Experimenting with Bahian Food


Salvador is famous for its large black population and unique Afro-Brazilian culture. Just like dance, music and religion, Bahian food tells a story of Africa's past. For example, one of the main ingredients used in cooking is dendê oil which is palm oil that is used throughout Africa. This oil is used when preparing Acarajé, which is a traditional dish made from peeled beans. Acarajé is sold on the streets of Salvador. During my first few weeks here, I went to a gastronomy museum. Gastronomy refers to the relationship between food and the region of a place. The museum shows different dishes that Brazilians in the Candomblé faith prepare for their spirits during religious ceremonies.

What food did I try?:

I tried moqueca de camarão, which is shrimp stew. It is a very tasty dish made with shrimp, other seafood and vegetables. It is typically served with beans, rice and farofa. Farofa is a cassava flour mixture that is usually sprinkled over food to make it thicker.

How did I feel when I tried it?:

I first tried the traditional Brazilian meal at a restaurant and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it tasted. Up until that time, I was waiting to try food that was very Bahian and had flavors that were recognized as Bahian.