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São Cristovão Fair

São Cristovão Fair (75)

So much walking sure has increased your appetite, so, if you are someone who does not leave a country without sampling the local cuisine, the São Cristovão fair is the ideal place to sample food from the northeastern region of Brazil; a large area of lush nature, beautiful beaches, a wide gastronomic culture and the cradle of many local musical styles.

The history of São Cristovão Fair dates back to the middle of last century, when a large number of nordestinos (Northeasterners) started a period of migration to the capital (at that time Rio de Janeiro) in search of better job opportunities. These immigrants began to meet and organise parties around São Cristovão, where they shared their meals, listened to their music and somehow fought the "saudade" (longing) for their homeland.

Thus, you are in the best place to sample their typical dishes, buy crafts and be caught up in the joy of their music.

Among the stands you will find everything; shoe stores, butcher shops, bookstores, clothing stores, etc., but the most interesting ones are those selling typical products, such as Minas cheese, Recife bread, cachaça or traditional spices. You can also buy crafts in leather or wood, Bahia dolls, huge hand-woven hammocks, hats, wooden utensils, etc.

And, of course, eat. There are so many options that one does not know where to start. But among the classics you must try there is the Feijoada Nordestina, the Baião de Dois (a dish with rice, beans, cheese and sausage), Carme de Sol com Aipim (sun-dried meat sautéed and served with fried cassava), the fish and seafood stew called moqueca, acarajé, which is a ball fried in palm oil and filled with white beans and shrimp.

Moreover, you will surely be able to enjoy live music and dance shows on the different stages available, such as xote, maracatu,xaxado or martelo and popular forró, which many couples use to dance and will surely encourage you to move your feet and even follow a couple of steps.

The enclosure is huge, with more than 300,000 m2 and over 700 stands. After its refurbishment in 2003, it has ended up looking more like a large football stadium than a market. The festive atmosphere can be experienced from Tuesday to Sunday and, although on weekends you will have to pay to get in, those few coins will allow you to enjoy this wonderful fair as well as the cultures and traditions of northern and eastern Brazil.

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