About the photos
- Fish. The fish “menu”, as commonly seen along the Brazilian coast.
- Moqueca. An institution from the Brazilian north-east. To be eaten in moderation, dendé oil tends not to be kind to your digestive system.
- Feijoada. Probably the Brazilian national dish.
- Sushi. A São Paulo cult found throughout Brazil – with very diverse results.
- Carne seca. Dried meat and other delicacies from the north east.
- Shrimps and lobster. All along the Brazilian coastline.
- Shrimps. As served on the sequência de camarão popular in Florianópolis.
- Pizza. Widespread throughout Brazil, and art in the city of São Paulo.
- Meat. The essential and ubiquitous Brazilian churrasco.
- Oysters. Au gratin, in Florianópolis, the Brazilian oyster capital.
About Brazil 10
This blog post is part of the series Brazil 10 where we take you on a themed and visual tour of Brazil. To find out more about the series and see the entries we have posted so far click here.
From the New York Times travel section (and the history vault!), a video with the quest for the perfect cup of coffee in Rio de Janeiro.
Watch it here: wired in Rio.
destination: Rio de Janeiro
48 hours in Rio de Janeiro – what to do, where to go
hotels in Rio de Janeiro
budget accommodation in Rio de Janeiro
the Rio de Janeiro subway
map of Rio de Janeiro
a new Rio pass is launched
the new official Rio Guide
Rio de Janeiro’s Michelin guide for free
hang-gliding in Rio de Janeiro
Rio bus station: Terminal Novo Rio
Acarajé is a true culinary delicacy from the state of Bahia. An acarajé is a ball made from black-eyed peas and fried in dendê oil, usually served with hot chilly pepper sauce. It can be eaten along with dried shrimp and traditional dishes from Bahia such as the vatapá or the caruru.
Acarajé is often eaten as street food, found in traditional food stalls managed by the traditional baianas do acarajé, the ladies that have prepared the delicacy for decades and have turned their activity into an art.
Salvador is where the elite of the baianas do acarajé is found. Each citizen from Salvador has a favourite baiana, but if you choose among Cira, Dinha (no longer alive) or Regina you can’t go wrong.
When you order your acarajé, you have to make it clear if you want it con camarão (with shrimps) or sem camarão (without them). The former is a bit more expensive (in March 2009 R$4 at Dina’s). If you don’t want any hot sauce on it ask for it sem pimenta.
a city called Bahia
SENAC restaurant, Salvador
sorveteria da Ribeira, top-quality ice-cream in Salvador
Salvador bus, visit Salvador from the top of a bus
Those with a grasp of Spanish should learn before they arrive in Brazil that the ubiquitous pastel is a false cognate and does not mean cake or pie like the Spanish term does. Rather, a pastel (its full form is pastel de feira) is a small pasty, made of puff pastry, rectangular in shape and fried. It can contain a wide range of fillings: cheese, tomato, meat, cod, mushrooms, chicken and so on.
The ancestor of the pastel is the Chinese spring roll. It arrived in Brazil with the Japanese immigrants escaping from the Second World War. As at that time being Japanese wasn’t hold in high regard, some of the Japanese tried to pass as Chinese to avoid the discrimination their country fellow men were being victim of. And they begin cooking Japanese food with a Chinese touch.
The pastel is strongly associated with São Paulo and it is an incredibly popular snack you will find in most open-air markets (the feiras, hence the name pastel de feira). The traditional thing to do is to eat your pastel washed down with a caldo de cana – sugarcane juice.
If you go to Alcântara, state of Maranhão, you have to eat one of the most scrumptious sweets prepared in Brazil: the doce de espécie. It is a coconut cake so good, so delicious, that it itself it becomes a reason to visit Alcântara. You will also find the delicacy in São Luís, but it is made in Alcântara.
In Alcântara it is the kids that go after the tourists carrying the doces in large tupperware containers. If you are lucky, the sweets will have just left granny’s oven. If you make the mistake of buying just half a dozen, you must know that shortly after that you will be running after the kid to buy another half a dozen. Do yourself a favour and order the dozen from the start.