No other regional cuisine in Brazil is as distinctive as that of the Bahia region, and this is the perfect chance to perfect the style on a cooking class and market visit that helps you truly understand this unique cuisine.
After being picked up from your hotel in Salvador, your guide will drive you to São Joaquim Market, a bustling hub of colour where the locals go to get their supplies for the day.
This is where you’ll be able to experience a bit of authentic, local life in Salvador, as you see the residents and the stall owners bartering, socialising and going about their daily business. You’ll also learn plenty about typical ingredients the locals like to buy, as your chef helps you understand what you’re seeing in this explosion of scent and colour.
You’ll go shopping for the ingredients of the quintessential Bahian dish – moqueca. In doing this, you’ll also learn about the way Brazilians conduct themselves by immersing yourself in market culture.
The next part of the tour will be all about the cooking. Join your chef and get to know the nuances of Bahian cuisine.
Mediterranean, African, indigenous and Asian influences form the basis of this truly unique cuisine, as a seasoning for Bahian cuisine is a blend of fresh coriander leaf (cilantro), garlic, limes, black pepper, all with their origins in either Mediterranean countries or further east in Asia.
Coconut and seasonings from the Mediterranean and Asia, Dende palm oil from Africa, manioc in all of its variants from Brazil, the challenge here is to bring all these flavours together. There is no one better to help you achieve this than a local chef.
You’ll be using the ingredients you bought earlier at the market to make moqueca, Bahia’s signature dish. A subtle blend of the above ingredients, the moqueca is a seafood dish prepared in an earthenware wok-like dish and brought to the table directly from the stove, a delight for the eyes, nostrils, and palate. Dessert will also draw on the imported seasonings such as clove and cinnamon.
By the time you’ve finished this experience, you won’t just know what authentic Bahian cuisine is, you’ll know what it tastes like, and how to make it.