Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Mercado Municipal Market place in São Paulo,Brazil is a gourmet-food lover’s paradise.

The Mercado Municipal Market place in São Paulo,Brazil is a gourmet-food lover’s paradise.

Elsie Gabriel

The Mercado Municipal Market place in São Paulo,Brazil is a gourmet-food lover’s paradise. It sure does have a top rank place in my pantheon of great markets that I have visited the world over. A trip to the Mercadão, meaning "big market' is a must while touring Sao Paulo. Your gourmet tour starts and ends here in fact.You can pack your basket for a wild picnic or home cooking, all here.


The Mercado Municipal is a huge two storied building market illuminated by stained-glass windows and houses not only stands selling pickles, flowers, canned stuff, fruits, vegetables, spices, meat, poultry and seafood, but also a mezzanine floor lined with vibrant restaurants overlooking the shopping and tasting action below and offering everything from simple snacks and home-cooking samples.

To me it was an exotic offering to all my senses involving me in all the flavor s of Brazil, avant-garde contemporary gastronomy at its best.

 If you like markets with fresh food and local produce, fresh colours and smells, happy faces buying and satisfied faces selling,  this is a really fun place that is packed, lively, delicious and affordable. I enjoyed tasting over a dozen cheeses, wines and sausages of all sorts. I was in gourmet heaven.

You can pick Mortadella sandwiches, fresh local fruit and inexpensive souvenirs, this place is great. I love the humdrum of a market, the dizziness which goes into the haggling and offerings, the mundane becomes the absolutely supreme essential necessity. It is exquisite gastronomic experience here at Mercado.

I ate a Hocca's Pastel  which is a pastel,  a rectangle-shaped thin crust pie with assorted fillings, fried in vegetable oil. The result is a crispy, brownish fried pie either with shrimp, or codfish, or chicken or other flavors..Every bite is crispy heaven, drooool, slruppp….mine was filled with a soft flacky fresh fish fillet...

The Mercado was built in a somewhat eclectic classical style designed by architect Francisco Ramos de Azevedo in 1928 but it was only on January 25, 1933, the birthday of the city of Sao Paulo, that the market finally opened for its original purpose.

The huge central space of the Mercado Municipal is light and airy thanks to the high clerestory windows which allows free flowing breeze, fresh air constantly rotating, abundant daylight to reach even into the center aisles of the market. Along the front facade ranges a series of enormous colourfully paterned stained-glass windows which are the work of German-Brazilian artist Conrado Sorgenicht Filho and which celebrate the daily lives of agricultural workers during the golden age of São Paulo's coffee economy.

All pictures copyrighted Elsie Gabriel.

For me the market, infact any market -represents- Mother Earths offerings and that’s how it becomes heaven to me, just walking down each aisle and letting all that the earth has to offer into your very being, every sense being awakened.You can honour all that the earth grows and helps feed us...

I can still feel the Empanada burst in my mouth,with every juicy bite....
Empanadas are made by folding dough or bread around stuffing, which usually consists of a variety of meat, cheese, fish,vegetables or fruits, among others. Like fritters, samosas or patties known the world over they are filled with happiness always ,what say?