By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – After the success of the first culinary festival in 2013, the Centro de Abastecimento do Estado da Guanabara, better known simply as CADEG, is back and again celebrating bacalhau (salted cod) dishes during its second edition.
Located in the Benfica neighborhood in Zona Norte (North Zone) of Rio, the festival began this year on November 7th and will continue through Sunday the 23rd, with the final weekend featuring live music and dance performances, in addition to delicious dishes.
With Portuguese traditions very much alive and well in Rio, the bacalhau festival is a timely one, as for many Cariocas no Christmas celebration would be complete without a meal of the salty cod.
On Saturday, November 22nd, the festival will present ballroom dancing with Jaime Arôxa and live samba and roots with Helton Lopes. Then on Sunday, November 23rd, to officially close the festival, chorino group Acerta O Passo will perform live. Additionally on Sunday there will be a special area for children ages four to eleven with music and performances.
Since the festival began, twelve of CADEG’s restaurants, bars and emporiums have been offering special dishes with bacalhau, a traditional ingredient that harkens back to the country’s Portuguese heritage.
Barsa, one of the more popular establishments within the CADEG market, is offering two specially prepared meals by award-winning chef Marcelo Barsa Barcellos during the festival.
First there is, “Cod Zé do Pipo,” a bacalhau dish with potatoes, rice and broccoli, served with a bottle of the Chilean wine, Vestiqueiro Chardonnay, for R$80. Second there is “Grotto São Sebastião,” a dish featuring bacalhau baked in extra virgin oil olive with potatoes, red onions, tomatoes and olives served with two glasses of Paulo Laureano red wine. A dessert of two custard tarts will also be included for a total meal price of R$139.
La Parrilla del Mercado, a newly opened restaurant in CADEG, is offering “La Parrilla,” a bacalhau dish with grilled vegetables accompanied by a bottle of Esteva Douro Casa Ferreirinha wine for R$199.
Also during the Festival, Zig Zag is offering a bacalhau dish with eggs, peppers, potatoes, onions and black olives, served with a bottle of Portuguese white wine for R$129.80.
The Empório Gourmet Show also is offering two special dishes. First, “Bacalhau Rústico,” a dish consisting of two slices of cod with roasted potatoes, red peppers and garlic drizzled in olive oil and accompanied with broccoli and rice. The meal is served with a bottle of the Spanish red wine, Viña Tobia for R$179.80.
The second Empório Gourmet Show dish is, “Bacalhau ao Molho de Maracujá,” consisting of bacalhau with passionfruit sauce served with sausages and onions sauteed in olive oil with grilled tomatoes, broccoli and rice and served with a bottle of Portuguese red wine, Terra d’Alter for R$179.80.
Established over 54 years ago and well known as a fruit, vegetable, plant and flower market, CADEG has been hosting various culinary festivals to showcase the many restaurants and food vendors spread throughout its three-floors since November of 2012.
For a full list of participating restaurants and menus, see CADEG’s official site.
What: 2nd Edition of the Festival Gastronômico do Mercado Municipal do Rio – CADEG
When: November 7th-November 23rd. Special dance presentation and live samba on Saturday, November 22nd from 5PM to 9PM. Live chorinho and special area for children on Sunday, November 23rd from 2PM to 4PM.
Where:Rua Capitão Félix 110, Benfica
Entrance: Free (varying meal prices)