Banco Do Juca
Banco Do Juca is the Mercado's most famous fruit stand. In addition to having a wide variety of fresh fruits, it was featured in a Brazilian soap opera.
Jabuticaba at Banco Do Juca
Jabuticaba are fresh tasting, ping pong ball-sized fruits with a tangy, versatile taste. It's eaten straight, made into jam and used to flavor liqueur (try it in a cocktail with sparkling wine).
Decolon at Banco Do Juca
Decolon is a hybrid fruit (like pluots)—a cross between a tangerine and an orange. Seedless, the fruit is sweeter and a bit less tangy than straight-up oranges.
Caju at Banco Do Juca
Maybe one of the coolest discoveries at the Mercado were caju fruits, the source of cashew nuts. The little brownish bit at the top splits open to reveal: a single cashew nut! Imagine how many of those you go through to get a bulk bin's worth. The fruit itself is eaten raw and dried, and causes your jaw to lock upon biting into it.
Atemoia at Banco Do Juca
Atemoia fruits grow in the Amazon and have a sweet, milky flavor. The taste is like a cross between pineapple and coconut.
Fresh fish is sold in a variety of cuts and preparations (head-still-on varieties are very readily available).
Head-to-tail isn't just a way of eating in Brazil, it's what you see at the market. Being as carnivorous as they come, I found this display quite appetizing.
One of many meat vendors, Porco had all kinds of pig parts available. And what's not to love about a friendly, bow tie-wearing mascot?
Lest you underestimate the delicious importance of feijoada to Brazilian food, here is a stand dedicated to selling the ingredients necessary to make it at home.
Spices and Seasonings for Sale
Spices are sold individually and in blends, right alongside cheeses and dried fruits.
Bacon, Sausages, and Smoked Fish
Cured meats make a good showing at the market, with slabs of bacon and sausage holding court next to huge filets of dried and salted fish.
Hot Peppers Galore
Peppers of every type served in dainty jars or economy-sized bottles. Truly a spice-lovers dream.
Pastiés Bacalhau at Hocca Bar
Pastiés, a popular bar, street, and beach food in Brazil, can be artfully summed up with the description, "fried thing with stuff inside." Nothing wrong with that, at all. This pastiés is filled with a "secret cod recipe" in a pocket of flaky, oil-crisp dough. The fish filing tasted like a smoked fish version of a Mediterranean — it's laced with chopped olives and sweet onions. The filling was a touch dry, but nothing that couldn't be remedied with a few drops of olive oil or the excellent, very spicy hot sauce served alongside.
Fried Mortadella Sandwich at Bar Do Mané
The mortadella (fried bologna) sandwich at Bar Do Mané is as dangerously delicious as it is elemental. 450 grams of thinly sliced, porky-tasting meat is fried, slopped on a soft oily bread, and served up. You can get vegetables or condiments on it, but why bother? This is a greasy, meaty, serious serious sandwich: the perfect thing to eat late night after a few too many drinks, or many the morning after to shock your system into sobriety.
Fried Mortadella Sandwich, Inside Shot
Sandwich from the inside: meat, meat, and more meat.