Acareje is street food eaten at any time as a snack. It consists of a patty, made from mashed feijao fradinho (black-eyed beans). The mash is deep-fried in dende oil (derived from a nut found on the dende palm). Acaraje is usually eaten accompanied by camarao (small sundried shrimp), pimenta (hot pepper sauce), vatapa, caruru and salada (diced tomatoes, onion and cucumber) and should be eaten while still hot.
A variation on acaraje is the abara. It is made from the same ingredients but is steamed and served in a banana leaf instead of fried.
Colourfully dressed baianas set up shop daily in thatched-roof kiosks or at improvised tables where they serve acaraje, a Bahian-style hamburger. Try this typical food at a place that has been recommended to you to be sure of getting the fresh product. Some of well-known Baianas with deserved reputation for excellent acarajes are:
- Dinha (Rio Vermelho)
- Cira (Itapoan)
- Jo (Barra)