Thursday, November 19, 2009

Need Party Snacks? Get Some Acarajé from Sabor de Bahia Catering.

What is acarajé? Street Gourmet LA called it "Brazilian falafel". Acarajé is deep fried fritters made from peeled black eyed peas, fried in dendê oil - the reddish palm oil stemming from Africa.

Acarajé is typically found in Nigeria and in the state of Bahia in Brazil (think Salvador), where the African culture is strong.

During our meal at Rio Brazil Cafe (review coming as soon as my Photobucket account is back up and running), Bill brought a special treat of acaraje from a mom-n-pop catering service called Sabor de Bahia.

The acarajé is served with vatapá - a creamy paste made with shrimp, coconut milk, and more - tomato salad, and pimenta (melagueta pepper sauce).

Here's how you eat it:
Split the acarajé in two with a knife. Fill it with vatapá and tomato salad. Dash some pimenta to taste.
There are so many bold flavors going on here but they all worked together so well. I can see why this is a staple street food in Bahia.
The fritters are wonderfully moist inside but fried crispy, the vatapá is fragrant and flavorful. The tomato salad cuts all the grease and richness. The pimenta? I don't normally eat spicy but I couldn't do without the pimenta, it just completes everything.

If you've never tried acarajé, you really need to. And why not make your coworkers be a bit more adventurous during your next office potluck?

Sabor da Bahia, The Authentic Taste of Bahia
near Venice Blvd and Overland (call for address)
pick up only, cash only

If you want the full story of Sabor de Bahia, plus the cooking process of Acarajé, check out Street Gourmet LA's post.


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