We were in Brazil in-between October 2016 and January 2017.
Farmers Markets are a pretty ordinary thing there. They happen every morning except for Mondays all around the country. In São Paulo, we’d cross one every time we left the house before noon. Most times they’re huge but sometimes they’re simple.
There are loads of fresh produce, like fruits and veggies and meat and eggs, but there’s also Asian specialties, toys, lollies, household items, food (pastel is a street market classic), and even furniture.
The best thing about them, besides being everywhere, is that it’s usually a lot cheaper than supermarkets. Also the variety of everything.
We didn’t visit them a lot because we were waking up very late but we did manage a few times and we were always in awe. The kids, even them, had fun. There’s a different energy to the street markets. And there are the colors, the smells, the noise, and pastel, of course.
It’s usually very crowded so you do need to watch your kids closely but it’s worth it. Also, there are usually people in the parking lot watching the car for you, and we usually give them a little tip.
While walking around, there are many fruit stalls and they usually open up a fruit or 2 so you can try it. There’s so much around, I think we can get a full belly just by tasting things.
If you like the best fruit and veggie, go early because everything’s at its freshest. If you go around noon, you’ll have only leftovers, but they’re not too bad and they’re usually a lot cheaper. You can choose what’d work best for you at each day if you want to.
BUT do not buy everything from the first stall because there are many of them and they do sell similar things. You can also try to bargain a little – especially if you’re buying a bunch of stuff from the same stall. And ask the staff about the things you’re buying – they’re usually very knowledgeable and happy to help. Asking to try something is also a good idea when things are new.
Anyway, do NOT skip the pastel. The common fillings are mince (CARNE), cheese (QUEIJO), pizza (cheese with tomato and oregano, but sometimes there’s ham in it), and complete (COMPLETO, that’s got a little bit of everything). Try it with CALDO DE CANA once. It’s just a sugar cane juice – super sweet, so order a small one to try it.
Interested? Have a look!