I have grown accustomed to the fruit and vegetable open-air markets in Brazil and am simply amazed at the selection of fresh produce. The vendors have perfected the art of fruit displays (along with shouting to get your attention) and I share a few pictures below.
I will always remember when I first got here I went to the neighborhood market on my own and sample tasted all of the fruit. Was the vendor just being nice and trying to introduce me to Brazilian fruit? Actually, he ended up over charging me for everything and since I had eaten MULTIPLE of his fruit, I couldn’t just leave. But that’s a whole other story. Oh, Brazil…
Anyways, there are fruits I have never seen before! The pitaia (or dragon fruit) is one of them, its skin is thick, pink and has petal-like formations, and the inside of the fruit resembles an asian pear but has tiny black seeds everywhere like kiwis. There is also the pinha, or fruta do conde, (or sour-apple for you English speakers) with a green lumpy exterior and big black seeds inside with a creamy custardy-like flesh. They are both quite tasty.
I am also a big fan of the readily available coconut water (bem gelada). Be it on the beach on a scorching hot day or after a run at the park, coconut water is the best thirst quencher for me. And although we drink it in Trinidad, it seems that everywhere I turn I find coconut water in Brazil (unlike in Trinidad, where you must hire a man to climb the coconut tree for you :)).
Another curiosity is avocado smoothies. Sure, you will tell me that they are the tropical watery kind and have little to no taste, but I had never imagined anything like it before. Avocado and sugar?! Please give me another helping of guacamole, not avocado smoothie.
And of course there is the world-renowned Açaí fruit, a tiny black berry, which supposedly has magical powers (apparently when consumed on a frequent basis it makes you look and feel younger). I will leave that to the experts. It is an extremely popular fruit that grows in the Amazon and is usually served in slushy form (with or without guarana syrup). Although I do enjoy eating it I am cautious because of the high sugar content.
Just one perk of living in Brazil—the fruit! 🙂