Traditional Food of Bahia & The Brazilian Northeast
First of all…
This is a post about Bahian food. Bahia is the state that is most known for having the best carnaval celebration…ever….which is centered in the capital city Salvador. But it is also known for its food. Bahia is perhaps the most well known state in the northeast region of Brazil, which is known throughout Brazil and the world for its distinctive culture and palate.
The graphic below was done by Flavia Marinho, a graphic designer at Bahia’s newspaper “A Tarde.”
Here is a Description of Some of the Bahian Foods Mentioned Above:
Bolinho de Estudante – called “bolinhos de chuva” in the southwest part of the country (no sudeste). These are little fried dough balls, eaten as breakfast or snack food.
Caruru - is essentailly like vatapá, except without the bread. So, it’s essentially a mixture of coconut milk, shrimp, onion, pepper, dendê, crushed nuts, and okra.
Abará - instead of eating acarajé on a delicious, fried bolinho de feijão, the healthier option is is made of the same ingredients (namely mashed beans), except it is wrapped in banana leaf and boiled.
Acarajé - click Here for a recipe for Acarajé.
Camarão – shrimp.
Vatapá – an accompaniment to many dishes, it’s a pasty mixture of coconut milk, shrimp, bread, ground nuts and dendê. Click Here for a recipe for Vatapá.
Salada - salad, but for acarajé, it’s usually green and red tomatoes chopped up with cilantro.
Passarinha - it’s like processed meat…but made to taste like liver (figado)…or it’s this meat thats usually cooked like carne de panela and served in cubes with sauce and it tastes like liver but i don’t think it is….
Pimenta – pepper.
Cocada – shaved coconut patty: essentially grated coconut cooked with water and sugar and made into patties and left to harden, sometimes baked.
And Here Are Some Descriptions of Other Foods From the Northeast of Brazil:
Carne de Sol - it’s salted, not quite cured meat..pork or beef, and you can fry it up easily and just add onions..it’s good but not quite healthy.
Feijão Andu – andu beans. They’re green and brown, they look sort of like This…In the northeast they eat this a lot, cooked in a pressure cooker with tomatoes, onion, garlic, sazon..it’s..alright…
Feijão Tropeiro – feijão tropeiro is fatty, doughy, bean goodness with chunks of bacon and ham and crunchy torresmo, mixed with fresh collared greens and topped with a gooey fried egg…in the northeast, they use: feijão andu, onions, peppers, tomatoes, sausage to make feijão tropeiro…it sucks. The feijão tropeiro from Minas is the best.
Cuscuz – made and eaten in the same spirit as a middle eastern cous cous, except it is typically made from corn (flakes) – milho em flocos, tapioca (polvilho azedo), salt, and water. Then they put it in a cuscuzeira or just like a round tupperware container and steam it essentially to make this glutinous loaf which is commonly eaten with butter or cheese…to make it sweet, add sugar and coconut milk or shaved coconut.
Beiju – sort of like a crepe made from tapioca…the tapioca flour is put into a pan with lots of butter, it starts to take crepe form, then different fillings are added (chicken with catupiry, carne de sol, sometimes banana and condensed milk, coconut and cheese), once melted, the beiju is wrapped up and served like a crepe.
Arroz Vermelho – delicious. Arroz vermelho is red rice – sort of ilke a black rice, it’s a nutricious, grainy rice, cooked in a broth until the broth dissolves, usually cooked with onion, garlic, pepper, beef stock, soemtimes ground beef as well. Served with lime and hot sauce. Good with fried pork ribs.
Brevidade – i’m not sure if this is a northeastern thing, or maybe just an “interior” thing, but i’ve only heard of it when I was in Bahia. A delicious, simple breakfast/coffee time cake made with eggs, sugar and polvilho, mixed with cravo (clove), the cake is light, sweet and the top is almost merenguish
Temperos da Chapada – in Minas, we’re used to beans simply made with bacon, garlic, onion, green pepper, bay leaf and some sausage — it can go as simple as bacon, garlic and bay leaf…in the northeast in general, beans are a lot heavier, and usually have meat already cooked into them – my boyfriend starts a meal by putting just beans on his plate and showering farinha or farofa on top…Beans in Bahia are cooked with the same seasonings that most things there are cooked in (for example, meat is also rubbed in these spices) - powdered saffron, powdered cumin, and urucum…which is mainly used for coloring and is salty–i’d rather use paprika…these 3 spices are added to everything, rub your meat in them to fry, put it in feijão or feijão andu….
Thank youfor all of your help.