You’ve got to love a farmers market that’s registered as being entirely organic, and Ipanema Farmers Market in Rio is no exception.
Held every Saturday, the predominantly fruit and vegetable market surrounds Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz, which is the size of an entire city block. That’s a lot of organic food, people!
Arriving early in the morning allows you to get in before the rest of the city does. Less people, you get to see some of the vendors artfully arrange their wares and things are way less frantic than when the market really kicks into gear.
I’ve got to say, it’s up there as being one of the best markets I’ve visited.
Exotic fruits from the Amazon, vendors that constantly offer you tastes of what they’re selling, and the sweetest strawberries we’ve ever tried.
And take look at that fresh corn. I mean, have you ever seen it presented like that? I haven’t.
Fresh flowers, chillies of all shapes and sizes, seafood galore – even fresh sardines that are boned and butterflied by hand. The woman at the sardine stand was a pro, through and through.
I tell you what, if we had a kitchen where we were staying in Rio, I’d be bagging up some of those sardines for lunch or dinner.
Medicinal herbs, whole spices and ground spice blends, eggs, cashew fruit, fruit pastes and loads of cheeses. Can’t forget the meat vendors, either. Not that there are many of them.
There aren’t too many places to grab a bite to eat, either. There’s a tapioca pancake stand, freshly deep-fried pastéis (airy pastry pockets of meat and cheese) and what got my attention the most – the treats from Kocada Assada.
Unlike regular cocada assada you see almost everywhere in Brazil – a baked mixture of grated coconut, condensed milk and egg whites – these guys bake theirs in coconut shells.
They don’t stop there. Not only do they make a plain coconut flavoured cocada assada, but there are six others like banana and cinnamon, passionfruit, coffee & brown sugar and pineapple.
Talk about a delicious treat!