that much).

    Marshmellow and chocolate chips are also not impossible to find. There's marshemellow in some Zona Sul and chocolate chips in places like Casa do Pão de Queijo and also Chocookie. The chocolate chip however is not as good as in North America.


    I forgot to add - books in English are hard for me. A paperback in English can be over (converted) over US$17.00. When I know I am going to the states I go online to
    order a few dozen used books (12 plus shipping about US$30.00) and I bring back nearly a suitcase full every trip - during rainy season I read about 3 a week it is necessary to plan ahead. I have about 500 up here in Friburgo. Come up to visit if desperate and borrow or buy, let me know.


    Mexican food and ingredients are hard to find and uber-expensive (and not very good when you do find it). Asian ingredientes are a little easier to find, because of the Japenese and Lebanese communities in Brazil. Chili powder is one of the spices I always bring back. You can get marshmellows at the supermarkets and I have found chocolate chips in party goods/baking stores. However, the quality of the chips is not too good. I always just chop up a bar of Garoto dark chocolate for cookies (it is actually what the baking gurus suggest anyway). I have found baking powder EVERYWHERE, don't understand why it is on the list. Royal is a very popular brand.

    In general, if it is imported it will be extremely expensive (there is an 80% import tax and then the store profit on top of that).

    As far as clothes, dental and cleaning supplies, I just use what is available, except for some clothing items, since the selection for clothes over a size 10 is pretty weak. This was definitely the case for maternity clothes!!

    Also, most Brazilian bras only come in band size with a one size fits all cup size (usually a B). If you are larger than the average Brazilian (read, actually have boobs), get your bras elsewhere.

    Daily Rio Life

    I had a hard time finding baking powder, but maybe now that I know the brand it will be easier. Baking soda, however... pretty much imposssible to find in a decent quantity!


    I love your blog. I am a fellow expat wife living in Sao Paulo. We share many of the same issues. I have found a source for English books. I used them in the States and thought I would try them here. I ordered a book for $18.00 (US) the shipping by mail is $4.00 per book (you can pay more for faster shipping)on the web site they said it would take 21 days in fact it took about 6 weeks. BUT I GOT THE BOOK. They also sell used books. Their profits go to reading programs around the world. Happy reading!

    Daily Rio Life

    Hi everyone - thanks so much for the comments and suggestions!

    NEW RULE: if you feel something does not belong on the hard to find/expensive list, you must provide the name of a brand or store where you have found the item, for the rest of us! Thanks!!!


    I remember reading somewhere *apparently not here* that there is no bleach in Brazil. It might be worth mentioning agua sanitário is the same thing.

    Maple syrup is close to $25R, I'm surprised that as a Canadian, this didn't make your list, unless you are aware of a place to find it less insanely priced...

    Also, re: spices...I found a large (and affordable) section in the Zona Sul in Recreio.



    Also, the Kindle is international now to solve your expensive book problems:

    I'd suggest ordering it to a US address and having someone ship it to you in's over $900R here.


    Just read about a swimsuit store in Rio that appears to have some selection with better than typical coverage and some really nice one pieces as well:

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    I see that American-style peanut butter is listed as 'hard to get'. I've never been able to find it. If someone knows a place to go, could you please tell me?

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    Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!


    American peanut butter (Skippy, actually) is available at Zona Sul grocery stores in (you guessed it) Ipanema and Leblon.


    Hey There! I love the blog and have read it from beginning to end. I am about to move to Rio and am moving into a place with a bed which is "A cama e de casal tamanho normal." So I am from the U.S and I am having trouble figuring out if this is a double bed or a queen size bed. I am hoping to bring sheets down but I cant figure out what size this is. Is there any site or resource online which discusses Brazilian bed sizes?

    Thanks so much!

    Daily Rio Life

    padreau is double... hmmm.... I would bring queen sized sheets and just be ok with them being a bit big (that's actually what I did and it's fine).

    Jay English

    I am on the other end. I need something from Brazil that I can no longer find in the states. Here they refer to it as Brazilian Mint Tea, but the her is Hyptis Crenata. I don't recall what they call it in Brazil, but if anyone knows and can tell me or better yet a good place to pick it up... great!

    Daily Rio Life

    Jay, where do you live? Perhaps there's a Brazilian store someone can suggest?

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    hi all
    this blog is great! i moved to rio about a month ago and have found most ingredients to be replaceable EXCEPT mexican food! i brought a ton of spices with me, but i'm desperate for quality tortillas. i visited one of the zona sul's but didn't find it... do you have any other suggestions? i live in gloria, near centro but would travel *anywhere* to get some basic staples to cook at home...

    Daily Rio Life

    The Zona Suls in our neighbourhood have them!

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    The original peanut butter ( i think it´s imported from USA) you can find at a deli called Raffinee (Paisandu with Senador Vergueiro - Flamengo)I don´t like but my friend is dutch and he loves it (the brazilian similar - amendocrem is too sweet he says). Last time i bought it costed R$ 14,00. I believe it´s the same price or cheaper cause dollar keeps on going down.

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    Lovely tips! I am planning a trip for the family. Your list is very helpful.

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