Salvador da Bahia Local Custom Tips by toonsarah
Salvador da Bahia Local Customs: 45 reviews and 38 photos
Lady in Bahian costume
All over the older part of Salvador, and especially in Pelorinho, you will see women dressed in the traditional style. Some of these work in the tourist-aimed shops, e.g. crafts, and wear the dress to attract customers, while others pose on street corners and hope to earn money by being photographed. Unlike in Havana, where a similar custom prevails, the women are quite aggressive in their “sales technique”, so I found myself trying to bypass it and take a few shots for free!
The dress, like so much else in Salvador, has its origins in Africa and in slavery – costumes similar to this would have been worn by slave women. It consists of a colourful turban-style headdress, a full dress with starched skirts, a shawl and plenty of jewellery.
Old house in Salvador da Bahia
Moqueca is a traditional Brazilian seafood stew. It basically consists of fish, onions, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, chilli pepper and additional ingredients depending on the region. It is cooked slowly, with no water added. In Salvador many restaurants serve the regional variation, Moqueca Baiana. This is, unsurprisingly, strongly influenced by African cuisine. In addition to the basic ingredients listed above, palm oil (dendê) and coconut milk are added.
It is normal for this to be served in two-person portions. I was keen to try it, whereas Chris (not fond of fish) was not, but we found a restaurant in Pelorinho where one of the choices was an octopus Moqueca Baiana. This Chris agreed to try, and although it wasn’t his favourite meal of the holiday, it made a tasty lunch washed down with a local beer, and we both enjoyed the friendly atmosphere in the family-run restaurant.
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