Bahian cuisine has the influence of Portuguese, African and Indian cultures with a predominance of local exotic ingredients. Is characterized by the generous use of malagueta chili peppers and dende oil extracted from an African palm tree. Several Bahian dishes also contain seafood (usually shrimps), coconut milk, banana and okra.
When you are in Salvador (or anywhere in Bahia) don't forget to taste some typical dishes. You won't regret - they are simply delicious!!
Acarajé - dish, made with beans, seasoned with salt and onion, fried in dendê (palm) oil and served with pepper sauce, dried shrimps, vatapa, tomato and green pepper
Abará - dish, made with beans, pepper and dendê (palm) oil, rolled in banana leaves
Moqueca de camarão (shrimps) or moqueca de peixe (fish) is a traditional Bahian seafood stew. It basically consists of shrimps or fish, onion, garlic, tomatoes, coriander, pimenta malagueta (chili pepper) and additional ingredients. It is usually accompanied by farinha, rice and farofa.
Bobo de camarão is a typical Bahian dish made with shrimps, cassava (manioc), dendê (palm) oil and coconut milk.
Vatapa is one of the most traditional dishes of Bahia made from bread, shrimp, coconut milk, dendê (palm) oil and nuts (peanuts and/or cashews). It's somewhere between a sauce and a paste and it's used to accompany dishes such as acaraje.
Caruru - dish, made with okra, fish, shrimps, peanuts, cashew nuts and seasoned with oil and peppers
Did you read the previous tip? Well, this one is just the contrary. Don't forget your umbrella or your raincoat, because it rains a lot!!!
¿Leíste el consejo anterior? Bueno, éste es exactamente lo contrario. No olvides tu paraguas o impermeable, ¡¡¡porque llueve un montón!!!
The basement at Mercado Modelo
Just about everyone who goes to Salvador has been to Mercado Modelo, but whenever I go down to the basement, I rarely see a living soul. At the end of the building, where the Capoeira dancers perform, before leaving the building, turn right or left going toward the staircase that leads to the second level. You will see a spiral staircase going down, there are no signs, just take the staircase down. It's pretty erie, but you can feel the history down there. I've read on another VT site that people would take cover there before an impending attack on the city. I've also heard from a Soteropolitana (this is the name for someone who is born in Salvador), that this is where the slaves first entered the city. Mercado Modelo's original function was the customs building and the slaves had to pass through here. Not too many people know about this place, including Soteropolitanos.
With three different ambients (outdoor, by a fountain and a hammock; on the veranda, sitting at tables specially designed around the trees; inside, in a very good and more private atmosphere) Quixabeira is a very good place to go. Run by two great girls, Andrea Praddo and Ana 'Portuguesa' who will treat you very very well, their specialty is food from the reconcavo. The decoration is flawless, there is always something interesting going on. On Thursdays they have Chorinho concerts. Dress cool and comfy.
Dishes of the street
This is a list of bahia dishes that you can eat from vendor on the strret or on the beaches.
Quejo fundido: rectangular chunks of cheese served on a stick after been tosted over coal, slyghtly salty and with oregano.(1 or 2 Reais)
Acarajè and Abarà: acarajè is deep fried bread of mashed bkackeyed beans flour, in dendè oil (strong palm oil) filled with sundried shrimps, pimenta (hot pepper souce), vatapà (special paste with shrimp, peanuts, coconut milk) cururù and sald. Abarà is similar to acarajè, but boiled in palm leafs. This product are cooked and selled from ‘Baianas de Acarajè’, women dressed with tipical crinolin white dress ( white is the color of Iansa, orisha of the wind in condomblè).(1-3 reais)
Churrasco: it’s like a kebab, chunk of meat, served with farofa ( made with tapioca flour) ( 1-2 reais)