Northern Spices in Feira Nordestina
Feira Nordestina is an enormous fair showcasing the north-eastern Brazilian Culture. Go there to taste their spicy peppers, drink their home-made cachaça with crab flavour and dance forró together with the excile-northeners in Rio, the good people from Bahia; and any other curious crowd.
The Feira Nordestina takes place in Campo de São Cristóvão which is a former football stadium, now turned into a great indoor market with over 600 stalls that offer everything from food, drinks and spices to handicraft, clothes or flowers. Here you find everything in great abundance, whether you are looking for souvenirs to bring back home or just a taste of the northeastern culture.
You definitely want to try the food and you will not be able to walk far until the restaurants try to haul you in for a good meal, and you can really make a good deal here due to the vibrant competition. The typical food from the northeast reflects their Portuguese and African heritage. It includes ingredients such as coconut milk, palm oil, ginger and varieties of peppers. The cooking techniques are often passed on from generation to generation.
A typical, inexpensive dinner-for-two deal, that easily feeds up to four people, including a bag of leftovers for the less fortunate waiting outside the feira as you get into your taxi.
You find a variety of food, drinks and spices.
The home made crab inspired Cachaça is worth a taste.
Campo de São Cristóvão gets especially crowded during weekends when they have live bands playing forró, which might mean three old men handling the accordion, zabumba (a type of bass drum) and a metal triangle to give you pleasant sounds, far from the noisy samba you find elsewhere in Rio. Although some days they might play samba here as well, Feira Nordestina have everything.
Dryed and salted fish is common here.
To go there you might want to take a taxi, it is only around 4 miles northeast of Centro. You may also take the metro to the São Cristóvão station, then get in a cab from there, if you want to save some Reais. When you leave the metro make sure you get off at the right exit, as that side is far easier to stop a cab. There is an entrance fee to get in to the Feira but it is not much, aroud 5 Reais. Although it might be a bit more expensive when they have live music there.
You can check out their website here for further information.