Friday, March 25, 2011

Feira Friday

I love going to the Brazilian Farmer's Market,or feira, first thing on Friday morning.  I always arrive right at the beginning, as the last pieces of fish are being laid out for display.

There's a calm to the early morning feira.  The workers are chatting amongst themselves and laughing as they help each other tie tarps up over their produce. It's pleasant out at the moment but the sun will not be so forgiving in a few hours.

The entire street smells fresh. This is amazing seeing that this particular street normally has a strong smell of urine. Somehow the clean leafy greens, fresh seafood, and newly cut watermelon cover up the nasty.

I like to stroll along with my boys, letting them point out and lightly touch the fruit. The vendors encourage it and offer them samples of fruit that I can't even name in English. One boy always says no and they other always says yes.

And then we start to buy. My vegetable man calls me dear and shows me the American broccoli. My fish guy already knows which cuts my kids like and he gives me a little discount. My chicken person asks how my in-laws are doing, by name, as she was their chicken person when they lived in the city. My fruit man laughs when my youngest grabs a berry and offers him another.

We top off our early trip to the feira with a visit to the pastel stand. My two boys walk home happily eating a cheese pastel half the size of their heads.

A lovely way to start a Friday. 


  1. I miss very much the Brazilian fruits from feiras. So different from a Dutch market. Here there are flowers, cheeses, plants, fish, bread and clothes. Not veggies/fruits or fresh produce... But I think the most exciting is the Albert Cuyp, a 1km market six times a week in the same street in A'dam. From 7am to 6pm. Everything can be there. And I guess it is the largest in Europe. Simply amazing.

  2. sounds great...get a pastel for me please :)

    what time the boys go to school?

  3. The boys go to school at 1pm and stay until 530pm. It was strange for me at first but I quite like it now.

    Anita - I would love to see the 1km market! Have you done a post on it?

  4. Our fish guy knows we want the shrimp cleaned while we continue to shop. Once in a while the cheese guy has something special from Minas Gerais.

    Love it.

    Qualidade de vida!

  5. I really enjoy going to the local markets when it is quiet, even when not buying I like to see what they have to try to come up with ideas for meals etc.

    It must be even better when they clearly know you and have a chat.

  6. Yum, pastel! Eat some for me, please. And maybe some sugar cane juice while you're at it!

  7. Rachel,

    I love Brazilian feiras, my favorite are the "Pastel de Escarola".
    My mother still goes to the same feira since I was a baby, she knows everyone and everyone knows her.
    The feira was my mother's FACEBOOK, that is where they met everyone, found out about who married, who divorced, who died and who had a baby... and saw baby pictures of their friends...
    When I visit Brazil I always go with my mother to her weekly Feira so I can meet friends and neighbors I haven't seen in years...I love it!
    Boston has the HAY MARKET, not as organized as a Brazilian Feira, it is downtown and it is famous for fresh abudant Sea Food and Fresh Fish.
    The interesting thing about Boston's Hay Market are your occasional Mafia guido trying to sell stolen goods "they" claim" it felt off the back of trucks somewhere in New Jersey... :)
    Dallas has a great Farmers Market downtonw with great local fresh produce and some arts and crafts vendors.
    Farmers Market are making a quick comeback in the US as people look for local produce to avoid paying the high costs of transporting produce from far away with the crazy new high prices for gasoline.
    Small farmers market with local organic produce are popping up all over the place around New England, but they are nothing like the abundant Brazilian feiras and are far from being as organized and as large, maybe in the future.


  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. I love Brazilian feiras as well. I distinctly remember the Wednesday feira that was near the school I worked at in Manaus. The secretary was my best friend and I used to go after my afternoon class and buy pasteis, cana de azucar for her, and bread for us while she made coffee. Mmmmmemories....q' saudade!