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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Snacking in Sao Paulo

Unwrapped deliciousness
(leave the wrapper on for a few more minutes and it'll turn translucent)
Pastel de bacalhau with very important chilli sauce in background
(Salt cod pasty/turnover with chopped olives, parsley and olive oil)
The stall we dined at - 1 of around 20 selling the exact same food
View of market's butcher shops and the mezzanine level in the background

LOCATION: Mercado Municipal, Rua da Cantareira, 306, near Rua 25 de Março and Parque Dom Pedro, Sao Paulo, Brazil
CATEGORY: Brazilian, Fast food, food market
DRINK: Fresh-squeezed pineapple, lime and mint juice from a juice stall
WE THINK: The Mercado Municipal in Sao Paulo is famous for 2 things: Pastel de Bacalhau (salt cod turnover) and mortadella sandwiches, and apart from fruit stalls and butcher shops, the majority of vendors in the main market sell primarily those 2 things (though there are a number of restaurants, including the famous Hocca Bar, on the mezzanine level where full sit-down meals and a wider menu are available). We opted for a pastel de bacalhau, expecting it would be a tasty, handy mid-afternoon snack. 'Snack' it hardly was, as one pastel easily amounts to half a pound of shredded codfish (seasoned with chopped olives and parsley) and deep-fried batter. 'Handy' not so much either as the liquid from the cooked olive-oil infused codfish gathers as a hot surprise in the bottom and spills all over the uninitiated tourist creating quite a mess. 'Tasty'? Absolutely yes! We advise sprinkling generous amounts of chilli for a full taste sensation.
OUR TIP: Walk up to the many fruit stalls and admire the crazy-looking Amazonian fruits. Most stall keepers are very friendly and will let you taste for free.

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