Bahia, a big state on Brazil’s jap coast, lies simply south of the Equator.
Not solely a house for completely unbelievable Brazilian seafood, its additionally the proper place to get to know Brazil by means of its folks.
You probably have the possibility, I urge you to plan out your individual journey to Salvador!
On this article, you’ll uncover why its variety makes Brazil such an incredible and particular nation. I hope you’re full of pleasure (and able to be filled with Brazil’s finest seafood as nicely!) – let me share with you top-of-the-line reminiscences of our personal journey – lunch with native hero and chef, the superb Dona Suzana.
Restaurante Dona Suzana
Taking a look at a photograph like this, its simple to see how seashores in Salvador are world well-known.
What I wish to draw your consideration to much more although, is how the native tradition all the time locations emphasis on its folks, their historical past and their artwork (of which meals is likely one of the finest!).
In this method, Salvador is like no different place I’ve ever seen, and I can’t wait to share extra with you proper now!
Use Dona Suzana as Your Instance
In fact, for us, meals is on the high of a listing of causes to go to (wherever), however it was the willingness of locals to share their love of meals with us that left us with such nice reminiscences. The joy, and the outward friendliness with which the folks of Salvador will welcome you, its all merely superb.
I’m selecting this meal specifically because it ought to provide you with a single nice instance of what its wish to eat like a neighborhood in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.
Scroll down now, and find out about Ré Restaurante Dona Suzana.
Cheers to you, Dona Suzana, and cheers to Bahia – and far like to Salvador!
I’ve left the hyperlink beneath, however even with GPS data, there’s positively no simple technique to discover this place.
You’re going to have to drive, after which end with a stroll (however on this case constructing an urge for food is sort of a necessity).
Your subsequent feast of Brazilian seafood isn’t solely simply across the nook, its really beneath Salvador’s Historic District, in an incredible group hidden beneath the seaside freeway!
Parking is Restricted – Convey Your Seashore Footwear
There’s no house for vehicles, barely even room for bikes, and because of ocean tidal movement, even the time of day is essential to notice right here.
The time of yr and tide occasions will decide which staircase you’re going to want to make use of – spend a second and watch the locals strolling, they might help to information you in your method.
Belief me although, its nicely price your efforts, as a result of the mix of native meals and the warmest of welcomes right here, simply might make this lunch your individual ‘favourite meals reminiscence’ in your total journey to Brazil.
Strive To not Get Distracted…
Restaurante Dona Suzana isn’t a big restaurant, and that’s in all probability unlikely to vary.
Proceed down (after which up) units of damaged cement stairs, passing beside one of many extra lovely (but lonely rock-strewn seashores) I believe I’ve ever seen in my life.
The spray paint paintings is totally superb right here as nicely, simply exploding off each flat floor obtainable.
Inventive decorations will flip your head (cautious on the steps!), and make you wish to fill your digicam cellphone with pictures even earlier than you order your meals. You might even have the seaside all to your self, so take a while to benefit from the view (or perhaps a swim) in the event you come to the restaurant throughout noon.
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Lastly, up a number of extra units of crumbling cement stairs, you’ll discover the house of Dona Suzana, one of many coolest native eating places you possibly can ever hope for, and a veritable buffet of scrumptious Brazilian seafood.
Introduction to Bahia’s Seafood
Senora Susana might greet you personally, as her restaurant consists of simply two tables.
Sit in a romantic smaller part for 2, full with a seaside view, or sit instantly in entrance of her kitchen, and benefit from the instant and pleasant relationship I’m certain she’ll construct with you.
Begin by trying on the menu, filled with tasty-looking seafood (however it might be quicker to easily belief the chef, “considered one of every part please!”*), or order a drink and sit for awhile.
*My favorite order at a restaurant like this although is “considered one of every part, please,” for just some fundamental and essential causes. I’ve discovered that in the event you already belief the chef, then that is simply the quickest technique to meals happiness, and I’m telling you that right here – Dona Suzana will likely be treating you nicely.
With the portion sizes she is serving, three or 4 totally different seafood gadgets must be nearly proper, and possibly two or three sides (veggies) to go along with your seafood as nicely (we had been a bunch of 5 at the present time, and with this similar order we had been full).
A Little Again Story
Earlier than the meals arrives, you would possibly take pleasure in a chilly Devassa beer (a neighborhood lager beer) which is an ideal companion when searching over such a view because the one you’ll discover right here.
If its nonetheless too early for beer, then take pleasure in simply your self within the second right here – a quiet, native meals paradise, getting misplaced within the small bay filled with native fisherman, remembering how simply minutes earlier than you had been misplaced someplace above, on a 4-lane freeway, on the lookout for this restaurant…
You might be right here to eat Brazilian seafood like a neighborhood, and at Restaurante Dona Suzana, this implies you eat ‘Household Fashion.’
While you order full-plate gadgets of seafood right here, every dish will are available in a big portion dimension to share – I like consuming this manner although, as a result of it implies that everybody will get no less than one style of every dish!
Begin by laying down a mattress of both rice, beans, or each. Spoon totally different gadgets onto your plate, and don’t neglect the chili oil. Discover which dishes you like probably the most, and be at liberty to refill (or re-order) as essential.
Moqueca (w/Manta Ray) – Moqueca (de Arraia)
Moqueca is the place you need to begin, one of many final meals of Bahia. It might even be stated that this dish alone is likely one of the issues most fun about Salvador’s native meals tradition.
Totally different from the inside of Brazil (which teems with overflowing quantities of freshwater river fish), cooks in Bahia make moqueca utilizing virtually totally salt-water fish (and loads of different seafood as nicely).
A very talked-about meat to eat right here in Salvador is Manta Ray, which they fish instantly from their very own coast.
Afro-Brazilian Tradition – Saltwater Contemporary Fish
Presumably the factor to like most about moqueca although, is the apparent Afro-Brazilian meals cultural roots.
Palm-oil stews filled with onions and tomatoes are such a staple in West Africa, and wait til you style them together with a neighborhood Brazilian spice profile. Add within the high quality contemporary Brazilian seafood, and you’ve got a very native (and completely world-class!) North-East Brazilian favorite meals.
The Dendê Oil…
Including the dendê oil to moqueca is what provides it the deep orange colour, in addition to some extremely deep quantities of richness in taste.
This was our introduction not solely to Salvador’s superb seafood, but additionally their love of dendê oil – one thing that I see might simply grow to be an habit as nicely.
Dendê oil is taken from the pink palm, a sort of palm that (though it appears to be like very darkish in colour) produces wholesome kind of oil. The extra generally recognized ‘kernel’ palm fruit (or ‘regular’ palm oil, which you’ll study extra about right here) has increased quantities of saturating fats – one thing this Dendê oil is with out.
Quickly you’ll acknowledge the dendê oil in lots of different different superb North and North-East meals of Brazil as nicely. Acarajé, abará, pirau, and vatapá all use dendê within the recipes. After tasting the richness of this oil for your self, I’m certain you’ll quickly end up an addict of this unbelievable Afro-Brazilian meals ingredient.
Manta Ray Fish
Ray could be troublesome to eat generally, because of each the stringy meat and the intricate bone construction of this fish, and so locals choose this meat finest as they’ve it slow-cooking in a moqueca.
By no means having manta ray myself earlier than our go to to Salvador, the fish meat is agency, dry, and impressively tasty, barely like fish in any respect. It doesn’t come aside on this stew, and the chunks of meat form of absorb the oils and oily taste as nicely. It tastes virtually like a sun-drying meat jerky, and from the feel, its virtually onerous to consider that its fish in any respect!
Shrimp Stew – Ensopado de Camarão
‘Ensopado‘ interprets on to the English phrase ‘stew,’ and this shrimp stew must be the following merchandise in your checklist.
Change it up in the event you like, or simply proceed to comply with our suggestions right here – one dish every of shrimp, fish, and manta ray is a superb combo, and we predict that for shrimp, the stew is the best way to go proper right here.
The stew broth may be very thick, as Dona Suzana makes use of a variety of each tomatoes and okra in her recipe. Bitter, and splendidly creamy, there are additionally chunks of onions, carrots, and inexperienced peppers on this ensopado.
I like the brilliant style of that bitter stew with a number of shrimp, the comfortable onions, consuming it along with the cilantro that she places on high.
I couldn’t inform whether or not she makes use of lime juice or vinegar, however that is such an important combo to have with moqueca (or one other Bahia favourite, ‘bobo,’ like we’ve got on the Salvador Mercado Modelo marketplace for lunch the following day).
For a last seafood order, you’ll be able to by no means go improper with a number of mackerel fish.
Deep frying these fish after breading them frivolously outdoors, she serves them merely and fantastically with just some contemporary greens.
Whereas I can’t say its a light-weight lunch by any means, the truth that all of those dishes are both seafood, or made totally from greens, retains the meal from being almost as heavy because it in any other case could possibly be.
Mackerel is unquestionably a favourite fish the world over, and its very cool to see it each at house so usually again in Thailand, and right this moment for lunch, right here in Salvador, Brazil.
Black Eyed Peas
Bahianos (folks of Bahia) simply love utilizing black-eye peas. This big bowl of them will go completely with every other meals you order, particularly a desk filled with Brazilian seafood just like the one you see in pictures above.
Dona Suzana prepares them with simply salt and black pepper, including in coconut oil, and utilizing the pure creaminess of the beans cooking to make the feel like a stew. Have this over rice, or use the beans as a base in your bites of seafood, this filling however wholesome meals is one other instance of the taste-preferences you will notice sharing between Brazil, and the Western coast of Africa.
There are lots of dishes of native meals in Salvador that function this splendidly cute and hearty bean,* and one other factor you’ll be able to’t depart Bahia with out making an attempt is acarajé (find out about Acarajé de Ivone right here).
*Black-eyed peas should not peas, they’re beans (legumes, similar to peanuts) – so if in case you have a peanut allergy, ensure that you’ll be able to order this dish.
Pirãu – Cassava Paste
Lastly its time for Senora Suzana’s unbelievable plate of pirau. She makes it wealthy, she whips and stirs it up completely, together with wholesome parts of extra pink pakm dendê oil.
Pirau is a texture lover’s delight, irrespective of the place you may have it, and simply take a second to understand that lovely colour of orange!
It’s the first time for us to eat this meals, however for locals in Brazil it instantly reminds folks of vatapá (one other North and North-East Brazilian favourite meals, a scrumptious paste, a mash of elements, one thing you additionally have to attempt when you’re right here).
Pirãu is So Unbelievable Creamy
With a consistency someplace between potatoes, and the thickest and most creamy bowl of porridge ever, the style of pirau is exclusive.
As there aren’t any fermenting elements within the recipe for pirau, there isn’t any sourness current on this (vatapá makes use of tucupi, fermenting manioc juices).
The richness, in fact, is because of extra of the fantastic dendê oil, so you’ll want to high your rice with a big scoop of pirau for good measure.
After your first portion, you’ll want to attempt a mixture of fried fish, pirau, and a large scoop of the oil-base chili sauce she makes for every desk.
Scrumptious – one other cheers to chef Dona Susana!
Unforgettable Chili Oil
I like how each restaurant desk setting comes with each farofa (cassava powder, see an instance of that right here), and chili oil. These two condiments collectively are positively one thing I’m certain we are going to each miss after a meals go to to Brazil.
It goes with out saying that I believe virtually something tastes higher after including chilies – and I’m even together with a whole part right here simply to speak about this (splendidly key) a part of Brazilian meals.
Brazilian meals is surprisingly un-spicy really, when you think about how extremely sizzling the chili peppers are that develop right here.
From Carolina Reaper to Trinidad Scorpion, native Habañeros and even international peppers like Naga Jolokia, all issues sizzling and spicy simply flourish right here – its one other stage of chili energy, and any chili lover owes themself no less than one journey on this lifetime to Brazil.
Not solely the chili warmth, however the taste in them as nicely, are simply crazily scrumptious.
Its awe-inspiring, and but another reason that I’ll all the time be lacking Brazil…
The Heartfelt Hospitality is Unbelievable
A terrific instance of how hospitable the folks of Brazil could be to outsiders, though we converse little to no Portuguese, Senora Suzana instantly treats you want household.
Coming into virtually proper at high-noon, she noticed how our faces had been sweating whereas strolling throughout the seaside to her home. Earlier than even speaking about meals, what does she do?, she instantly opens her door to us, providing using her personal bathe!
Wonderful. I miss her even interested by this expertise proper now.
Beginning any meal with such a welcome so heart-warming is superb, and the love and kindness didn’t even cease there.
An Wonderful Welcome
The type during which she runs her restaurant is so fantastic – She is principally cooking instantly out of her personal kitchen, organising tables in entrance of her personal entrance door.
There’s solely house for 2 tables, and 4 or 5 folks at every. She is going to serve you want she’s serving friends of her circle of relatives, and she or he’ll show you how to prolong your go to to an-all day meal in the event you let her.
Calling out from the kitchen, asking for any extra meals data, drinks, or snacks earlier than the meal, it felt as if we actually had been friends in her house.
What a technique to begin a day of Journey for Meals in Bahia.
(and by the best way, you need to watch the video of the whole day as nicely, right here’s the hyperlink to the YouTube video for avenue meals in Salvador)
Identify: Ré Restaurante Dona Suzana
Location: Google Maps (hyperlink right here)
Hours: Open Every day, 12pm to 6pm
Value: R$87 for our total meal right here, 5 folks together with drinks (US$22)
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