With our quest to find the best açaí bowl in Rio de Janeiro now complete, we turn our energies to sorting out the best of our favorite Bahian dish: the classic acarajé. From the cobblestone streets of the Pelourinho to the beaches of Barra and the largos of Rio Vermelho, no Baiana in Salvador is safe from our rating scale. We’ll be searching far and wide to find our favorite in the city. Here’s our rating scale:
Value: Out of 5. Below R$3, 5/5; 3-4, 4/5; 4-5, 3/5; 5-6, 2/5; 6-7, 1/5; over 7, 0/5.
Taste/Texture: Out of 15. We need a solid acarajé, not too mushy or too hard, and a fresh, baiana-made taste.
Vatapá: Out of 5. How amazingly peanuty is it? How’s the texture? Did you let it sit too long in the sun? You will be harshly judged for messing up our favorite condiment; but handsomely rewarded if you do it well.
Salada: Out of 5. Perhaps even more overlooked than Vatapá – salada is the Pico de Gallo-esque mix of tomatoes and cilantro that is supposed to add a little crunch to the mix. How fresh is it? Does it add anything to the acaraje or is it just a watery mess?
Extras: Out of 5. Friendliness? Speed? Cleanliness? General awesomeoness of baiana outfit? Anything extra goes in this potpourri category.
For now, please enjoy our favorite song about Acarajé – “Retratos da Bahia” by Riachão