This is food from the Salvador region, the only place in Brazil which serves hot food. Brazilians are highly sensitive to spicy food and unless he or she has deep African roots, they don’t like it.
I ordered two dishes. One was an acaraje which is some version of black-eyed beans that are boiled, smashed, and then formed into a ball which is deep-fried in palm oil. The end result is something like a roll. This was a dish that was brought from West Africa via slavery. I’ve never been to Africa but this struck me as a very African dish. The version I ordered was actually served similar to a sandwich with shrimp, onions, tomatoes, cilantro and some sort of heavy paste of shrimp and nuts at the bottom. The sandwich had zero structural integrity and fell apart as you handled it so I eventually asked for a fork. They served it with one of the hottest chili oils I have ever had in my life.
The other dish I ordered was a moqueca, or seafood stew with a base of coconut milk served in a clay oven dish. It is usually a stew made of prawns but I ordered it with a white fish. The broth was deep and rich, a bit sweet from the coconut milk which went well with the semi raw green bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes. It was accompanied with rice, pirao, and farofa. Farofa is a toasted cassava flour mixture. It’s everywhere in Brazil and most people who try it for the first time compare it to saw dust. It has 0 appeal to the non Brazilian palette. Pirao is a type of gruel made from cassava flour and broth. It’s actually not that bad if you don’t mind the texture.
All was washed down with an ice cold brahma chopp, a Brazilian beer and one of the better ones.
As always, stay curious my friends!
My frist acaraje…
One of the hottest chili oils I’ve ever had in my life!
A delicious pipping hot moqueca.
Pirao which is a stock (usually fish) thickened with cassava flour.