The Mercadão

Here we are, nearly a week into full time living in Brazil.

You might think that means it’s a crazy week spent running around like mad men getting everything set up, hooked up, stocked up and finding our way around, but it’s really not. We got all of that out of the way when we were here last time. The apartment was already rented and all utilities (including super fast internet, hallelujah!) were switched on months ago.

It’s been a sort of quiet week for me. While Brian works his mental fingers to the bone, dealing with the stress of cleaning up a department that was running amok while he was away, I’ve been quietly… trying to keep busy.

The only job I’ve really had this past week was to stock up the food and cook.

Two years ago I would have hated this part. I’ve never been a creative cook, and I always kind of hated doing it, but that’s all changed this year. All of a sudden I’m all about the FOOD. The less-processed the better. Give me some grass fed meat and raw honey, and I’m a happy woman.

So guess how happy I am that we live within walking distance to this place:

Shopping at the mercadão

This is the mercadão. Think of it as a sort of permanent farmer’s market. There are two butchers, two produce stores, an Asian market, an imported food store with a huge wine selection and (trumpets blaze) a health food store!

The "health food" store

It’s full of dried fruits, nuts and nut flours, spices, raw honey, dried herbs and all kind of other goodies. I even got a real vanilla bean!

My real-food pantry is pretty stocked now. I still can’t find turmeric, but everything else has been knocked off the list. Our freezer is filling up, the fridge is full of good stuff, and the spice drawer is full.

Now what do I do?

For starters, I’m going to start a little kitchen garden on the balcony.

Haaaaaahahaha! Seriously.

I know my black thumb will mock me by killing at least half of what I try to grow, but with a little advice from my friends I think those little plants might have a chance. Fingers crossed.

Also – We should have a car soon, which means we’ll be out exploring on the weekends and getting to know this new part of Brazil. Bring on the waterfalls and forests!

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About akil3655

A Scotsman and his American photographer wife traveling the world and writing about it. Tales, reviews, photos, interviews and crazy goings on. Because you never know what's going to happen.

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8 Responses to The Mercadão

  1. Angela C
    Twitter: Acook2121
    October 3, 2013 at 12:33 am #

    Vanilla beans are weird aren’t they? Who know something so nasty looking can produce such a sweet flavor . What ya going to make with them? I made homemade custard with some and we loved it :)

    • akil3655
      Twitter: kiltandacamera
      October 3, 2013 at 12:48 am #

      I don’t even know! lol
      I have a coconut milk ice cream recipe in mind, but I’m not sure yet. I just know that whatever I make, I wanted the real thing. :D

  2. mallory October 3, 2013 at 2:43 am #

    Turmeric is açafrão — some packets might say açafrão da india, which most people think is saffron. But its not. You can get it at any chain market!

    • akil3655
      Twitter: kiltandacamera
      October 3, 2013 at 2:58 am #

      Thanks, Mallory! I wasn’t really sure about that. The mercadao does carry açafrão, but they were out. Fingers crossed for next time. :)

  3. Jade @ Tasting Grace October 3, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    Sounds like a great way to ease back into your new(ish) home! After the craziness of the past few weeks, I’m sure it’s nice to have a bit of a slower pace to get yourself situated and organized, and explore with fresh eyes. Enjoy the mercadao!
    Jade @ Tasting Grace recently posted..Momma ChatMy Profile

    • akil3655
      Twitter: kiltandacamera
      October 3, 2013 at 11:32 am #

      It has been nice to relax and get settled. Funny how food can help with that!
      akil3655 recently posted..The MercadãoMy Profile

  4. Nancy October 8, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    So that’s where “comfort” food comes from. hahahaha You sound like you’re starting to wind down and relax. It’s about time.

    • akil3655
      Twitter: kiltandacamera
      October 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

      Yes, the food can really be a comfort! Especially when we have had so little control over everything else in life. At least we have control over what’s for dinner. :)