Mmmmmm….Acarajé. Is it even possible for it to taste better than it looks?

This was the first thing I ate when I arrived in Brazil March of 2011.  I had just gone for a long walk, sans suntan lotion, along the beach in the midday sun. The sunburn I got on my pasty white back was hardly how I wanted to start my trip but it was all forgotten once I sat down with this colorful plate of deliciousness.

Acarajé is a typical street food in Bahia served by women called “baianas,”wearing all white cotton dresses, headscarves, and hats. It is basically a deep-fried “bread” made from peeled black-eyed peas formed into a ball and cooked in dendê (palm oil). The ball is cut up and served with camarão (small sundried shrimp), pimento (homemade hot pepper sauce), vatapá (paste made from sundried shrimp, peanuts, cashews, coconut milk, dendê), caruru (an okra stew), and salada (diced green tomatoes, onions, and cilantro)

Yes, I just put the words cilantro and delicious in the same thought. If you know me, you know there is something VERY wrong with that. I confess, I did some picking around the salad due to the soapy taste of the cilantro but honestly I didn’t even mind. It’s Bahia’s version of street food and I would take this over a hot dog any day. Foodies out there, this is a must!