15 FOODS YOU HAVE TO TRY WHILE IN ITACARÉ, BA, Brazil
(Joshua’s food guide)
When I first arrived in Brazil a friend of mine described the food as “rice, beans and meat”. Now considering my Asian heritage already opens me up to a huge amount of rice being consumed at home and I’m not really a fan of feijao…it left meat. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a traditional dish but this description left little to be desired. So naturally when I arrived in Itacaré I had very little expectations and yet to my surprise (as this place never fails to do so) I was astounded by the incredible flavours and variety of food ready to be consumed, and it’s literally on my doorstep. No I mean literally – walk out the volunteer house and 3 paces down you are faced with women selling a huge range of home cooked foods. So without further ado here’s my guide to SOME great places to eat in Itacaré (Note that this list is in no particular order).
- Tapiocas…anytime and anywhere
For those of you who don’t know what tapiocas are it’s gluten free powder made from a root. Now this doesn’t sound appetising but when it’s been cooked on a pan and dished with either carne com queijo, or for those who wish something less savoury with strawberries and Nutella, it is delicious.
- Those sweet juicy ribs at Mais Que Nada
Mais que nada is a hostel that is close to Praia da Concha. It’s a great place to meet travellers and locals. This couple with their weekly jam sessions and sweet, juicy ribs…makes for a great evening.
- Sweet tooth? Acai at Casa Rosa
Acai is a sweet Brazilian berry full of antioxidants. It is super healthy and is usually served with leite condensado or honey, banana and granola. If you don’t care about the healthy mumbo jumbo…it still makes for a satisfying dessert.
- Julian’s savoury waffles
Savoury waffles hit the spot for anyone who has had a long day and wants a cosy café to sit their stress away. Served either with cream cheese, Gorgonzola cheese or bacon and eggs; the dish is the perfect complement for a cup of iced coffee.
- Everything at Carmelo’s
Carmelo’s is a café towards the beginning of Pituba, full of baked goods ranging from chocolate com laranja to quiche di frango.
- Acaraje by the seafront
Now I’ve asked what this was before and truth be told (it’s not just because my Portuguese is very bad…honestly) but I don’t think anyone does. All I know is that it is made out of beans and deep-fried (kind of like falafel) and served with camarao, fresh salad and some special sauce. Proceed with caution if you want it spicy.
- Bahia’s Moqueca (I suggest Sabor de Bahia)
Moqueca translated is basically a fish stew, but cooked with onions, tomatoes, dende and coconut milk. A traditional dish for the state of Bahia, this dish is served with rice, salad a type of root flour called farofa. A homely dish that warms the stomach and really does help with the realisation that you’re in Brazil.
- Pao de queijo
Cheese bread… need I say anything else? Even better, it’s usually gluten free, made from root flour as well.
- Curry night at Aqua
It sounds weird to come to a country like Brazil and head for a curry night. BUT the curry in Aqua is the perfect combination of flavours that truly tantalises the taste buds. The creaminess of the sauce enveloping this soft, tender chicken and cutting through is this sharp fish sauce finished with a hint of spice. It’s an explosion of flavours.
- Marley’s unique take on traditional dishes
Marley’s is a family affair owned by the brother of the woman who owns Julian’s. They take traditional dishes and give them the Marley’s touch. The result? A uniquely crunchy batata frita.
- Grilo’s cart
Grilo is a man who has a cart full of some incredible treats. His mobility makes him a hard man to find but usually he’s hanging around the square where Pasarella and Pituba meet. He has all kinds of snacks that are just melt in the mouth delightful.
- Ice Cream at Di Mel
Have a chocolate ice cream whilst facing where the river meets the sea on the Orla. I recommend enjoying your ice cream around sunset whilst watching the sky go an incredible shade of deep red as your day ends.
- The local fish ready to grill for home
Itacaré is a fishing town, so naturally fish is always on the table. Meet with any of the fishermen, see what the fresh catch of the day is and take it home. Clean, descale, season with salt and pepper and grill. YUM!
- Cassava or Manioc root to be made into Apim.
This root is the healthiest alternative to chips (for my American counterparts French fries). Nothing to be said about them apart from the fact that they are a great snack.
- All the fruits under the sun
You’re in Brazil. ALL FRUITS, EVERY FRUIT, ALL DAY, EVERYDAY.