If you’ve ever been to Fazenda the word picanha might ring a bell. But just in case, here’s a reminder on the top of this post…

We bet you definitely remember now!

Brazilians are passionate about picanha (pee-KAH-nja). It’s sometimes called ‘a rainha da grelha’ – the queen of the grill. No ‘churrasco’ is complete if picanha isn’t present, it’s simply a must.

The history of picanha is relatively recent, and there are of course several versions of its origin. The most popular one says it was born at a restaurant in São Paulo called Bambu. It’s said a businessman who was a regular customer of the restaurant one day ordered a rump BBQ. What came to the table was an extremely succulent and tender cut of meat. The businessman asked to speak to the assador and asked him for the name of that heavenly cut. The Argentinian assador replied ‘picaña‘ (Spanish spelling). He said that was the term used in the Argentinian Pampas for the tip of the rod used to poke the cattle on the top of the rump; and therefore ‘cap of rump = picanha’.

Picanha is such an important part of the Brazilian food culture that last year Burger King Brazil decided to formally include it in their menu as BK™ Picanha!

BK picanha

That would probably be OK for a Brazilian in a rush, but we can’t help but feel a bit traditional here and think the actual cut is best when kept intact.

In a future post we’ll cover a little bit more about it, from how it’s best cooked to how Brazilians make it at home.

Is our signature cut one of your favourites? We’d love to hear your thoughts!